Metal show last Friday, Battle for Jerusalem… I was meaning to write about it sooner but I was too sore to do anything, and I still am. Which basically means the show was great. If I come back home with the ability to move my head and hear what you’re saying it means the show was shit. If I come back home and am incapacitated for at least three days it means the show kicked major ass.
So this time I wasn’t incapacitated, I was simply sore, which means the show didn’t kick ass, but it was good, decent metal and that I had a relatively good time.
First band that came on was Dagor Dagorath. Even before they kicked into the first song, and were just standing still under the dim spotlights with faded smoke changing shapes in the air, they had an amazing stage presence, and somehow I felt a darker, more sinister presence, within this momentary stillness… I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but it felt insanely empowering. They gave a pretty good performance, especially considering their lead singer is a woman and pulled some awesome black metal vocals throughout the entire set which unfortanately didn’t last very long.
After three or four songs, there was a change of equipment and a band called Mind Corruption came on. They were… uh, how should I put this? They looked and sounded like something out of an Asterix and Obelix nightmare. The lead singer was the weirdest thing ever. He had a beard and glasses, which made him look like a religious Jew (which he of course wasn’t because it was Friday night), and wore this kind of helmet with fur and horns and wielded a sword which at first I thought was plastic until he started swinging it around and the lights reflected off the blade. I was in the front row and felt like at any moment, this sword is slashing me across the face. Besides that, he was jumping around the stage like a little kid… it was completely absurd. The music was terrible, just as horrible as I thought it would be after hearing them on MySpace.
Then, Birth came on. Their vocalist was "meh," their drummer was "blah", their bassist was "ugh" and their guitarist was "wtf?!" I think the soundguy did a terrible job with the soundcheck because all I heard was the guitarist atrocious riffs. I barely heard the drums or the bass, whereas the vocalist I couldn’t hear for shit!
Then, another change of equipment and it was the end of the world when Abrage came on stage. You know how in big metal shows, the crowd is usually standing in the first, second, third, fourth and sometimes the fifth lines before there is the mosh pit somewhere in the middle? Well in this case it was the first line and the pit right after that. With Abrage and their fucking asshole vocalist who kept encouraging the crowd to smash into each other by making cirlces with his index finger, the pit basically kept hitting people in the first row, including me.
So imagine being me – a 163 cm, 43.5 kilos woman. Now I’m already shitting my pants with those big ass bulls playing the human blender two feet behind me. What is worse than being thrown into the moshpit in my situation? Yes, having the pit thrown into ME. That’s exactly what happened and I found myself flying face first onto the stage and landed on my elbows and thighs.
I got some sick bruises out of it, but basically after that happened, I slowly crawled to the back of the room right outside the danger zone.
I was in too much pain to really be paying attention to Abrage’s music but I did manage to single out the guitarist who played suprisingly much better than all the other members. His talents should be put to better use in another band, seriously.
Another change of equipment and stage display, meanwhile the soundguy playbacked some other songs, including Blood on Your Hands, to which I said ‘fuck this!’ and headbanged my neck off. Wearing an Arch Enemy t-shirt, it was clearly my role.
Among the crowd, I was stunned to see four kids, not older than 11 or 12, one was wearing a Cradle of Filth shirt, another was wearing Dimmu Borgir, another was wearing Azamoth and the fourth was wearing some random black metal shirt with skulls and stuff. Two of them had long hair and were headbanging their little hearts out the entire show. Man, if only there were more Israeli kids like that!
In any case, Azamoth were the next band to come on. They were the typical black metal band with the black and white Kiss-style makeup. Their riffs were terrific and got me headbanging a little. But the singer’s voice was lame. He sounded like a dying frog. All these other bands after Dagor Dagorath had much longer sets. Dagor played like three or four songs, whereas the others all played nine or 10 songs each. I was forced to suffer it waiting for the band I actually came to see – Arafel.
They came on after Azamoth and after a long change of scene and change of equipment. But it was worth the wait. Arafel kept me headbanging their entire set. They started with one of my favorite Arafel songs – On the Dark Way – and ended with another one of my favorite songs – Serpent Land. The way they incorporated the violin with the guitar solos was spectacular, and their riffs, ever changing throughout the songs, sent shivers of pure, dark pleasure down my spine.
The only thing that really disappointed me with all performances was that none of the drummers used a double bass but settled for a double pedal. And the drum kit itself was pretty basic. There were no extra tams or cymbals, no special percussion sounds… it was pretty basic and boring. That extra dimension that elaborate drums add to the sound of black or death metal was simply not there, and it was upsetting to say the least.
In any case, here I am with my sore neck and my nice, bruised up knees, looking forward to better days of Israeli metal, or simply for days where international metal bands decide to enlighten the Israeli crowd by coming to play here more often, goddamit!
Soon there will be the Anthem fesitval though, where a nice array of international bands will be playing, but I won’t be going due to lack of funds…
So let me rephrase my previous statement and say, here I am with my sore neck and nice, bruised up knees looking forward to better days of financial situation when I can afford to see international metal bands live here in Israel.
Peace, love and it’s Fog, not Frog!