You know it’s going to be an intense show when you see this at the door:
Animal blood aside, the Rickshaw Theatre was busy and ready for a dark and sinister performance. Australian/European metallers Destroyer 666 had ram skulls attached to their microphone stands with ‘666’ written on the forehead of each one. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist K.K Warslut came on letting out a bellowing growl before the rest of the members shredded a thrash metal riff. Their angry stage presence was made known with several middle fingers to the sky.
Sweden has a reputation for extreme music and artists, but arguably none who come close to the notorious Watain. The stage setup took nearly 30 minutes to prepare with animal bones draped across the drum kit, steel upside down crucifixes and many candles lit around the stage. The lights were even darker than before with very little visibility other than the candle lights. The crowd roared when the members came on through the thick smoke. As per the ‘animal blood’ warning, many people kept their distance and others embraced what was to come. Frontman Erik Danielsson moved slowly around the stage, gently kneeling down to the front of the drum-kit where a human skull with ram horns lay full of goats blood. He lit more candles around it to prepare a ritual before picking it up and raising it above his head as they opened with ‘Devil’s Blood’.
It was not yet time for him to immerse the crowd in blood, only to prepare them. They continued to play with intense stares from the bassist and two guitar players. The ritual grew more intense until finally, Erik grabbed the skull again and emptied the blood onto the crowd before him. As of this year, Watain have been providing their satanic musicianship for an impressive 30 years and will undoubtedly continue until the bitter end.