1349 Concert Review: A Lesson in Intensity

1349 have been on the forefront of classic Norwegian black metal since their inception in 1997. Founded with the specific purpose of worshipping and preserving the true elements of Norwegian black metal the band has released six albums that are widely regarded as genre classics. Their latest record ‘Massive Cauldron of Chaos’ was no exception to that. Despite the long history of the band and their record of tours around the world, 1349 have never been to Australia before. Naturally, the Australian leg of their ‘Chaos Raids’ tour was highly anticipated.

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Host on this Thursday night was again Crowbar, Brisbane’s home of extreme metal. The small club in the Valley was packed with a good crowd.  The fans were warmed up with two 30-minute sets by local favourites Graveir and Pestilential Shadows. Both bands convinced with their version of black metal and contributed to the dark atmosphere in the club.

1349 concert review

After a short break 1349 hit the stage and the fans got what they wanted. From the very first note of the set, 1349 established a new level of intensity on that night. No offence to the support bands. 1349 is just one of those battle-hardened extreme metal bands that can hit you right in the face. And that’s what 1349 did. In a relentless way the four Norwegians terrorized Brisbane with their Aural Hellfire (as the band calls their music, check out a chat I had with their singer Ravn here).

1349 concert review

It is not only 1349’s music that is extreme and follows the cold and grim tradition of Norwegian black metal. 1349 on stage is a complete work of art with the purpose of creating the most extreme, chaotic and destructive experience of music. All band members work hard on stage as individuals and as a group. Ravn’s stage presence is commanding. His expressionistic behaviour combined with the aggressive quality of his vocals certainly makes him the focal point of the band. The fans eagerly followed his every command throughout the set.

‘We never stop the process of developing.’ An interview with Ravn (1349)

The only critic may be the length of the set. 1349 finished their show with the title song of their last album ‘Massive Cauldron of Chaos’ which really summed up the experience of a 1349 show. However, I was still ready for more after the 60 minutes of Aural Hellfire. Nevertheless, 1349’s show in Brisbane was a lesson of intensity. There are not many bands around that can keep that level of aggression throughout an entire show. I can only hope that we don’t have to wait too long for 1349 to return.