The Wailing Dead Tour stopped in Vienna on the 21st of January and so did we. I always wanted to see Tribulation live and after releasing The Children of the Night, this tour together with Vampire and Grave Pleasures seemed the best opportunity. I’ve never been to the Viper Room before so come night and we headed towards the venue. I was pleasantly surprised by the venue, a long room with a bar on the side and the stage at the end. Quite a warm place, a perfect joint for such a gathering.
At 20.00 sharp, the little stage got covered in smoke and Vampire began their opening act, in front of a small audience. I don’t know how many listened to their music before, but judging from the lack of interest, I assume the Swedes were quite unknown in Austria. The set did not last very long, but basically all their well known tracks were played, and I’ll mention here At Midnight I’ll Possess Your Corpse, Howl From the Coffin, The Fen, Under The Grudge and Night Hunter, from their latest release, the MLP Cimmerian Shade. The band sounds really good live, they play a very enjoyable thrash/death metal, maybe a bit in the Nifleheim vein, but one thing annoyed me terribly: the Pelle Ahman (In Solitude) wanna be of a vocal that tried to copy/paste the former frontman without success. I think if he gives up this impersonation, he’ll have more credibility, because he is not a bad howler. On the contrary.
After a switch over, time to arrange the stage and the gear, the multinational Grave Pleasures came on stage. Their show began with some minor sound/technical problems and something seemed to bother Mat “Khvost” who did not seem at ease at all, but after a few songs, all settled and the show was very good. The audience was bigger this time and they took song after song with screams and applause that made the band perform even harder. The set list was divided between the Dreamcrash and the Climax albums so the old fans and the new fans were happy. I like both albums a lot, even though it took some time for Dreamcrash to get a firm grip on me, but eventually it did and I am very fond of it. Live, its songs are heavier and stronger due to Uno‘s drumming style. This guy clearly is one of the best young drummers nowadays and has put his mark on Grave Pleasures‘s style, doing even most of the backing vocals. Mat was charismatic as always, bonding with the audience and performing with much enthusiasm. Over all, 14 songs were played (http://www.setlist.fm/setlist/grave-pleasures/2016/viper-room-vienna-austria-23f3909f.html) and 60 minutes seemed like half an hour. I would definitely see these guys again, it’s always a (grave) pleasure.
The last moments of the night approached and for that the stage was again changed and redecorated. Perfumed sticks were lit, enveloping the little venue in a sweet smell and the lights died out. Tribulation were finally there and they were pretty damn serious about it. After a beautiful intro (Ultra Silvam), the four Swedes entered the stage and the show began with Melancholia, from their last album Children of the Night. Only 4 songs were played from their first two albums (The Vampyre,Ultram Silvam, Randa and the beautiful Where the Sky is Black With Devils), the rest coming straight off the last opus. Worth mentioning were In the Dreams of the Dead, The Motherhood of God, Winds, Strange Gateways Beckon and Holy Libations.
The songs from the new album sound even heavier played live and the band’s musical skills are really impressive. They know how to do it and they do it really well. A funny moment happened during The Vampyre when Jakob managed to destroy one of his drums while in the middle of a furious blast beat. The band did not stop, and while the drum was replaced, they kept on playing, making this song longer than usual. I really enjoyed Jonathan‘s vocals, he has the same harshness as on disc and the 2 guitar players fit perfectly in the picture.
A perfect concert with 3 very good bands that fit so well together. I am extremely happy we were able to be there and I really hope to see at least one of those bands very soon.