CHTHONIC, SATYRICON @ The Key Club, Hollywood (10/8/09)

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Anticipation for this show was high as kids started waiting outside the Key Club as early as 5pm. Taiwanese extreme metallers CHTHONIC opened the show with a short but powerful set. It was clear from the audience reaction that a significant amount of people were there to see the band play. CHTHONIC had great stage presence and played well. Vocalist Freddy made sure that the audience knew that they were proud to be from Taiwan. The band also took the time to meet with fans after their performance. There was a good number of fans who waited patiently for their chance to get their pictures taken with CHTHONIC and get their merchandise autographed. It was surprising that after the band had finished up their meet and greet, a noticeable number of attendees left the Key Club.

As the night wore on, incoming fans packed the Key Club in order to see headliners SATYRICON. The band played songs predominantly from their last three albums with a few old ones from their classic, Nemesis Divina. The fact their SATYRICON‘s newer material is mid-paced and has many slow plotting sections caused numerous moments of stagnation in the adrenaline department. It may have left some fans wanting a more balanced set in terms of tempo.

Band mastermind Satyr was pretty vocal with the crowd and never failed to show his appreciation for the fans throughout their set. He too was proud to represent the country that the band were from. Satyr also busted out his guitar for a few songs as well. Strangely enough, his guitar was louder and better sounding than that of his two session guitarists.

The star of the show was drummer Frost. After all my years of going to shows, Frost‘s performance was by far the best drum performance that I’ve ever seen. It was truly godlike. He blasted faster than even Flo from CRYPTOPSY, and his blastbeats were super tight and clean. You could see his hair flying through the air as he did the helicopter headbang all night. The drums sounded absolutely immaculate in quality. He played flawlessly and if anything, he made the songs sound better live. Frost also rewrote his drum parts for the older songs by adding plenty of extra intensity and skill.

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