Every time a Norwegian band steps out of the traditional and already hoary black-metal box, it becomes an event to make note of. Yet, in case of Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult, this wasn’t the main point of attraction. It’s the line-up that caught the attention of the public in the first place. The band happens to be fronted by the legendary Hank von Helvete, whom you might have seen on stage with another magnificent Norwegian act – Turbonegro. DM&tMC’s honorary axemen include Anders Odden (Satyricon, Apoptygma Berzerk, Celtic Frost, etc.), Audun Stengel (The Kovenant, Apoptygma Berzerk), Tim Skold on bass (Marilyn Manson, KMFDM, etc.) and David Husvik (Extol) on drums. Whatever this stellar line-up set out to make, it couldn’t suck by definition. And it surely didn’t.
The hype around this band has been accumulating for quite a while and at last the hungry fans got to hear the new single “(Don’t) Waste It” from the upcoming release I Declare: Treason. In addition to that, Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult announced a string of live shows where the band would perform their new material. The first concert took place at DOM club in Helsinki on May 11th. Needless to say, we were there to witness this glorious event. Here are the things we learned at the said show:
– Even when sporting a Notorious B.I.G. look instead of the usual Alice Cooper make up, Hank von Helvete is still one of the most charismatic and unsurpassed frontmen of all time. How is it possible that you are not worshipping his greatness yet, you fool?!
– Hank’s stage banter is nothing short of amusing brilliance. He addressed the audience for the first time after “(Don’t) Waste It” and told a story about the first man ever to bleed for rock ’n’ roll. In due course, the band blasted into “Bleed Idiot Bleed” and people were convinced it was time to join the Midnight Cult. After that, Hank proceeded to present every song with its own original preamble and each of those was priceless.
– Not to undermine the rest of the band, the show went like clockwork. Anders Odden and Audun Stengel performed the art of shredding at its finest, living up to the highest expectations.
– Tim Skold emitted some kind of aura of superstardom on stage. Not in a bad way, yet it was obvious who was the gem of the line-up every time the band took a step back and Tim stepped in the spotlight showcasing his guitar chops.
– In case you’ve been searching for a whore in all the wrong places, DM&tMC’ve got you covered. “West is where you will find a whore,” proclaimed Hank from the stage when presenting the song “Whore in the West.” Duly noted.
– DM&tMC’s new material sounds like Marilyn Manson took a happy pill and lost his crown. In other words, their music and lyrics make you take your own shit less seriously.
Just like one of their compositions suggests, Doctor Midnight & the Mercy Cult’s first show was by all means victorious. “They came, they saw, they conquered.”
1. Glory (Throw the Axe)
2. Sign My Name
3. (Don’t) Waste It
4. Bleed Idiot Bleed
5. OK We’re Just About to Die
8. Whore in the West
10. I Declare: Treason
Text: Tanja Caciur | Photos: Janica Lönn (Storm Photography) | Ed: Amy Wiseman