After all the spineless, ignorant vitriol demonstrated en masse throughout the world this year, black metal offers a (somewhat ironic, given its origins) refuge and catharsis for its listeners to purge themselves of cultural miasma and this weekend the Grecian lords of darkness Rotting Christ delivered a critical-mass detonation of black metal to Vancouver.
With exemplary support from locals Hissing and Kafirun and touring support from Montreal’s Necronomicon and theatrical Dutch act Carach Angren, Rotting Christ played a seamless set to a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Imperial, marking an impressive and promising turnout for intense black metal shows in this otherwise meek lower mainland city.
Hissing never fail to darken the brightest skies with their thunderous sepulchral gloom and Kafirun unleashed a truly sublime abomination upon the strong early turnout, giving their tightest performance to date. After last month’s post-Severfest reports one had high expectations for Necronomicon, easily surpassed by the band’s focused delivery and friendly rapport with the audience. Carach Angren impressed with its ambitious horrifics, clearly a hit with the youngest members of the crowd (especially the band’s request for a Wall of Death from the audience), and one looks forward to their imminent return opening for Kataklysm at The Red Room next month.
Beginning with the recorded opening invocation featuring the voice of Diamanda Galas, Rotting Christ visited a relentless stream of crowd favourites in an approximately hour-long set, including a two-song encore. Although one would have liked to hear more material from the band’s latest album, Rituals, the setlist spanned the full range of their prolific discography and clearly satisfied long-time fans with several deep cuts from early releases.
It’s a rare and special occasion whenever an extreme band from Greece comes out to play on the farthest coast of Western civilization and, as veteran ambassadors of groundbreaking black metal, Rotting Christ provide a most effective exorcism for all our cultural superfluities.
(Click to enlarge photos)