I have decided I am going to dig deep in my memories to tell you about one of the greatest concert experiences of my life because I do still think that it’s worth a few words. It all happened eight years ago it impressed me so much that the whole night lives vividly in my memory, I’d say, for the rest of my life. It was a very fascinating night for the simple reason that on that November evening two big representatives of the Norwagian metal scene came to the capital of my home country to pay homage to black metal. Namely, Gorgoroth and 1349. In simple words, a killer combination. Witchcraft (originally Gholgoth would have played that night) also added to the already black atmosphere.
At that time 1349 was not as popular as they are nowadays and were on tour with their album Hellfire. Frost played the drums, which already guaranteed quality destruction. Those were the days when Gaahl lead the evil forces of Gorgoroth instead of the legion of the rainbow. The band was made up of musicians not clowns and their music was unmercifully destroying. In the light of all this I can claim without a doubt that it was one of the best underground party I was eye- and earwitness of. Since I knew what to expect it was no wonder I couldn’t behave myself.
The event was organised by Planetnoir Industries at Kultiplex which unfortunately does not function anymore. Well before the gig concertgoers bought all the beer they could in the shops nearby. Later on the bar opened and admitted people waiting for the concert, but we still had to wait for the gates of the concert hall to be opened. For quite a long time nothing happened and I started to think that the concert was cancelled. It was well past 10pm when Witchcraft took the stage, which reassured us that we didn’t come here in vain. The first band played about an hour, which prooved that they got the gist of what black metal is all about. Their absolute raw black metal and authentic performance gave the night a great start. Witchcraft has become a cult black metal band in the Hungarian metal scene but I have to admit at that time I did not know them at all. After their performance silence reigned again in the concert hall for a while.
Surprisingly Attila Csihar appeared on the stage, who is in close relationship with these crazy Norwegian guys and paves their way since his career started. Anyway, he announced that due to technical difficulties the concert will resume in an hour. As I learned later technical difficulties meant that the remaining two bands hadn’t even arrived. Getting better… After the announcement there was a short interactive Q&A between Csihar and the audience. I wasn’t really interested so went to get some more beer while we were still waiting…
I was standing in front of the entrance when I saw that the bus carrying those responsible for our further entertainment arrived. The band members leaked into the building like ghosts. I could only catch the sight of Frost who was just getting off the bus already wearing his full battle attire. Meanwhile the roads were shovelling all the equipment and the minimalist set in the concert hall. About 1am everything was ready for the bands to plunge into the strings of the blackest black metal but not just yet… An unknown chap appeared on the stage and let us know that no cameras was permitted during the gig on the bands’ request. The audience greeted this comment with loud boos and hisses, after which the restriction was quickly changed to the use of video recording equipments only. It didn’t make any sense to me at all and I don’t think that our Northern metal friends would have been so fussy about it but you never know. Perhaps even a ruthless metal warrior can have a bad hair day.
Eventually 1349 stepped on stage. During the intro Frost and one of the guitarists blew flames over our heads, which could be most certainly felt even at the back of the small room. As you would expect most of the songs were from their popular album Hellfire, for instance Nathicana, I am abomination, Sculptor of Flesh but hits like Chasing the dragons, Slaves To Slaughter from the previous two albums were also played. It was absolutely abolishing, forceful, energetic and accurate with every note. They instantly managed to make us forget the long hours of earlier waiting. Not to mention that if we had listened to only Frost 20-minute warm-up session at the beginning of the gig it still would have been completely worth it. Despite the late hour nobody seemed to be tired but in my opinion this frantic hammering could even wake the dead, too. The crowd was carried away so much that they were literally swept off their feet. To put 1349’s performance in a nutshell: „Veni, vidi, vici”.
As soon as Gorgoroth went on stage I tried to squeese myself through the crowd and I found myself standing in front of Infernus during the whole gig. To amplify the atmosphere there were torches burning on the stage during the play of Gorgoroth and the room temperature rose over 40ºC. The opening song was Procreating Satan, just like in their previous abominable concert in Krakow, of which a DVD was released later. The whole performance even with the not so spectacular stage set was really impressive. Fog machine, torch flames in the background, the constant smell of smoke and Gaahl mysterius figure moving slowly on the stage combined with the satanic music gave a true impression of hell. It had an impact practically on all of our senses. Sparing no powers Forces Of Satan Storms, Possessed (By Satan), Blood Stains The Cricle were grinded, just to name a few. Not even mentioning the unmissable two, Destroyer and Incipit Satan. The audience was furiously raging. Such a performance can be more impressive in a club than on a festival stage for the simple reason that in a club you can not only hear but feel the music and the message it tries to convey. Slowley but surely the evening was coming to an end. During The Revelation of Doom the crowd was tiring out.
The evening ended very late (or very early) around 4am. After this prestigious event I couldn’t pull myself together for days. Despite of the very late start of the evening it felt like ended in a second. Unfortunately it is very rarely that you can attend such gigs nowadays that I hope the memories of this one burnt deeply enough in my mind. After the exceptionally long black mass with some devilish luck I could catch the early train home, also thanks to the night tram No. 1349.