Black Metal legends Mayhem, had joined forces with dungeon synth pioneer Mortiis for the “Northern Ritual” EU tour and whilst this was Mayhem’s first visit to Belfast, I had seen Mortiis in The Palm House in 2018. Tonight was a welcome upgrade from that show as not only was the lighting better and added to the ambience but Mortiis was joined by a live drummer which resulted in a larger more rounded sound.
Returning to Era 1 with his 2020 release “Spirit Rebellion” (a reworking of his second album “Ånden Som Gjorde Opprør”) was the focus of tonights show. As is typical of all Era 1, vocals are sparse with the synth and drums being the dominant forces to create the atmosphere which was particularly powerful during ‘A Dark Horizon VI’. Mortiis presented himself as a mysterious figure in his trademark dreadlocks and mask and kept his interaction with the crowd to a small, yet appreciative nod during the cheers at end of each song.
As the crew prepared for Mayhem, Hellhammer’s drum kit was unveiled and loomed over the stage. The first of 3 acts contained tracks from the latest album “Daemon” as well as the stand out ‘To Daimonion’ from ‘Grand Declaration of War’. A shrouded Attila commanded the stage throughout and whilst Hellhammer was barely visible his presence was undeniable.
The blue and purple lighting of ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ signalled the move to the second act which started with “Freezing Moon” and my personal highlight “Life Eternal’. The band left the stage before the ominous and instantly recognisable “Silvester Anfang” signalled the third and final act. The stage was lit in pure red and the band returned to “Deathcrush” and “Chainsaw Gutfuck”. The pyro added further drama as some pure fucking armageddon finished off the night.
Photography & Review: Kerri Clarke // Exposing Shadows Photography
Catch Mortiis and Mayhem at these dates:
FRI 20th May 2022
SAT 21st May 2022
Manchester Academy 2
SUN 22nd May 2022
London O2 Academy Islington
Necrobutcher – Bass
Hellhammer – Drums
Attila – Vocals
Teloch – Guitar
Ghul – Guitar