Norwegian Mayhem set foot on Portuguese soil in April early this year as headliners of the SWR Barroselas Metalfest. Six months later, they were back, but this time in a closed dedicated venue, not in a festival format.
After a few minutes in line, we were able to witness the first concert: The Portuguese The Ominous Circle proved to be an act of great competence. Of an anonymous identity but endowed with a very powerful presence, both visually and musically, this quintet brought a heavy atmosphere with them. Beginning with “To En” and quickly playing “Poison Fumes”, The Ominous Circle continued their showcase with “Ateh Gibor Le-olam Adonai”. The sound was very good, and it was possible to listen to everything that was played, especially the drummer’s top notch work. Without communicating with the audience, “From Endless Chasms” and “As The Worm Descends” ended a very convincing and cohesive performance, something that this quintet has already accustomed us to.
From a heavy atmosphere to an even darker one. The British Dragged Into Sunlight brought their choking music. Always with their backs turned at the audience, the whole visual spectacle was based on red lights and white strobe lights, good for triggering seizures. This band’s shows are known to be acid, uncomfortable, noisy and chaotic. The whole gig setlist was based on the “Hatred For Mankind” album and the collaboration with Gnaw Their Tongues entitled “NV”. Chaos was firstly unfolded by the short “To Hieron” followed by “Omniscienza”. “Absolver” closed the first cycle. After that there was only “Hatred For Mankind”. Continuing the “no communication” policy initiated by the previous band, the band performed “Buried With Leeches”, “Volcanic Birth” and at last, “Lashed to the Grinder and Stoned to Death”… three very long songs that pulled down darkness and confusion upon the audience’s heads and left no one at ease. Confusion could be seen in the eyes of some attendees. Darkness, lots of smoke and one hell of a racket. These sonic terrorists do not kid around.
Finally came Mayhem. The main ceremony. Attila Csihar & Co brought everything that is sinister in the form of their most inspirational album ever: “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. Definitely a milestone in the History of Black Metal, and what was witnessed was indeed, History. At first, not experiencing the best sound, the start of the concert was somewhat confusing. Attila’s voice could not be heard for much of “Funeral Fog”, but throughout “Freezing Moon” the sound mix improved. In “Cursed In Eternity” it was already possible to enjoy what one of the most striking bands of the Black Metal spectrum had to offer. This concert was like listening to the record and feeling it in our skin. It was impossible to remain indifferent to classics like “Pagan Fears” or “Life Eternal”. Always with a very introspective presence, Attila conducted the ritual until the high point of the performance: “De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas”. This song was undoubtedly the highlight of the whole night. Without any words, the band thanked everyone and left, leaving Attila to give a very felt bow to the audience who did not move away until the venue lights were turned on, possibly with hopes of an encore. The True Mayhem took a long time to come, but they sure did not disappoint.
Agradecimento especial: SWR Inc
Text & Photos: Filipe Gomes (FG Photo)
Mayhem photos courtesy of Loudness Magazine (Sethlam Waltheer) due to equipment malfunctions which prevented us from capturing images of the Mayhem show.