Prague, September 2nd, Futurum: Nile, Grave, Belphegor

The Futurum Music Bar is quite an unusual place for a metal concerts, however besides the disco balls hanging by the ceiling there aren’t many things that prevent some real metal action happening in here. So there I was at the concert of three death metal bands…The first band wasn’t announced in advance. First song suggests me that this will be some hardcore style, kinda hardened with death metal elements, later however typical thrash metal drum patterns prevail. Before the second song we are told this band’s called Amon Din and that these five guys are from Serbia (which was welcomed with some applause by the audience). The singer doesn’t seem very courageous, he sings mostly with closed eyes and chills to the rhythm of the music. While listening to their show I keep supporting the drummer mentally while he’s doing some blast beats as it looks like his physical abilities do not allow him to do it for longer periods of time 🙂 The sound is quite ok, even though for the first 15 seconds of their performance the volume level was perfect and after that, the sound engineer decided that we are playing metal so the volume must be something extra. The extra value wasn’t really necessary I’d say (and there I didn’t even know what more was coming later…)

But besides these little things those guys play some entertaining music, lead guitarist has always some nice solo to show and when they leave the stage the audience appreciates their performance quite well.

The next band is Belphegor, our neighbours from Austria, well known and respected so to say “antichristian” blackened death metallists. Helmuth, lead singer, seems to be in almost the same stage-fright as the singer of the previous band, however the audience welcomes Belphegor with much more massive feedback. I can’t remember which song was played first, but the following songs were like this (year when the song was released on an album in parentheses)
Sein Todt in Schwartz (2006, The best song from Pestapokalypse VI album, latin and german text of the refrain sounds perfect)
Hell’s Embasador (2006)
Stigma Diabolicum (2008, very slow song with an intermezzo after it)
Swarm of Rats (2005, the only song played from Goatreich – Fleshcult, I think there are better songs on it, I was looking forward to hear Bleeding Salvation at least)
Justine Soaked In Blood (2008)
Lucifer Incestus (2003, VJ – person responsible for lights – kinda spoiled this song for me with the green lights, red ones would suit better)
Bondage Goat Zombie (2008, Helmuth puts on a black-metal themed hat)

Very well played songs, however I was looking forward to hear more blasting songs from the 2005 album Goatreich – Fleshcult. Later two albums, from which most of the songs were played, are rather slow, more melodic, less black, angry, brutal, whatever you call it, simply less hardcode and I think original Belphegor worth of listening. Anyway, I am still quite satisfied with how the musicians performed.

Next band this night is Grave, oldschool Swedish death metal. These guys have a new linuep and a new album, so they played quite a lot songs from it too, and even if I haven’t heard their songs before, it was quite listenable for me. I don’t want to judge their performance anymore, as like I’ve said – I don’t know their music at all. However they reminded visitors of the concert last year with Immolation, which I attended too. And I think this time their performance was better, more alive (if you can say that about a band playing death metal, heh).

And for the last, the headliner – Nile. Band with 13 years history behind them, very fast and skilled death metal music done by a singer + guitar master in one as their frontman, Mr. Karl Sanders, musically followed by awesome drummer George Kollias. Even his sound check is a wonderful metal experience, he shows us in advance that he has under control every piece of his monstrous drum set.

However after this sound check comes the biggest disappointment of the whole evening. The sound engineer decides that Nile, probably because they are headliners, deserve some more volume on the sound system added. So he raises the power of the loudspeakers and despite putting cotton-wool in my ears in advance, I can already hear that this is too much. And it really was, not only for me…

The first song starts with that extra high volume and I can already hear (or not hear) how the sound of cymbals is mixed together with one of the guitars in high overdosed sound. In overall some parts of the music have guitar solos that would cut an open hole in your head, starting from your ears of course… I can see people covering their ears, and not only to be able to recognize the song easier, but basically because it’s “too much”. Other people going around the place looking for spot with better sound, some people in pauses between songs shouting and the sound man to turn the volume down.

Later during the show I can even see lots of people leaving the concert a couple of songs before the real end! I saw one visitor going to the sound engineer’s booth trying to explain to him that the music is too loud even for a metal concert. But “Mr. Volume” with gestures explains back that he’s not really interested in his opinion. Too bad. After a correspondence with the music club I’ve found out that the sound engineer was working for Nile and I’ve been told he was familiar with this music club and it’s sound system.

In one moment we could hear the frontman asking the audience “Are you dead yet? You all look a little dead to me here!” Well, “Guess why” I told for myself while the crowd took a shout back to not look that dead to the band.

Nile played a lot of songs, their performance was fast, alive, drummer was blasting without any hesitations, 2nd guitarist played very well and was quite friendly with the audience. All the main hits from all the albums were played, maybe way too many songs from the last Ithypallic album (I know at least about five of them).
Protect me,
from he, who is in the water!

A little disappointment was rather high price for the merchandise – T-Shirts costing more than the ticket to the concert wasn’t very wise choice I’d say.

Later I’ve found out that Prague was these Bands’ first stop on a new tour, so that explains the “shyness” of all of the musicians, some uncertainity among guitarists, not chilling to the music, headbanging and stuff, instead they were all rather concentrating on what they play, including Nile’s frontman.

But the biggest disappointment was for sure the very high volume during Nile’s concert. I’m sorry for all the people in front who didn’t have anything in their ears to protect their hearing, I heard them shouting at each other “Dude, I’m deaf” for the fun of the moment. Well, that sure wasn’t for real, but I think such extreme volume in such a small room still can damage one’s hearing for a long time. I had cotton-wool in my ears during the whole concert, yet I can still hear whistling in my ears even today, 24 hours after the event.