Belphegor / Vital Remains / Hate

Austrian hedonists try to get their bearings

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A night of bombastic death metal is on the cards this evening and HATE [8] bring aggression and riffs aplenty.

There’s a dedicated group here showing their appreciation as circle pits open up regularly, giving Hate a boost that allows them to shine. VITAL REMAINS [8] are massive tonight, and the Americans sound as passionate as they did way back when they started. It’s a great joy to see their connection to the crowd who gleefully partake in a wall of death held in honour of Obituary’s sadly passed Frank Watkins.

Vital Remains: Brian Werner gains a new perspective

Vital Remains: Brian Werner gains a new perspective (Image credit: James Sharrock)

BELPHEGOR [8] create an atmosphere of excitement with a slow, symphonic build up that heralds their arrival onto the stage. The Austrians are outrageously tight, with Gasmask Terror and Black Winged Torment prompting huge reactions. They’re a glorious spectacle and the moment bassist Serpenth and guitarist Molokh stand forwards onto a rush of smoke while the music booms behind them is genuinely impressive.

Belphegor don’t do anything by halves and frontman Helmuth is the epitome of excess. Tonight, though, he seems disconnected in his communication with the crowd, choosing to just shout “London!” before each song, but tracks like Conjuring The Dead and Totenkult – Exegesis Of Deterioration are so aggressive and fiery that it hardly matters. The crowd savour each moment and Belphegor triumph.