Thrash Hits

March 11th, 2011

Live & Photos: Watain + Shining @ London Highbury Garage – 6 March 2011

Watain are in town? Shining – the crazy depressive Swedes, not the crazy jazzy Norwegians – are supporting them? Yeah, it was predictable one of us was going to be there. Again. Don’t worry, we locked him in the bathroom until he’d washed the stench out of his hair and burned his clothes before finding out what he learned.

Six things we learned from Watain’s show at the Garage:

  • Watain are as brilliant live as anyone around. Exactly why they are so astounding is slightly difficult to put your finger on. The songs are fantastic yes, the reverential feel with which they deliver them is certainly part of it, as is the striking visual presence they create. But there is a certain indefinable je ne sais quoi surrounding them like an aura that takes them onto a different plane.
  • Watain still stink to deepest hell. The whiff of rotting meat isn’t too bad if you stand back a bit, but down the front is as ripe as pork that’s been left in the sun for a week. Strangely, it all adds to the atmosphere- it’s more fun down the front in the depth of the stench.

Watain + Shining @ Liverpool Masque - 09 March 2011 c/o Matt Thomas -

Picture 1 of 12

"Look into the light..."

  • There is a peculiar charisma required of the black metal frontman. The relationship with the audience is totally different to most other kinds of metal- a presence that requires an element of separation from the masses in front of them while still being able to connect powerfully with the listener. Erik Danielsson has this type of charisma in vast quantities. He’s totally mesmeric.
  • It’s very easy to take the piss out of the black metal face paint- largely because it’s frequently unintentionally funny. Not so Watain, and in particular Set Teitan- tonight his whole head is totally red and daubed with intricate designs that look fucking terrifying, and generally looks thoroughly more meaningful than the angry badger designs of lesser bands.
  • Shining reputation for being hit-and-miss live is well earned, based on tonight’s show. Niklas Kvarforth appears comparatively sane (which isn’t what you want from Shining) and there’s a static, disengaged feel to the whole performance. The songs may be ace, but the show isn’t. Fingers crossed for next time, eh?
  • Aosoth make an ungodly, unholy and utterly unpleasant racket that is as upsetting as it is filthy. Marvelous!

Watch Erik Danielsson speaking at Hole In The Sky. About fucking Jesus.

Watain @ London Highbury Garage setlist
Death’s Cold Dark
Storm of the Antichrist
Rabid Death’s Curse
My Fists Are Him
Reaping Death
The Serpent’s Chalice
Wolves Curse
Total Funeral
On Horns Impaled
Legions of the Black Light


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