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Rotting Christ, Melechesh, Hate and Abigail Williams Concert Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Hate

Hate

Dave Schalek/About.com
Aeolo, last year’s monstrous album from Greek veterans Rotting Christ, crept into many top ten lists for 2010, including my own. Couple that release with the almost equally monstrous The Epigenesis from up and comers Melechesh, and you have the makings of a devastating tour with a bit of an ethnic flair. Rounding out the bill for the so-called “Apostles of Darkness Over America” Tour was a number of other acts; some good, some not so good.

The tour detonated in Los Angeles on March 29th at the Key Club, neatly situated amongst the glitz and glamour of the Sunset Strip (and about a half block from the Rainbow Room, currently one of Lemmy’s favorite hangouts according to various sources).

Abigail Williams

I arrived after a long day of work and traffic to catch the last song from Lecherous Nocturne. What I heard sounded good, but I’ve seen the band before. Abigail Williams were the first act that I saw in their entirety, and words can’t begin to describe how generic this band has become. Initially, Abigail Williams made some waves a few years ago by trying to marry metalcore and symphonic black metal, with varying degrees of success. These days, Abigail Williams have been reduced to a cheap copy of Dimmu Borgir, with no dynamic stage presence whatsoever. I spent their set propped up against the bar.

Hate

I must say that I greatly prefer Hate’s early material when Florida-style death metal was the musical emphasis, as opposed to their very polished, blackened approach. Never an original band to begin with, Hate were able to put together a few good albums early in their discography, although labels of “Deicide clone” were tossed about rather liberally. Lately, Hate have shifted gears into blackened death metal territory, but still seem to be unable to shake their “clone” status as countrymen Behemoth seem to be the band for Hate to emulate.

Unoriginality aside, Hate have proved their mettle through hard work and a desire to tour endlessly, resulting in landing a few support slots for major death and black metal acts for various treks through America. Although the band stuck to newer material (as expected), Hate delivered a taut performance with energy, enthusiasm, and power. Although initially slow to respond, the L.A. crowd warmed to the set soon enough and gave Hate a rousing round of applause at the conclusion of their half hour set.

Melechesh

Melechesh

Melechesh

Dave Schalek/About.com
Highly polished blackened thrash with a bit of Middle Eastern influences has become the hallmark of Melechesh, a band that has really impressed me with their last few full-lengths. As soon as I heard that Melechesh were providing direct support, this tour became a high priority for me.

The Epigenesis is a great album, but very polished and clean. The sterile production really wasn’t all that noticeable to me until I saw the band perform the songs live, and was able to make a comparison. The guitars from Moloch and frontman Ashmedi ebbed and flowed with a very organic quality as the riffs seemed to almost fall from the guitars. The slight lack of polish really worked for me in a live setting, and Melechesh easily delivered the best performance of the night.

Excellent stage presence and energy combined with a monstrous set list concentrating upon the last two albums soon sent the L.A. crowd into a frenzy. Set highlights include “Rebirth Of The Nemesis,” “Ghouls Of Nineveh,” and an unbelievable rendition of “Triangular Tattvic Fire.” Ashmedi was impressed by the band’s reception from the crowd, and gave his thanks and appreciation.

Rotting Christ

Rotting Christ took the stage and delivered a very powerful set consisting of songs spread throughout the band’s long discography. Songs from Aealo were heavily favored, but early gems such as “Thou Art Blind,” “King Of A Stellar War,” and the encore, “Non Serviam,” were highlights, as well.

Rotting Christ’s powerful approach to riffs and sheer crunch made up for a general lack of speed, especially after the usually fast approach of Melechesh. The density of the band’s sound allowed Rotting Christ to thoroughly crush the crowd and close out the evening.

Overall

Another enjoyable, slick concert at the Key Club comes to a close with Melechesh being the evening’s favorite for this reviewer.
Rotting Christ

Rotting Christ

Dave Schalek/About.com
Disclosure: The company provided free access to this concert for review purposes. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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