BEHEMOTH recently released their latest album "I Loved You At Your Darkest", an outstanding follow-up to their critically acclaimed album "The Satanist". As a result the band went on a European tour, with a halt at The Circus in Helsinki. After interviewing Nergal, and reviewing the album, I was thus very excited to see the band perform these songs live.
The opening band of the evening was the American black metal outfit WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM. I had never heard of the band before, so I didn't have any expectations whatever. The band played a relatively short setlist that consisted mostly out of songs from their lastest album "Trice Woven", and impressed the audience with their atmospheric performance. It was a Tuesday evening, but the venue already had filled up quite much during the opening act, and the audience was energetic. WOLVES IN THE THRONE ROOM played a dynamic set of around 30 minutes, there was very little interaction with the crowd, however, because of the kind of music the band plays, it worked.
The pioneers of melodic death metal AT THE GATES, left Götenburg to perform a show right before BEHEMOTH was set to play. The band is really popular in Finland, so it's no surprise they managed to fill The Circus. The band played a lot of songs from their latest material "To Drink From The Night Itself" and "At War With Reality". But it wasn't until the band played their hits from back in the nineties that the audience went wild. The band played an engaging set with the audience, and never cease to amaze. AT THE GATES left the stage, and immediately a crew of technicians set to the stage to add a drapery in front of the stage. Together with the atmospheric children choir that we knew from the intro of the latest album of BEHEMOTH, we were in for an eerie wait in between the two shows.The audience was impatiently waiting for the band, but right on time the drapery fell, and the Polish four-piece made it to the stage, covered in black masks performing "Wolves Ov Siberia".
From the first moment it was already clear that the band had prepared a dynamic show with elements of surprise such as pyrotechniques, and all. As I made my way to the photo pit, I really had to focus to be able to take photos. These guys are almost enchanting when they play a show. During the third song, we had to sit out and wait in the photo pit, front man Nergal made his way to the audience and delivered one of his catchiest riffs there. He left the stage, and came back for "Bartzabel" with a mitre strategically placed on his head (the one that we already know from the promo pics).
The band played a lot of songs from the new album, which really worked well in a live setting. But my personal highlight of the evening was "Decade of Therion", one of their songs from their 1999 album "Satanica". In general, the band played a varied set, with a lot of new songs, but not shy to some old classics. A perfect evening music wise. Unfortunately, because the venue was sold out it took me a while to find a spot where I could actually see something, I feel like because of that I have missed half of the show. Finally, when I found a good spot, the show was almost over. Not to speak about the endless queueing after the show. But even given these circumstances, I enjoyed every minute of the show and I can't wait to see BEHEMOTH hitting the summer festival stages!
1. Solve (intro)
2. Wolves ov Siberia
4. Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
6. Ov Fire and the Void
7. God = Dog
8. Conquer All
9. Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica
10. Decade of Therion
11. Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
12. Slaves Shall Serve
13. Chant for Eschaton 2000
15. We Are the Next 1000 Years
16. Coagvla (outro)