Thank God it’s Friday, right? Not this time! He had nothing to do with the happening in Fest club this Friday. Three black metal bands performing make for a proverbial stop sign for deities. Not too common occurrence is that there were actually three rather different black metal entities adorning the stage that night. The audience was greeted to three stylistically diverse groups. Differing viewpoints on the same genre. An invite for personal tastes to run amok.
Пустош was the first onboard. Indjija based quartet declared they are getting back to studio for the session that will become their sophomore album. Hence, this weekend stint with Nihilism was the last that will overly promote the debut. First of all, it was my first time witnessing Пустош as a four-piece. As always, the second guitar’s impact on live appearance of a band. Such was the case this time, too. Пустош’s brand of doomy, atmospheric black metal gained strength, particularly in those slower, heavy pieces of Black Sabbathesque brand of stoner doom metal. Its impact was somewhat lessened in faster, more traditional black metal parts, but it didn’t hurt either.
But the full power behind such a line-up was seen in the one new track they presented. An instrumental (until the completion of the lyrics) which experimented with black metal in a similar way to Emperor at their most progressive on “Prometheus…” Not that Пустош went along the same type of avantgarde expression, but the arrangement got me thinking of the swerving manifestation of black metal Ihsahn followed through in his next projects. As far as I’m concerned, if the coming record goes along the similar paths as the one presented, we might be in for an exciting listening experience.
And then the funniest thing happened. The only explanation I have for complete lack of guitars in the output for the remainder of the evening is that the sound guy’s girlfriend cheated on him with a guitar player. You know what!? I hope she did! Just about ridiculous, as there was just a thin veil of guitar sound behind a thumping bass, vocals and drums.
Оскрнавитељ should sound like a violent black metal tsunami on stage. We could hear hints of it, for sure. The band’s energetic performance promised that. But there was no guitar. I clearly heard the bass player make a few mistakes. That’s how apparent it was. In higher registers, there was some guitar breaking through. Other than that, they were lying in tatters behind the rhythm section and voice. The fact that Оскрнавитељ houses two guitars is even a difficult feat to bury so much.
Оскрнавитељ, by the way, plays a purified, second wave black metal. In that regard, the simpler, tremolo guitar buzzing was the one thing that actually came through, as a wall of sound behind the rest. The nuances though, and there’s a number of those, like delicate leads, that was all gone. I couldn’t even find it when I approached the stage, frontline, one and a half meters from the amp. Bass, drums and vocals were just taking over the whole thing.
On the other hand, the band took advantage of the opportunity and displayed the fierceness their music brings along. What concerns themselves, they’ve done to perfection. Let’s hope for less of an idiot behind the soundboard next time.
The only guests on stage for the evening, Greek band Nihilism, inspired curiosity. Black metal coming from Greece has long been one of the pillars of this global phenomenon. So, a chance to hear one of those live is never to be taken lightly. Unfortunately, this was all wrong. Nihilism really had all the bad luck in the world that night. Starting from the mentioned idiocy by the sound guy. I think he was actually quite dumbfounded by the music at hand, that he didn’t know what to do with it. Not only were there only two guys in the line-up, with all the rest coming from a sampling device. They are promoting a sort of avantgarde black metal whose full impact hugely depends on everything going really tight. And then two strings on guitar decided they’ve had enough. The guitarist tried to work around it for a while, playing a couple of more songs before giving up and asking the other bands to lend him one.
Completing the image of an absolute asshole, the sound guy steps in once again and plays music during these couple of minutes long break. Seriously!? Has he never been at a concert!? String breaking is certainly not something that happens for the first time. Let it go, dude. People can live without Pantera for a couple of minutes. Absolute moron!
Nihilism went on for a while longer, but the sound emanating from the stage didn’t allow for a decent judgement of their music. It sounded like a fairly noisy and “broken” black metal, where psychological discomfort was the objective. Not for me, definitely, but there might have been a few turned heads in their direction, if only they had someone with at least basic understanding of how soundwaves work, taking care of the sound.
All in all, this was a pleasant evening. I just hope they all had better luck a day later in Novi Sad. As for the “hero” of the evening… Well, let’s not be too harsh. I wish he got fired.