Having experienced some heavy storms that past weekend, New York residents eagerly awaited the arrival of Spring. But before April would usher in the sunshine, there would be one more night of rain and darkness. As irritated patrons waited impatiently through the unnecessarily long security lines, many (adorably adorned in corpse paint) waited with baited breath for the arrival of Norway’s darkest northern sons.
I missed 99% of BLACK ANVIL‘s set due to the lines. However, I was still able to catch their staple song “777” a dark catchy mid-tempo track that comes across as an unreleased CELTIC FROST song with Jeff Walker from CARCASS on vocals. The band has made a name for themselves with a relentless touring schedule and should definitely be checked out for all those interested in another band that worships at the HELLHAMMER/CELTIC FROST altar. Plus, they usually end with a solid rendition of “Dethroned Emperor.”
After a fairly quick set up, an ominous marching snare signaled the arrival of the Norwegian troupe as they launched into the title track of their new album, All Shall Fall. Mosh pits quickly unfurled and drinks were spilled. A thunderous tom pounding from man mountain Horgh quickly followed as he propelled follow-up, “Rise of Darkness,” with driving rhythm. As tight as bolts and nuts, the three-piece sounded like an army as they plowed through tracks from Sons of Northern Darkness, including the title track and the punchy fist-raising anthem, “Tyrants.”
Returning to more All Shall Fall material, the band kept the faithful alive with continuous permeating fog, lights, corpse paint, spikes, and an all encompassing sound that reflected all things great about a metal show. While showmanship these days seems to be heading out as a thing of the past or perhaps deemed as cliché or campy, the band has handled such trends with aplomb, ably backing up their onstage theatrics with strong, powerful, catchy material.
Heading into the past, fans were then treated to classic material from Pure Holocaust as well as tracks such as “Grim and Frostbitten Kingdoms,” “Withstand the Fall of Time,” and “Battles in the North” before ending the set with “Blashyrkh the Mighty Raven Dark.” No encores, no nonsense, just a sharp effective live experience from one of the few remaining originators of True Norwegian Black Metal.