Winds of Plague, Skeleton Witch, Moonspell, Dimmu Borgir, and Danzig
Las Vegas, NV
by David Necro
The Blackest of the Black festival can be described as a meeting of the dark minds. It is the brainchild of the one and only Glenn Danzig. The idea sprung forth several years ago with Glenn being repulsed by corporate sponsored festivals, which offer little to the fans who pay to see them. Glenn has never been one to play it safe, and that's what has made 'Blackest of the Black' a success. The festival has showcased dark and heavy bands such as Behemoth, Mortiis, and Lacuna Coil.
The night started out with Ohio's Skeleton Witch. They were intense, and gave off a strong sense of mayhem. Their sounds were dynamic with fluid guitar work. The bottom line is, this was exceptional thrash/death metal. This is certianly a band to watch out for.
I wish I could say the same for Winds of Plague. Their set was tuneless, monotonous, and with no structure whatsoever. Rather than continue to crticize this band, I'll fuckin' leave it at that. It simply wasn't my shot of Jack.
Spain's Moonspell exhibited tight musicianship and a dark and foreboding atmosphere. Occasionally the vocals were lost, but their set was very heavy and flowed very well.
Then came Norway's Dimmu Borgir...with a dramatic opening complete with symphonic music, and flames on the video screens. The band surpassed all of my expectations with a true macabre and ominous performance. They combined atmospheric keyboard textures, fast riffs, and hammering drums. They went from fiery hot to ice cold within moments. They also created many different moods for one to latch onto.
Danzig hit the stage with a force that hit you and ran you over like Christine would. Past Danzig shows were a slow build-up of power and fury. This was the opposite and most welcome. The performance was simply powerful and emotional eminating form Glenn and the rest of the band. Glenn's stage presence was second to one and he displayed tons of dark emotion, as well as much interacting with the crowd. His voice still sends chills down the spine, and makes one's hair stand up on the back of the neck. The band was extremly in sync and did the songs justice. There was a glaring omission, however. That was the guitar solos of one Tommy Victor. He displayed rhythmic might, but the solos were not up to snuff. Past guitarists such as John Christ and Todd Youth have performed the solos much, much better. Despite that, Glenn and the boys created an intense vibe with hot and cold running chills. On the back of the t shirts sold, it said "20 years, motherfucker." It is also my 20th year seeing Glenn perform. Let's hope for another 20!
Twist of Cain
Am I Demon
Tired of Being Alive
Her Black Wings
Left Hand Black
How the Gods Kill
Brand New God
Black Angel, White Angel
Dirty Black Summer
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