The building swelled with black shirts, beanies, and beards as fans packed in for a five-band lineup of diverse black and death metal.
The last four available tickets swiftly left the hands of the promoters as the doors opened at Reggie’s Rock Club on a Monday night. Some fans stood chilled outside for hours before the concert waiting to get to the front of the house and set up camp at the foot of the stage. Needless to say, the show sold out.
Ethereal Blood took to the stage first. This black metal project comes right out of Chicago’s red-hot kiln of a metal scene. Without any hesitation, the band raced to take the stage without a drummer, and computer backed drum tracks held down their percussion for the evening. They came armed with the proper corpse paint, spiked gauntlets, and obscure aliases that one would desire from any black metal group. If you or someone you know is a drummer in the greater Chicago area, the band is currently holding auditions in hopes of filling their vacancy.
By the time Beyond De-th began their set as the second local opener, the house already appeared full of supporting fans. One would think they were on their national tour, judging by the engaged crowd. This group’s combination of technical melodies, thrash riffs, and death metal brutality allows them to keep their fanâ€™s attention.
Next came the post-black metal group, Abigail Williams. Their set fit in perfectly with the lineup of the evening, providing plenty of weight and darkness though easing the thrash throttle back a gear or two. Part of their touring is in support of their latest album, The Accuser, off of Candlelight Records â€” which is currently available for Manic Music purchase.
All the way from their home in the Netherlands was the symphonic black metal band, Carach Angren. Their music and showmanship brought on the element of dark, majestic enchantment that would not only serve to set them out from the pack, but also act as a complement for the headliner to come.
Finally, Fleshgod Apocalypse arrived before the crowd of adoring fans to play out the rest of the night. They stood with pale, white faces, 18th-century Italian clothing, and f-holed electric guitars to set the aristocratic tone. Their hour-long set included tracks off of their critically-acclaimed brand new album, King, from Nuclear Blast Records, in addition to songs such as, “Epilogue,” off of, Labrynth (2013), and, “Requiem in Si Minore,” from their, Oracles LP (2009).
All in all, from screams to operatic belts, black metal to death metal, the bands delivered a great variety of dark niches of heavy metal to a packed house of adoring fans. One could not ask for more.