Live Coverage || Behemoth, At The Gates, Wolves In The Throne Room @ Sala Riviera, 19/1/2019

Polish powerhouse Behemoth is currently on their Ecclesia Diabolica Evropa tour to promote their latest, critically acclaimed studio album, "I Loved You At Your Darkest". The tour itself boasts a very impressive lineup, with the likes of death metal trailblazers At The Gates and black metal prodigies Wolves In The Throne Room being perfect counterparts. We caught the tour in the south of Europe with a very responsive crowd and this is what went down.

Wolves In The Throne Room created a gloomy atmosphere by burning incense. Shortly afterwards, their thunderous music filled the room. The band's performance was divine, as they showcased both excellence and proficiency in their art, also earning the audience's participation early on. Sure, they might have been a bit more on the technical side than the emotional at some points but it didn't affect the outcome.
Up next was At The Gates. To be fair, I have scarcely followed them since the reunion but, despite not having any expectations, I walked into the room with an open mind. The band's sound was solid and nostalgia certainly filled the air when it came to the old songs. Fans were singing along the melodic riffs while some braver souls started crowdsurfing. The performance, however, felt detached and almost dispatching, barely matching Tomas Lindberg's words of "being very happy to be back", and consequently left a bitter aftertaste.
This was my first time seeing Behemoth. Yes, I know, shame on me, but this show was worth all the times I missed them in the past. The band went on in the fiercest way possible, as pyros and thick fog were blasting throughout "Wolves Ov SIberia". The stage production was outstanding, with visuals playing in the back and a very impressive lightshow enhancing Behemoth's ferocity. Nergal is a very gifted frontman; throughout the performance he had the crowd in the palm of his hand, captivating our full and  undivided attention. Whether he was making faces at the photographers or spewing his venom, it was essentially impossible to look away from him. The setlist celebrated the latest opus, while also paying homage to fan favorite tracks from the older releases. If you've read my review on Architects' recent Holy Hell tour, you may remember me raving about the intensity of that show. Well, all kidding aside, Behemoth blew them out of the water and, even though we're only two shows into 2019, this was rightfully one of the best things I've seen in my life and I doubt any other band will be able to top that in the following months.

All pictures courtesy of Dearohwell photography

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