Septicflesh finally got an opportunity headline a tour, which was all I needed to know when the tour was announced. But when the information about the tour actually visiting my city came to light, I was extremely hyped. I have been a massive fan of Septicflesh since the end of high school and believe me – there was no force on earth that would dissuade me from going to their gig on that particular evening. I also need to mention that the promoter’s choice of the venue made me happy. Firlej Club is a small venue in Wroclaw where the artists and audience are very close to each other, which often results in almost familiar interaction between both sides. And there is nothing I would love more than seeing my favorite Greek band in my beloved club.
What also caught my eye (or rather, my ear), was exactly how coherent the bands performing this night were. Nearly all of them had symphonic additions in their music, which added a special flavor to their compositions. The first band broke out of the scheme a little bit though – Descending is a young melodic death metal band from Athens. They’ve already released two full-length albums and although their set consisted of only of five songs, they we’re a really interesting act to watch and listen. I listened to both of their albums when I got home later and I admit that Descending is a promising band, which I’d love to hear more of in future.
Next in line to perform was Dutch trio Carach Angren. In terms of expressing themselves as artists, they prefer the rough-and-ready way by limiting themselves to only three instruments. Merging the raw force of black metal music with lyrics relating to tales of the afterlife, they’ve gained quite a fanbase. They’ve already been invited to support such bands like Vreid, Marduk, and Dark Funeral. Yes indeed, these guys are a big deal! And although I’ve thought that the show might be a little passive in the terms of stage movement (since both drummer and keyboardist were obviously glued to their spots) – oh joy, how wrong I was. Seregor is an extraordinarily expressive vocalist whose mimicry and epic poses will dwell in my memory for a long time!
Fleshgod Apocalypse followed Carach Angren. I could sum up their performance in one word and it would totally be “classy.” Just imagine: five dudes entering the stage with their faces smeared with black paint, hair scattered in every possible direction, with angry looks on their faces and wearing – tada! – tailcoats and bowties. Now torture your imagination a little more and imagine how they grab their instruments and smash the first few rows with brutal sounds for the first few songs. This was a bloody blast! I also loved how FA’s vocalist, Tommaso Riccardi, introduced the following songs. The intent in his moves and his rich mimicry was nearly tangible. I remember that, before the gig, I didn’t like their music that much while browsing their songs on YouTube, but after attending their show I can easily say that Fleshgod Apocalypse just gained a new fan. For the record, it’s not only because I like dudes in suits.
Finally, after a long wait, the moment everyone waited for arrived – the almighty Septicflesh! They greeted Wroclaw with “The Vampire from Nazareth” from their latest album. After nearly all of the band members came on stage, Spiros “Seth” Antoniou slowly walked to his octopus-shaped stand to the sound of excited, ear-piercing screams from the audience. And my oh my, how this man can ROAR. Honestly, I’ve known their music for a long time, I’ve been familiar with Seth’s vocals, but this live performance was like discovering a whole new dimension because his vocals are freaking possessed! Right after the overwhelmingly creepy impression of “Vampire…” faded away, Seth shortly greeted with the crowd before crushing them with the heavy “Communion” seconds later. If I usually pay attention how the band communicates with their fans on gigs, this night I didn’t care about it at all. Hell, let Septicflesh do the sound apocalypse and smear all of us on the ceiling!
The set in general was supposed to promote their latest album The Great Mass, but it was intertwined with songs from older albums, such as “Virtues of the Beast”, “Lovecraft’s Death,” or “Persepolis.” Among those, the band made a small break and gave their drummer, Fotis Benardo, a chance to show off his craft. Believe me, he loves what he is doing (judging by his facial expressions) and he is doing a damned good job. It was also obvious that the fans wouldn’t let them leave the venue before they played their biggest hit, “Anubis.” During which Seth engaged the whole venue to sing, or perhaps howl, along with the main melody. But the gig ended with a rather unusual song, in my opinion: “Five-Pointed Star.”
To sum things up, the gig was one of the best so far in 2013. I waited for it for a very long time, had big expectations for it, and mostly they’ve been fulfilled. Not all of them, of course, but one can’t have everything at once. Besides, that’s why we attend our favorite bands’ shows more than one time during our lives, am I right?
Text/photos: Maria Sawicka | Ed: Amy Wiseman