I haven’t seen Polish blackened metal titans Behemoth live since Tons of Rock festival back in 2016, so I was really looking forward to see what they had in store for their headline tour. Tonight was the third UK show of the band’s mammoth 28-date Ecclesia Diabolica Europe / UK / Ireland tour, and the sold out Kentish Town Forum was heaving with metal fans.
First to hit the stage were US ambient black metal band Wolves In The Throne Room, who I had been really looking forward to seeing live. They didn’t disappoint, though were hard to photograph due to minimal lighting and a load of haze… which totally worked with the vibe of their music, it just made photographing them a challenge! I loved their sound and their performance was really atmospheric. I heard that the band prefer their live concerts to be firelit, and I would love to see them again somewhere with a bit more soul, such as Midgardsblot, as I think in that setting they would be truly in their element.
Main support on this tour At The Gates hail from Gothenburg and, judging from the excitement in the room as they came on stage, a huge number of people were just as excited to see the Swedish death metal band as they were the headliners. Vocalist Tomas got the crowd going as he moved around every inch of the stage, and their entire set was great to watch. They opened their fantastic set with “To Drink From The Night Itself” from their 2018 album of the same name and went on to play a brilliant selection of tracks from their back-catalogue, including “Blinded By Fear” and “Cold” from their 1995 album Slaughter of the Soul.
Behemoth have done a fantastic job with the artwork and visuals surrounding their most recent album I Loved You At Your Darkest (released in 2018 and reviewed by Ricky) and their live show proved to be just as successful. A black curtain fell to the floor and plumes of smoke rose into the air the band took to the stage wearing black masks and launched into “Wolves ov Siberia”, much to the delight of the crowd. Due to the pyro we were only allowed into the photo-pit for the second and fourth songs of their set, but it was great to get the opportunity to experience the spectacle from up-close. Nergal was his famously charismatic self as he and the rest of the band put on a wonderful performance, largely featuring tracks from I Loved You At Your Darkest.
After my photography duties were done I joined some friends at the back of the room and enjoyed watching the packed crowd beat their fists in the air along to the music, and hold their arms aloft in delight every time jets of sparks were fired into the air. Behemoth really do put on a spectacular live show, and have the musical talent to back it up.
Pics by Katie Frost Photography
Behemoth Set List:
- Wolves ov Siberia
- Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer
- Ov Fire and the Void
- God = Dog
- Conquer All
- Ecclesia Diabolica Catholica
- Decade of Therion
- Blow Your Trumpets Gabriel
- Slaves Shall Serve
- Chant for Eschaton 2000
- We Are the Next 1000 Years