Kreator

support Morbid Angel + Nile + Fueled By Fire
author MST date 13/12/12 venue Voxhall, Århus, DEN

A Rock the Nation tour visiting Denmark is a big deal these days. But a Rock the Nation tour that features some of the absolute heavyweights of extreme metal which hits Denmark on TWO occasions, that is a huge fucking deal. The day before Kreator, Morbid Angel, Nile and Fueled By Fire hit Voxhall in Århus, the tour had visited Amager Bio in Copenhagen, and our own EW had decided to check that show out as part of his trip to attend the annual Rockfreaks.net julefrokost. Now then, let's see how the tour fared in Århus.

Photos by: Marika Hyldmar

Fueled By Fire

Fueled By Fire

Fueled By Fire are an American thrash metal band based in Los Angeles, California. With two releases behind them, the latest one being "Plunging Into Darkness" from 2010, the band set out to conquer Denmark. It wasn't easy for them though, as the 40 or so people who had showed up for the support band weren't craving their American brand of old school thrash metal. On top of that, the band had very limited space on the stage, as Kreator required a huge amount of room for their drumset and platforms. In front of that drumset, Nile's enormous drumset was stationed, with amps on each side, so Carlos Gutierrez's small drumset had to be set up way up in front of the stage compared to usual gigs. But the 4-man band didn't really need all that space anyway. As they played song after song characterized by energetic drums, simple, but aggressive riffs, solos coming from both guitarists as per usual for the genre, and Rick Rangel's harsh vocals that reminded me of Tom Araya, the band did very little other than play their music and headbang. The music was all right, though most of the songs did nothing to stand out from the rest until the last two tracks made my head nod in definite appreciation. As the number of attendants had risen to about 80 and Fueled By Fire had played their last song, they left the stage having performed more or less on the routine, and while that hardly makes the show memorable it doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable.

Nile

Nile

Because I had already seen Morbid Angel live before, the biggest reason for my presence at this show was Nile. Less than 15 years after the release of their debut album, "Amongst The Catacombs Of Nephren-Ka", Nile are one of the biggest and best bands in technical death metal. Their brutal riffs, insane drum speeds (courtesy of George Kollias in recent years), the duo (sometimes even a trio) of vocalists and the theme of ancient Egypt are all factors that have helped Nile gather a huge fanbase. Having recently released their latest album, "At The Gates Of Sethu", their seventh full-length album, Nile was still promoting their new album. It is an album that have divided the fans somewhat, but I personally like it, so I didn't mind. Opening with "Sacrifice Unto Sebek" from "Annihilation Of The Wicked", the band led by co-vocalist/guitarist Dallas Toler-Wade started the onslaught. Behind the biggest drumset of the night, George Kollias performed some of the most extreme drumming you can find in this age, displaying his ability to impress both in terms of technicality and velocity. The shared vocal duties of Toler-Wade and Karl Sanders brought some extra variation to the performance, as well as the music, but I personally think that Toler-Wade is vastly superior with his impressive range of growled vocals. On the other hand though, Sanders is a mastermind on his 7-string guitar as he proved throughout the set, though both guitarists played solos during the set. We were treated to old songs like "Black Seeds Of Vengeance" and three new songs including the excellent "The Inevitable Degradation Of Flesh", and all songs were performed excellently, and even the Arabic chant-like singing in "Kafir!" had been brought to the stage. It wasn't always easy to hear whether or not the songs were played right though, because there were some distinct problems in the sound, something that rarely happens at Voxhall: Toler-Wades guitar was turned up way too loud, to the point where it wasn't just overshadowing Sanders but actually sometimes made it hard to hear Kollias's snare drum. Nile are clearly led by Dallas Toler-Wade on stage, but he wasn't the most active of frontmen. To his right though, Sanders made sure to headbang between vocal lines while playing his technical riffs and also spend some time talking to the audience between songs. Toler-Wade and bassist Todd Ellis changed stations once towards the end of the set, but apart from that it was a very stationary show. That fact, on top of the problems in sound and a lack of a certain Slave Stick, was enough to disappoint me somewhat, although generally the music and the professionalism that Nile showed made it a very enjoyable gig.

7

Morbid Angel

Morbid Angel

Morbid Angel are one of the most legendary death metal bands out there, so it was no surprise that Voxhall had started to fill up properly right before Morbid Angel ascended the stage. The pioneering death metal band opened the show with "Immortal Rites", the very first song from their very first album, and did so convincingly. I was immediately blown away by vocalist/bassist David Vincent's commanding presence on stage. Like the rest of the band (and the rest of the musicians who performed at this show, more or less) Vincent didn't exactly run a marathon around the stage to impress people by how fit he is, but instead focused on channelling the evil of his lyrics towards the audience, thus evoking that commanding presence I mentioned earlier. Guitarists Trey Azagthoth and Thor Anders "Destructhor" Myhren stayed more or less neutral, settling with playing the pioneerings death metal riffs and lightning-fast solos on top of doing some casual headbanging while Vincent led the band and let their legendary tunes do most of the talking. Apart from playing classic after classic like "Where The Slime Live" and the doomy "God Of Emptiness", the band played a couple of songs from last year's "Illud Divinum Insanus", the industrial death metal album that stirred up some controversy upon its release. Luckily though, the two songs played from it, "Existo Vulgoré" and "Nevermore" are pretty standard death metal tracks, and especially "Existo Vulgoré" worked excellently with its fast pace and headbang-friendly dynamics. Apart from a short break from the setlist that gave Azagthoth the chance to do some sort of solo that sounded improvised and, honestly, quite awful (it was more or less just noisy, whiny notes forced out of the axe), Morbid Angel was a blast from start to finish, as the constant moshing behind me was a testament to.

8

Setlist:

  • Immortal Rites
  • Fall From Grace
  • Rapture
  • Pain Divine
  • Maze of Torment
  • Existo Vulgoré
  • Nevermore
  • Lord of All Fevers and Plague
  • Chapel of Ghouls

--Encore--

  • Dawn of the Angry
  • Where the Slime Live
  • Bil Ur-Sag
  • God of Emptiness
  • World of Shit (The Promised Land)

Kreator

Kreator

The headliners of this tour were another pioneering act, namely the German thrash titants in Kreator. Along with Sodom, Destruction and Tankard they are revered as one of the Big Teutonic Four of German thrash metal from the 80's. Having released their latest album "Phantom Antichrist" earlier this year, the band had brought a big stage show consisting of the artwork of the new album covering all of the sides and back of the stage, as well as the front of the elevated drumset which had platforms with microphone stands on each side. While the stage was given the finishing touches, a projector was showing a video compilation of the band's previous albums and the band's personal live experiences through the years to the sound of Johnny Cash's cover of "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode. As the video ended and the band's "Mars Mantra"-intro had finished, the white carpet fell to the ground and the band immediately started the show with the title track to the new album, "Phantom Antichrist". The four-piece utilized the stage well, with both vocalist/guitarist Miland "Mille" Petrozza and bassist Christian Giesler venturing up to the microphone stands on the elevated platforms. There was generally a lot of moving around, which is something I usually approve of. So why did I think that Morbid Angel's stand-still performance was better than Kreator's more choreographed show? It all comes down to the way the bands transferred the energy of their music to the audience. Mille Petrozza is a great frontman, there's no denying that, but his bandmates may want to consider whether they want to play live or not, because it sure as hell didn't look like it on this night. Giesler and guitarist Sami Yli-Sirniö wandered around the stage as if it was an obligatory task they had to perform, and the expressions on their faces were more or less empty. Luckily though, with Petrozza fronting the band the show never got decidedly boring, and when the band played fantastic classics such as "Pleasure To Kill" and "Flag of Hate" and incited moshpits and even a huge Wall of Death, the energy from the crowd completely filled the room. Ending with "Tormentor" from the band's debut album as well as the demo preceding said album (the band was called Tormentor at the time), the German thrash metal titants descended the stage on a high note, but suffice to say that I wasn't anywhere near as satisfied as the multitudes of fans screaming their lungs out.

7

Setlist:

  • Personal Jesus (Johnny Cash song) (intro)
  • Mars Mantra (intro)
  • Phantom Antichrist
  • From Flood Into Fire
  • Enemy of God
  • Phobia
  • Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)
  • Civilization Collapse
  • Voices of the Dead
  • Extreme Aggression
  • People of the Lie
  • Death to the World
  • Coma of Souls / Endless Pain
  • Pleasure to Kill

--Encore--

  • The Patriarch (intro)
  • Violent Revolution
  • United in Hate
  • Betrayer
  • Flag of Hate
  • Tormentor

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