To me, nothing is closer to perfection than a Mayhem concert happening in the heart of Transylvania, in Kruhnen Musik Halle, one of the best metal venues in the country. It was for the second time that this Black Metal legend was invited to perform around Brasov, after the 2016 edition of Rockstadt Extreme Fest, in Risnov.
Wednesday evening was opened by Syn Ze Sase Tri and Indian Fall, both from Romania, followed by Czech Black metal cult Inferno. I arrived a bit earlier, and everything went smoothly with the organizing and timing from what I could see. The only topic for debate latter on was the quality of the sound – it was not a clean sound and some complained, while others thought it’s adequate to the atmosphere old Mayhem and old school black metal from the 90s had on their records. To state my opinion, it didn’t bother me that much although I could have heard the drums a bit better and the vocals more clearly, especially for the first bands. Another particularity of this concert was the relatively young age everyone in the audience had. I was surprised because in Bucharest most of the people at concerts are past 25 and more in their 30s, while here a lot were still in high school, maybe. I’m pleased to see youngsters showing interest in this music, the local scene needs more of that.
Back to the bands, Syn Ze Sase Tri are a Symphonic / Melodic Black Metal band from Timisoara. Their concert in Brasov was first of Resurection Tour, to be continued this year – check their facebook profile for further details . The performance was dedicated to the memory of Liviu Zaharescu, friend and photographer of the band, one of the wonderful men we lost in Colectiv fire. Syn Ze Sase Tri are an impressive presence on stage, with armor-like costumes and black and red facepaint, as if they’re going to war. Music wise, I feel that the sound issues that I mentioned earlier didn’t work on their advantage, personally I would rather heard the instruments more clearly. Since it’s the first time I’m seeing them live, I will give a more in depth opinion after I’ll listen to them in different conditions. Next, Indian Fall, a band I’ve certainly seen more than one time before. I think I last saw them opening for Nargaroth some years ago, if I remember well. They changed line-up since, and it was the first time performing in this formula – with Alinesku (also in W3 4R3 NUM83R5) at guitar / clean vocals and John (Code Red). In spite of those changes of line-up, the band presented as a mature band, I enjoyed pretty most of what was happening on that stage except the clean voice that made me cringe. I don’t find it suitable at all with the rest.
Inferno were coming shortly after they released their album, “Gnosis Kardias (Of Transcension and Involution)”, even though they performed songs from the previous albums. The band spoke more about their latest release in an interview they were kind to give us, before the concert, here. Inferno were part of the line-up of Rites of the Black Mass, in Bucharest, last year. I’m utterly mesmerized by their raw dark presence on stage. It’s a complete show, best devoured in the dark, where you can lose yourself and admire their costumes with their symbols, the red candles, their gestures. Their show was too short, maybe – or maybe I was too impressed and there was room for more.
Regardless of the controversies or the history of Mayhem, I believe all that are into Black Metal should see them singing, at least once. Especially at a concert where they perform De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas in full. So we listened to classic like Funeral Fog or Freezing Moon, in a perfectly and carefully created atmosphere. Again, on stage there were skulls, skeletons, candles, black robes, but everything is tastefully entwined. So, who is Mayhem in 2017? Attila Csihar, a prolific artist, collaborating with bands such as Sunn O))), Ulver, Jarboe or Aborym, to name a few. Hellhammer, with Mayhem for almost 30 years, also founder of avant-garde black metal band Arcturus, that also played in Brasov in 2012. Teloch, another name I keep track of, and of his project Nidingr. It was a treat to be able to watch these musicians in action.
Better than my words, my colleague Miruna immortalized the overall atmosphere in a photo set that you can watch and enjoy here.