After an unsuccessful attempt to see their Budapest show, I went to Munich to see the very interesting The Trident’s Curse Tour by Watain, Rotting Christ and Profanatica. I have seen Watain a few times before so I really didn’t want to miss this performance because they are at the top of their strength and currently the only band that delivers the full black metal philosophy and imagery and even takes it to the next level.
The venue, Backstage München was very nice, hard to even compare to any of our local clubs. The crowd already gathered by 7:15 and the queue to get inside was only matched by the one at the merch stand.
Profanatica opened the show, Paul Ledney’s band from Havohej, known for their repulsively blasphemous lyrics. This is the first time I saw them live, even though I used to actively follow their music about 15 years ago. The club filled up during their show and “Weeping in Heaven” was the definite highlight.
Rotting Christ took the stage next, one of the most popular bands in the genre. They sell out shows today, but back in 2004 when they did a mini tour of Croatia, there was only around a hundred people that came to see them in Zagreb. I remember thinking that was very strange considering they were already a worldwide-known band with a unique sound back then. Anyway, they did a very good, highly energetic and intense show that came to its peak during “Apage Satana”, but brought it home with “Non Serviam” for those of us who prefer their earlier work. Though their performance was short, it was the perfect intro to the night’s headliners.
I have already seen Watain in Slovenia a few times, but this time their tour didn’t go through southern Europe so I had to come all the way up to Munich. The reason why I travelled all this way for them is simple – the very first time I ever saw them I realized they truly cared for even the tiniest details in their live performances. The smell of rotting flesh, blood all over the place – the true feel and spirit of black metal. In that moment I realized that even compared to all the greats of metal (Metallica, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest…) whose shows I had already seen, Watain had the best live performance by a mile. They have a passionate and ritualistic approach to performing, always a great sound, flawless execution and the stage is lit on fire with rotting animal corpses precisely and thoughtfully placed.
Their new album, “Trident Wolf Eclipse” came out this year and I already saw them promote it in this year’s Metaldays Festival. Although it’s hard to surpass the peak of their career marked by “Sworn To The Dark” and “Lawless Darkness”, this album brings them back to those real, chaotic and aggressive black metal roots, before experiments such as „Casus Luciferi“. They decided to only play fast-paced songs for this tour so right after the magical intro in which they set the stage on fire, comes “Storm Of The Antichrist” and the new, aggressive track “Nuclear Alchemy”. The setlist was amazing, they encompassed a bit of everything with “On Horns Impaled”, “Malfeitor”, “Puzzles Of Flesh”, “The Child Must Die”, “Sacred Damnation” and “Golden Horns Of Darash” in which Erik douses the crowd with blood.
The show is brought to the end with the magnificent “The Serpent’s Chalice”, after which the ritual is over and Erik thanks the crowd. Watain has once again confirmed their rightful place on the throne of black metal as well as their ability to bring an amazing live performance. I believe that this album will bring them close by for at least one more tour and I would truly recommend to everybody to go and see their ritual.
Straight after the show I had to hurry back to the bus station to make my 8-hour trip back home to Zagreb. It was an exhausting experience, but so worth it!