Triumph of BLACK RITUALS conquered Europe!


Almost Dead

The long- awaited Metal spectacle finally arrived to Zagreb! It was a terrifying experience to be in a position to just sit and wait- will this day arrive or not, as we have been witnessing the cancellation of few dates during this tour. Finally, some glimpses of hope came when we saw the news that new tour dates have been set up in the attempt to compensate for the lost ones. Fucking Corona made many things impossible and many more- very hard to plan and execute as planned.

An introduction to further musical treats ahead us was given by the American ALMOST DEAD and the Swedish Impalement. Unfortunately, Almost Dead had a very hard task to perform first before the audience that wasn’t at all ready for the very early start of the concert, so the feedback from the audience wasn’t in line with the one the bend would normally deserve. Unfortunately, “normal situations” are very rare nowadays and even very hard to define. The other factor that undermined the live experience was a bad sound, which is something the Venue Manager needs to address very firmly and try to improve conditions for further concerts as much as possible, as gaining a bad reputation would be very bad for further gigs we all are looking for.

The band combines Thrash, Groove and Hardcore elements with recognisable American Hardcore emphasis. The highlight of the performance was an excellent and very energetic performance of the vocalist. 

IMPALEMENT gave an excellent performance! Out of all three bends performing before the headlines, Impalement were the bend we were most keen to see and experience live! All our expectations were met, as explosive mixture of Black Metal atmosphere and Death Metal brutality met in a creative mixture which sometime includes hints of hypnotic melodic themes. Band members: Raptus (Guitars), Blaspherion (Bass), Beliath (Vox/Guitars), Frostbitten (Drums) gave their all on stage and their enthusiasm of rising stars on the scene could be felt. Their album contains multiple beautiful masterpieces with potential to grow into big hits and sky orbit the band into hopefully long and successful career. If you hadn’t had a chance by now, please listen to their Masterpiece which was played at the end of the concert and really made our day, though the beauty of the melody and power of the lyrics:

Just before two headliners, another veteran band, the Swedish DIABOLICAL, come on stage, reviving a special set as part of the celebration of their 25th anniversary. Just before the tour, Diabolical has released new material in the form of a special jubilee EP, which was their first material released since the acclaimed album “Eclipse” from 2019. With nine gracefully raging songs, “Eclipse” presented DIABOLICAL as a mature and sophisticated band on the rise to new heights. It’s a concept album reflecting on the dark side of humanity that forces the listener to explore his own diabolical side.

Often described as “Blackened death metal”, Diabolical brings a special live experience and display of their musical skills in a way very few contemporary Metal bands can. Their style offers a brutal combination of Death and Black Metal, but also mixture of other Genres. The concert was opened by the masterfully powerful “We Are Diabolical” which was a great intro into the great gig the band has prepared. More than twenty years after their formation, Diabolical proved to be more vital than ever and have presented the maturity, rare display of musical craftsmanship and strength which ought to put them into “must see live bands” list of majority of Metalheads.

Just a week before the start of the tour, well-known Austrian Black Death Metal Band BELPHEGOR announced the presentation of their new album to metal audience, so everyone who visited this tour were the first to hear the live performances of a new masterpieces. Since 1993, Belphegor have been delivering their own, recognisable style of diabolical metal, and one by one, their albums have brought them to the very top of the Black / Death Metal scene. The band’s lyrics tirelessly explore the darkest topics, demonology, sorcery as well as the devil himself.

Lyrical themes that the band continuously presents are concentrated around Satanism, Blasphemy, Sadomasochism, Perversion and similar themes. That makes them very interesting and attractive, especially when martyrdom screams are integrated into the songs. In a sense that if forces the listener to reflect of the depths of evil that can be found in humans and especially under protection of official church organisations, which is currently a crucial topic in many societies. 

In Christian demonology, Belphegor is a demon, and one of the seven princes of Hell, who helps people make discoveries. He seduces people by suggesting to them ingenious inventions that will make them rich. It could be said that the band Belphegor also helps people make discoveries though deep reflection over the bestialities and inhumane evil people are able to conduct. Too many times we have witnessed history repeating itself without any improvements or more humane approach to the less fortunate members of society.

Throughout this tour Belphegor played many of their notoriously famous songs such as: “The Devil’s Son”, “Belphegor – Hell’s Ambassador”, “Conjuring the Dead”, “Gasmask Terror” and so on. Their performance was a Masterpiece for itself without any possibility of comparing them to others, as they were outstanding! The energetic and brutal performance by the band has deserved a well deserved fiery feedback from the audience. Definitely, their performance was the biggest highlight of the night! The Belphegor’s gig will definitely stay in our memory as the most beautiful part of this shitty Corona year and the very best event Croatia has seen during this whole year.

I was especially touched by the decision of the singer and guitarist Helmuth Lehner who gave out a handful of guitar picks and came down to join the fans and take pictures with them, regardless of the pandemic and caution measures.

After the unforgettable performance of the Polish metal attraction BATUSHKA four years ago in the crowded Zagreb Boogaloo, Batushka returned to the “crime scene” with new black liturgy. Batushka announced a special spectacle that will consist of some of their old materials, as they present a piece of new material. They also organised the sale of a special edition that will only be sold during this tour and will not be available on digital distribution nor will it be reissued later.

Polish Black Metal band Batushka was formed by Krzysztof Drabikowski. Their music and lyrics, which are written exclusively in Old Church Slavonic language, are inspired by the Eastern Orthodox Church. The band members wear and Eastern Orthodox mantles during live performances to conceal their identities. In contrast with many other Black Metal bands, they use eight-string guitars. A falling out between Drabikowski and vocalist Bartłomiej Krysiuk in 2018 led to Krysiuk starting his own version of Batushka, which released its own recordings and performs separately from the original band. Drabikowski protested the move and does not consider Krysiuk’s band legitimate. To this day many original fans refuse to participate in the Batushka concerts due to respect of the original Band members setup.

The setlist consisted of partially new songs, as throughout the tour it mainly consisted of songs: IRMOS I- V and “Liturgiya” was played at the end. The setlist was maybe exciting to hardcore fans, but my overall impression was that it led to the very edge of monotony and it was too long until we finally heard more known and better accepted songs. Undoubtedly, it was great to be present at their performance which was somewhat magical and spiritually relaxing, but I was left with a feeling that I expected so much more (written by: Kristina Hećimović).


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