Behemoth Gig Review – The Australian Satanist Tour

Thursday night in Brisbane and there is a large crowd eagerly waiting for the doors to open at the re-branded Max Watt’s (formerly The Hifi). The evening promises to be an absolute treat for fans of extreme metal. It is quite rare that you get three international metal bands on one bill down under. And this is exactly what the packed Max Watt’s awaits in form of Bölzer, Watain and Behemoth.

Swiss two-man band Bölzer got the evening started with their 40-minute set. If you haven’t listened to their music yet I can only say it is hard to describe but it certainly is magnetic. Bölzer got the crowd going with their blackened death metal sound which is full of high-speed shredding, howling and growling vocals and mystical lyrics. It was amazing to watch band members KzR on guitar and vocals and HzR on drums produce such a unique sound. The already decent crowd (the band started just after 8pm) gave Bölzer a warm welcome.

behemoth gig review

Bölzer at Max Watt’s, Brisbane

Next on the bill were Sweden’s Watain. As always Watain didn’t disappoint the crowd. The more classic black metal sound hit the nerves of the pit which went crazy for the first time that night. Watain put an absolute exhilarating show on the stage. The dark atmosphere of their songs and their stage presence were absolutely worthy for a headliner act. Unfortunately – and this is the only negative point about Watain here – their show was over after just 50 minutes. We had the main act to look forward to…

behemoth gig review

Watain celebrating their dark mass

And the main act came in form of Poland’s mighty Behemoth. After all the highly publicised drama around the band over the years it was good to see them return with a new album in 2014. “The Satanist” made it into almost all top 10 album lists in 2014 I have read and the album was topping most of them. So it is fair to say that all the headbangers at the Max Watt’s were expecting a show to match the best album of 2014. They would not go home disappointed.

Behemoth’s frontman Nergal was in splendid form. He started the show coming on stage with two burning torches, only a small pyro effect but nevertheless quite remarkable as normally pyro effects in Australia can only be seen at large headliner shows at Soundwave. “Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel” then was the perfect opener for the show just as it is for the album. The slow, rhythmic intro to the song just increased the suspense until all hell finally broke loose when the song went into its fast break.

behemoth gig review

Behemoth had the crowd absolutely in their hands and Nergal put on a most commanding show. Behemoth are an absolute A-grade band and they did proof that again that night. Besides their mesmerizing mix of black, death and thrash metal it is their stage show that makes them an outstanding act. The almost constant eye contact with fans produces this special bond between performer and crowd that makes a metal show truly unforgettable. Behemoth did not only achieve that but they mastered that art.

Highlight of the show was “Messe Noir”, one of the best songs from “The Satanist”. Before the song started Nergal spread incense on stage just as we were all of a sudden in a Catholic church. Then the song started with the first line being “I believe in Satan”. A great moment with Behemoth’s criticism of the Catholic Church culminating in this one simple gesture.

The show finished with another highlight in the form of “O Father’ O Satan, O Son” played as the final encore and with the band members wearing their famous masks with devil horns. The whole show was a lesson in metal performance 101. Behemoth could have played another 90 minutes and the crowd would still have called them back out on stage. I can only hope they will be back soon…