|Event:||Mayhem + Dragged Into Sunlight + Inferno|
|Location:||Mostovna, Nova Gorica, Slovenia|
Sometimes it is necessary to come to terms with History, whether it be a part of our personal past or the foundation of a whole community. For Yours Truly and for the entire metal universe, Mayhem are inevitable. Somewhat like mac 'n' cheese, which gets heavy and slodgy when it cools down. Homicides, front cover suicides, legendary record stores and easily inflammable churches, the Norwegian combo has a lot of stories to tell. Slovenian and North-Eastern Italian fans know it well and the tickets burned up quickly just like a stavkirke for the show at Mostovna (Nova Gorica), a true, ongoing reference for quality music lovers.
The opening is entrusted to Czech Republic-based Inferno. Basically lacking originality both in name and in deed, they put on a respectable show, which struck a chord with people used to splashing around in the extreme music pool. Indeed, the band was founded in 1995 and — despite the hairy singer being the sole original member today — it seems to have stopped its development in the early 2000s with the typical black metal elements of the time: raw and fast riffs, some melodic inlays, an image resembling something between Father Merrin filled with diazepam and the Beagle Boys with facepainting and fake blood.
To be fair, the band is not entirely guilty: the sound quality was not so good and, although the poor guys put some effort in adorning the stage with geometrical chandeliers (in a few occasions we even feared for the guitar players' buttcheeks), these were totally useless due to the excessive lighting.
A decent start without a proper bang then, with a deserved mention for the blond bass player, herald of the cheapest gear with great results.
Dragged Into Sunlight
The bang mentioned above came in the form of Dragged Into Sunlight. The English band blinded us (no, not only thanks to the strobe under the drummer's seat), deafened us (no, not only thanks to their Matamp wall) and hit us with jaw-dropping sonic blows. The five musicians played in half-light, turning their backs on us, and left the audience in front of a majestic structure made of bone and candles; this did not jeopardize their stage presence, which turned into some sort of collective hypnosis.
Long tracks, stretching from doom to black metal with hints of death and hardcore: you will probably get a better idea if you put «post-» before each one of said genres. A nice surprise, which we didn't expect to be so interesting neither so prolonged (maybe a bit excessive in length, considering it was a support band).
Another honorable mention to the rhythm section, lit up by an angel-faced, ultra-British drummer with a metronomic demon inside.
Here comes the main act of the evening, and we can already say there won't be any honorable mentions here. It's one of those occasions we find ourselves in too often, especially during the last few years. Contrary to others, we must say that Mayhem did make something good way back in time (just look for it on "Chimera" and "Ordo Ad Chao"); but something became evidently corrupted, as the three old ones and the two newcomers (or session players, who knows) cling to the old, comforting times, which belong to them only to a certain amount. In the end, that is what pays the bills and makes everything go away, even our patience, exhausted by an all smoke (just like in the concert hall) and mirrors performance.
They were able to play what made them great in the first place, obviously. They've also been able to re-invest in some expensive gear. And they've been able to hire a sound engineer who fulfills their debatable wishes behind the mixer. So why does everything look fake, like the hooded skeletons and the irritated-looking angels on the tarps? Besides the steam, we can also smell the typical stench of a big, lucrative maneuver. Meanwhile, the most classic of the black metal albums flows, it's pointless to spout off a list of songs which every fan knows perfectly.
A slight blow gets to our hearts when "Freezing Moon" is introduced by Dead's voice, recorded on the seminal "Live In Leipzig", the most important live album of the entire genre; it's legit to think about what he and Euronymous would have thought about this operation, but the answer would probably be as prosaic as the question. What about the other heroes? Hellhammer could have been easily replaced by his assistant: despite standing in the first row, we couldn't even get a glimpse of him. Necrobutcher is an old guy with a ponytail, an unnatural wickedness and an expensive bass guitar. Attila Csihar puts some effort in what he has to do, despite his versatile and undeniable talent, but he doesn't seem to have a bit of the enthusiasm and gratitude he shows while performing with Sunn O))). After all, when a band needs to specify it is the true one, it can't be that real.
Taking a resit in September? We hope not.