October 16, 2013 Watain, In Solitude, & Tribulation bring The Wild Hunt to Irving Plaza, NYC 10-8-13 (Exclusive coverage)
Metal comes in all shapes and forms. It’s the dramatic nature of the music which unifies the sub-genres. On Tuesday October 8th at Irving Plaza in NYC, The Wild Hunt Tour 2013 came rampaging into town. The tour is a month long journey across North America in which black metal masters Watain are supporting their latest offering The Wild Hunt. Along for the slaughter are country mates In Solitude and Tribulation. Being the opening night of the tour the stakes were raised and anticipation was high for hungry metal fans.
Opening the dark masses of metal were Tribulation. With deep roots in death metal, Tribulation have been stalking the underground scene for nearly a decade now. Staying true to their death metal roots Tribulation has progressed their sound over their past two albums. In 2009, The Horror caught the ears of death metal fans worldwide with it’s retro sound which was clearly influenced by Floridan death metal. Their newest effort The Formulas of Death (2013) shows us a band looking to push the boundaries and is a much more diverse and complete work helping take Tribulation to the next level. A large crowd gathered early to check out what Tribulation had to offer. The band showcased their intense brand of death metal which seemed to please the audience. Those in attendance were moving back and forth throughout the band’s 5 song set. Tribulation is still a young band and hopefully has a long career before them. Opening for Watain here in North America could give these guys the exposure they need.
Next up were the traditional heavy metalers In Solitude. In Solitude already came across the sea in 2012 having an opening slot on the Decibel Magazine Tour with Behemoth and Watain. Making a strong impression on the American audience and obviously their tour mates Watain, In Solitude were brought out again to rock out. One thing is certain about In Solitude, these guys are a metal band in the purist form. Heavy dark riffing, traditional dramatic metal vocals, and killer solos make for one hell of an atmosphere. When you listen to In Solitude you will feel as if you are taken back to the golden age of heavy metal with bands like Mercyful Fate, Candlemass, and early Celtic Frost. Now 3 records deep, their newest offer Sister was released 2 short weeks prior to the tour. Sister is already receiving rave reviews in the short time it’s been out. As In Solitude came onto the stage packages of incense were hand lit and placed along the floor speakers. Creating an atmosphere, the smell of burning wood filled the air, and doom and rock shortly followed. Opening things up with “Demons” off The World, The Flesh, The Devil (2011) In Solitude immediately caught fans attention. Pelle Åhman’s vocals resonated through the room with each track to follow including the new single”Lavender”. The crowd moved aggressively as In Solitude marched through their 7 song set which highlighted The World, The Flesh, The Devil and Sister.
In Solitude looked comfortable on stage and sounded tight and possessed clarity. If these guys keep this up big things will continue to happen for them. They will continue to find themselves on bills spreading the word of doom, gloom, and rock n roll.
With death metal and traditional style metal already showed earlier in the show, it was time for the height of the black mass to begin. Watain are one of modern black metal’s purest bands and with that making them also one of the most beloved in the underground scene. With a raw sound, theatrical stage show filled with blasphemy and chaos, it was only a matter of time until Watain would build a buzz bigger than the underground scene. With each show they play here on American soil the crowd gets bigger and fan base grows larger. What better place than NYC to start The Wild Hunt Tour and torch the stage they did.
With the lights turned down metal fans eagerly awaited Watain chanting “We want Satan” or even some screamed “Please Sacrifice Me!”. As Watain was summoned to the stage they opened with the new track “Night Vision”. With a blazing heavy riff and bombastic drums fans screamed in excitement. Blood was spewed on the crowd and fans in the front surely were lucky recipients. Following The Wild Hunt track listing they went right into “De Profundis”. Chaos was unleashed as the floor shook heavily from the music and fans moving. Shuffling things a bit, Watain went into a series of tracks from Sworn To The Dark (2007) and Lawless Darkness (2010).
When the speedy riff of “Devil’s Blood” filled the air, excitement levels were elevated and metal horns were raised high. Håkan Jonsson’s drumming created a wall of noise with maximum adrenaline which had your heart beating a mile a minute. One could argue when “All that May Bleed” began a sense of darkness over took the entire room. With intense evil lyrics Erik Danielsson (vocalist) brought the words to life. Watain did not let up on the intensity one bit and late in the set when “Reaping Death” broke out a frantic circle pit was created. Men and women rushed through the pit and created a scene from the bowels of hell.
Hungry for more fans screamed and head banged. There was obviously no quenching the thirst of these blood hungry fans, and that’s not a bad thing at all. Being a new track pushing the boundaries in sound “Outlaw” translated well into a live setting and mixed nicely with the set. It’s impressive to see a group of musicians maintain the energy level to perform such high intensity tracks for such a long set. There was no doubt fans appreciated Watains’s effort with not only showing enthusiasm through moshing and head banging, but also screaming along with all the lyrics to each song.
With their set winding down Watain played “On Horns Impaled”. Raw and epic, the track displayed everything hardcore black metal fans love and was well worth the wait to hear live. If your mind was not completely blown already, Watain closed things out with the title track off their new album “The Wild Hunt” in grand fashion. Laced with atmospheric guitars riffs, and speedy melodies the song was the perfect conclusion to Watain’s sermon.
The Wild Hunt Tour 2013 provided to be a diverse evening of metal showcasing some of Sweden’s talented bands in the underground scene. Watain are a band looking to push their limits as a band and explore with no apologizes. This tour is the perfect reflection of Watain’s diverse abilities while still crowning them kings of modern black metal.