Norwegian metal masters, Enslaved, made their highly anticipated return to NYC in support of their 13th studio album In Times, performing for a full house.
Norway’sÂ Enslaved,Â came back on U.S soil to support their new record In Times, which was released earlier this month on Nuclear Blast Records.Â Oregon doom metalers Yob and Pennsylvania’s Ecstatic Vision, which features former members of A Life Once Lost, provided support during the three-week promotional tour. The last few stopsÂ of the tour (NYC included) also featured special guests Oregon stoner/doom actÂ Witch Mountain.
Witch Mountain formed in 1997 in Portland, Oregon. The band has released three full length albums, their last released in 2014 entitledÂ Mobile Of Angels.Â The band parted ways with former front woman Uta Plotkin, and introduced new member vocalist Kayla Dixon. Kayla dominated the stage with her powerful voice. Prior to taking the stage members witch mountain congregated by the merchandise stand and bar area at the venue. Kayla was all smiles as she spoke to fans who had approached her, and politely answered their questions. She is petite in stature and seems very demure, but don’t let that fool you. Kayla is a force to be reckoned with.
Witch Mountain set the tone for the evening with their brand of doom metal. They opened their set with the song “Psycho Animundi”, which featured heavy riffs, and the use of distortion typical to the stoner and doom genres. The band was excited to perform in New York City and the crowd was eager to see them. Many fans expressed what a breath of fresh air it is to have a stoner/doom musicians provide support for the evening, and hope that more musicians with similar sound would gain recognition. In NYC particularly, stoner rock and doom metal bands do not get as much as exposure as bands in other musical categories.
At the moment, Witch Mountain are getting ready to wrap up their tour in April. As soon as they are back home they will begin writing new material. The band has plans to release a single sometime this year, and a new album in 2016. Though, material has not yet been written, the band is very “enthused” and “inspired.” Judging by the crowds reaction to their music it is clear that they have a bright future ahead of them and we can expect a terrific new album.
After a brief intermission Ecstatic Vision promptly took the stage. The Philadelphia three-piece recently completed work on their upcoming full-length debut on Relapse Records. Their performance was memorable and intriguing. Â They lightened the atmosphere with their brand of psychedelic rock and made the audience feel as though they were at a festival. It was an interesting contrast witnessing some in the crowd dancing along, as opposed to the Â head banging from earlier. Either way, they delighted concert goers with their performance and walked away with new fans.
Up next was YOB. Last year the bandÂ released the critically acclaimed seventh studio album, Clearing the Path to Ascend.Â They are no stranger to the New York stage. In December of last year they headlined two back to back shows at the Saint Vitus Bar in Brooklyn. Those performances featured their touring mates Ecstatic Vision as well the band Occultation.
By the time Yob took the stage the venue was filled to capacity. They delivered a crushing four song set. Fans were thrilled as the band launched into “In Our Blood,â€ a standout track from Clearing The Path To Ascend, thatÂ stretches out over 17 minutes. The crowd remained an enthusiastic as â€œNothing To Win,â€ and â€œMarrow,â€ followed. Despite a discography spanning six albums, they only played â€œAtmaâ€ off the 2011 album of the same name.
WithÂ Enslaved heading back to Norway as of March 25th, theÂ band willÂ be bumped up to headliner for eight dates through April 4th. They will be back on the East Coast in May to perform at Maryland Deathfest in Baltimore.
There was not enough room to stand by the time Enslaved hit the stage. Even the seats in the back of the venue were full. Â As the huge In Times backdrop fell down the audience chanted the band name in unison. One by one Norway’s children from hell entered the stage. The band isÂ on top of their game, releasing one great recordÂ after another, including their latest, In Times which is the follow-up to their twelfth album,Â RIITIIR.
Opening with the first track from In Times, â€œThurisaz Dreaming,â€ Enslaved proceeded to play a full 90 minute set with a three song encore. As they band performed “Building With Fire” of the new album the crowds voices echoed in approval. Other highlights included fan favorites “Ruun,â€ â€œThe “Watcherâ€ and â€œEthica Odiniâ€ The encore consisted of classic enslaved material, namely â€œAs Fire Swept Clean The Earth,â€ â€œFenrisâ€ from the legendary Frost album, and the final track of the night, â€œIsa,â€ which brought down the house.Â Ten songs and three encores may not seem like a huge set, but when a band brillantly stretches out each song Â youâ€™re left breathless and craving more of their raw energy.
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