If you never went to Serbia, what do imagine it to be like? Party, nightlife, crazy people and good looking women? You’re not wrong. But be prepared to extend the nightlife till morning. Even in open air metal festivals. In fact, everything seems to go later than usual there, as for example the lunch break from 14:00h onwards, and so it turned out to be with no surprise that we’ve seen most of the concerts starting later than scheduled. But never forget the rule: the later it gets, the bigger the party becomes.
The organization prepared a black metal pre party on Wednesday, 29th, at the Blue Moon Club, in Belgrade city center. Sekhmet appeared as the bonus for this underground night, in small cave bar, with lots of cheap liqueur. Some of the bands were already there to. In fact, one of the advantages of going to this kind of small festivals is the opportunity to make chat and be around the artists, once the majority of them mix among the audience.
It was the antechamber of what it was announced to be one of the best black metal line ups in recent years. In fact, in the distant and unexpected Belgrade, Darkness Rising Festival was able to join some of the most infamous black metal acts of the XXI century.
The festival ground is settled in what it seems to be a giant backyard, with more than enough space to host bigger events. The back stage was in fact a “front stage”, settled in a family two floors house, at the festival entrance. So don’t get surprised if you see some musicians crossing the festival ground with their instruments, from and to the stage.
But everything was green in that area, and that provided some peaceful environment to balance the sound aggression we were about to witness during those three days.
ZLOSLUT was the first band of the festival, presenting their Serbian black metal to no more than 100 persons at that time. Then ATER ERA came from Slovenia to put some more weight in that first night, while the barbecue was heating, with some delicious, big steaks to replace the usual unpleasant festival kebabs. Good for us. The first trio of bands ended with locals TRIUMFALL, trying to create some agitation in the audience.
Zloslut Ater Era Triumfall
But it was EMPTINESS the first band to really shake the festival ground, with their mix of brutal sludge and black metal. Slow paced riffs, some fast drums work, and strong bass chords, created the first general headbanging. So, besides the quantity of beer already consumed, the concerts were also doing their part. These Belgian metalers share two elements with Enthroned compatriots, and have showed some really good paced themes, in one of the best festival surprises.
Czech black metalers SILVA NIGRA shouted out all their blasphemy in a strong first 40 minutes contact. By that moment, the ground floor was getting to muddy in some parts in front of the stage, impelling some of the most energetic metalheads to the floor. The rapidity and sardonic themes from Silva Nigra made it the most blasphemed moment that far.
And so, as the drunkenness increased, ENTHRONED entered the stage, with a shaved air Norgagest, leading the collective that now counts with Portuguese Menthor (ex. Corpus Christii) on drums. These Belgian leading black metalers can only give intense shows, and this one was not an exception. They presented parts of their latest album “Obsidium”, namely “Sepulchred Within Opaque Slumber” and “Nonus Sacramentum”, but also the major tracks of their long career, with Tetra Karcist’s “The Burning Dawn”, “Through the Cortex” and “Nox” in evidence. It was a hell of an hour, unleashing darkness upon Serbian soil, in one of the bigger moments of that weekend.
Then came Finnish occult black metalers SARGEIST, to invade the stage with their dark, occult presence. The outfit seemed to be perfect, for one of the most expected bands of the weekend. “Satanic Black Devotion”, “Empire of Suffering” and “Let the Devil In” were some of the most intense tracks, spreading melancholy and depression over the quite numbered audience.
After having seen the two main bands of the day, we thought that maybe no more attractions could call us into madness. But, around 04:00 AM, SOMRAK invaded the stage with a contagious concert that pulled out the last strengths of the few guys still standing at the festival area. In fact, this Slovenian performance ended at 05:00h, when the sun was already shinning upon Belgrade. It was in fact strange to see a black metal band during the morning, but in Serbia it gets day too soon. Daylight issues apart, Somrak did their best and this will be a concert that none of us will ever forget.