It’s been a busy month for shows with just about everyone passing through. The Decibel Magazine Tour ripped through Webster Hall on this brisk Tuesday night in April with a heavy hitting lineup that included Abbath, High on Fire, Skeletonwitch, and Tribulation. With a balanced mix of bands, there was something for everyone at this show.
Tribulation offered a bewitching set complete with corpse paint and tattered gothic clothes. Guitarists, Jonathan Hultén and Adam Zaars, spent the set leering at the crowd and swirling across the stage like characters from a Tim Burton movie. They played songs such as “Melancholia” and “Strange Gateways Beckon” from their most recent release, The Children of the Night, balancing singer Johannes Andersson’s gritty vocals with hauntingly catchy guitar riffs. Tribulation is now supporting Ghost on some of their tour dates in America, so if you missed them in New York City you can still catch them.
Skeletonwitch played next, with their new vocalist, Adam Clemens of Wolvhammer at the helm. Although his vocals definitely give them a different sound, it works. With tracks likes “Well of Despair” and “Burned from Bone” the crowd got what they paid for in double kick goodness and unrelenting vocals. Skeltonwitch has a new EP due out this summer called The Apothic Gloom.
High on Fire continued to amp the crowd up with their own brand of sludgy stoner metal that is second to none. Matt Pike casually strolled on stage, shirtless as we have come to expect, and continued to draw everyone in with his gravely vocals and classic guitar hooks. To me, High on Fire is music stripped down to the essentials. These guys come out and they just rock, plain and simple.
Abbath did not disappoint on his first solo venture to America in support of his first self titled release since his departure from Immortal. He walked on stage smiling, said hello to the crowd and then immediately said goodbye and walked back off. Whether it was accidental or intentional, it drew a laugh from the crowd, as one comes to expect of Abbath.
The set kicked off with newer tracks such as “To War!” before blending in some older Immortal tracks like “Nebular Ravens Winter.” Abbath continued to entertain the crowd between songs, throwing his arms up in the air, drawing raucous cheer. Through dense fog and strobing lights these corpse paint clad warriors of death metal were unrelenting in their delivery. As they closed up their set, Abbath walked back on stage, cigarette in hand, asking the crowd if they really wanted to hear more. The answer was, of course, yes. With that vote, they closed with “In My Kingdom Cold” and left everyone in a headbanging haze they would definitely need to sleep off.
High on Fire