On a perfect night for an outdoors show, Jannus Live in St. Petersburg, Florida, was the place to be. The crowd was lined up around the block to catch the lone appearance in the state of Behemoth and their Ecclesia Diabolica America tour; in support of their latest album I Loved You At Your Darkest released on Metal Blade Records. The tour features Behemoth with At The Gates, and Wolves In The Throne Room as supporting acts. With this solid lineup, it promised to be one awesome night of heavy music.
The first band to take the stage was Wolves In The Throne Room. Hailing from Olympia WA. They were formed back in 2003 by brothers Aaron and Nathan Weaver. This group isn’t what you think of when it comes to black metal. They prefer to do things on their own terms. There is no use of satanic imagery. Instead they want to make emotionally impacting music. Their set definitely reflected that. They came on stage with just enough lighting to create a mood that was a perfect fit for their music. When they started to play they grabbed the attention of the audience and had the packed house headbanging immediately. It didn’t matter if people were familiar with them or not, their brand of music was loved by everyone there. With the three guitarists, Nathan Weaver, Kody Keyworth, and Peregrine Sommerville on stage, their riffs were bone crushing. Their time on stage definitely set the tone for the evening.
Next up was At The Gates. Formed in 1990 in Gothenberg, Sweden, this band is known for their melodic approach to the death metal genre. With several breaks throughout their career, they have been on a good run since 2011. Their latest release titled To Drink From The Night Itself was released earlier this year on Century Media. When lead singer Thomas Lindberg hit the stage, he was full of energy, constantly working the stage with fist pumps and exhorting the crowd to cheer them. With an eleven song setlist consisting of “To Drink From The Night Itself”, “Slaughter Of The Soul”, “At War With Reality”, “A Stare Bound In Stone”, “Cold, Death And The Labyrinth”, “Death And The Tombs”, “Suicide Nation”, “The Book Of Sand(The Abomination)”, “Blinded By Fear”, and “The Night Eternal”, they played enough material from their entire six album catalog to thrill their fans.
Now it was time for Behemoth to take the stage. These titans of black metal were formed in 1991 by their lead singer by Adam “Nergal” Darski. The current lineup consists of Nergal, Inferno on drums, bassist Orion, and Seth on guitar. When they finally took to the stage, they performed their first number in masks. They kicked off their set with “Wolves Ov Siberia” and the audience was mesmerized by Nergals powerful lyrics. After the first song, they took the masks off and performed in their usual attire. With Nergal and Seth trading guitar work throughout the set, the music was played to perfection. Of course, Orion and Inferno created a brutal heavy backdrop for Nergal and Seth to work with. Throughout the fourteen-song set, which was made up of “Wolves ov Siberia”, “Daimonos”, “Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer”, “Bartzabel”, “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”, “Lucifer”, and “We Are Next 1000 Years”, they never let up and gave the audience the show that they wanted. Truly they are the masters of this genre.
As perfect as the weather was, what made the night better was this show. From the dark evocative lighting and music of Wolves In The Throne Room, to the excitement of At The Gates, and of course the titans of the black metal genre Behemoth with their powerful stage show and top notch musicianship, this night surpassed everyone’s expectations. Make sure you catch this formidable triple bill if they come to your area.
At The Gates:
Wolves In The Throne Room: