In January the Italian horror doom metal masters Abysmal Grief have released their 5th full length album Blasphema Secta via Terror From Hell/Sun and Moon Records and now, 4 months later, they have embarked on an Eastern European tour to support this beautiful release.
The tour was supposed to start in Germany on the 4th of May, but the show in Loberschutz (Germany) was cancelled at the last minute so the date in Budapest became the first one of the Chapter I tour.
The support band for this tour was Antiversum, a Swiss black/death metal band, which was supporting their first full length Cosmic Comedenti, released last year through the Irish label Invictus Productions.
The line up present on the bill seemed really interesting considering the dichotomy between the two bands, so I was really curious to see them both at work in the small room of Durer Kert Pince.
When I arrived at the venue I was a bit shocked by the location, as I did not expect that such a place would be suitable for a concert like this one. But, as it proved a bit later, I was completely wrong and the small room (pince) turned out to be one of the best locations for such a dark and mystic show.
Due to some other tasks which lasted a bit longer than planned I did not catch Antiversum‘s performance from the beginning, so when I finally entered the concert room their show was almost at its half.
The first things that struck me the moment I walked into the room were the exceptionally good sound and the atmosphere (light show) which suited the band’s music perfectly.
Antiversum‘s music is not easy to digest, but when listened in the right place and at the right time, like this one, it has a suffocating effect on your auditory system.
To make the feeling more oppressive, the stage was completely dark with only some blue lights erupting from the scene, transforming the musicians and their instruments into some otherworldly specter looking entities.
The music which came from the stage enveloped the small room and the audience in a sinister shadow, making you feel a bit unease while the dark sounds spread through the air. The band played their debut album Chaos Comedenti in full, the title track of the Total Vacuum demo plus Chaos Nero, the track from the split LP with 5 other Swiss bands.
Considering the length of the tracks, Antiversum played around an hour, which was quite unusual for an opening band, but it suited perfectly the whole setting of that night.
After Antiversum‘s sinister performance the room lit a bit, to allow the crew to change the instruments and arrange the stage for what was about to come.
I was really glad Abysmal Grief were able to bring their whole stage props with them, so by the time the stage was completely set up, I could already see the smoke rising from the crypt. Because this was exactly what that room looked like: an abandoned crypt, drowned in almost total darkness and asphyxiated with poisonous fumes.
I saw the band live almost two years ago, but because they played in a venue too big for their show, the atmosphere and the effects were lost, so unfortunately I did not feel hooked to their music too much. But here, in that sinister basement, everything was different and I lost myself completely in their music.
As somebody said just before the show, “here everything could happen at some point or another”. And what happened was that for more than 1 hour Abysmal Grief delivered a very intense show, based on atmosphere and feeling.
Live, the band sounds the same as on disc, but their music becomes much more interesting, because of the morbid scenery and the presence of the 4 musicians who really play their roles brilliantly.
Closing my eyes, I could imagine at any moment some scenes from Italian horror movies from the ’70s, with witches summoning demons in strange rituals held in haunted places.
Cause this is what Abysmal Grief‘s music does, it is very visual and helps your imagination to fly away quickly. And those keyboards, man, they are absolutely amazing.
There is such a great chemistry between the 4 musicians that they do not need to look at each other – they just play, like a very experienced funeral orchestra. There were no pauses caused by useless dialogues with the crowd, all the songs flowed one after another, creating a very strong connection and a sinister atmosphere. The fumes released from the fog machine combined with the cigarette smoke created a dense fog which engulfed the room and the not that large crowd, as if in a horrific nightmare.
Lord Alistair, in his monk robes and Regen Graves dressed almost like Father Merrin were playing under the baton of Labes C. Nekrothytus, who conducted this sinister ensemble. Maybe the words are a bit too much, but I tried to describe what my eyes captured that night, a night when the graves burst open.
Overall it was a night to remember, with two different bands which in the end managed to create the same effect: they both left you shaken and wanting for more. Congrats to Bloody Juice for putting up this amazing show, I would very much like to see these bands again someday.
“Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead“.