Photos by Lina Glasir
The unholiest of unholy tours is currently invading North America, pillaging, desecrating, and leaving depraved remains thanks to Greek symphonic death metal occultists Septicflesh, Swedish black metal sinners Dark Funeral, and Texas-by-way-of-Colombia extremists Thy Antichrist.
A huge crowd of die-hard fans gathered outside on New York City’s Gramercy Theatre this past Saturday night (March 10th), most seeking and pleading with their fellow metal brethren for an extra ticket to attend the night’s sold-out spectacle. While most schlepped home in disappointment or (most likely) to a nearby bar (hey, it was the weekend after all), a handful of super patient metalheads waited calmly by Will Call up until the shows 8pm start time, only to be pleasantly surprised when an announcement was made that a total of 10 tickets had just been released to the public. A mob of battle vest-wearing bodies rushed to the front window in hopes to snag tickets, which were gone in a matter of minutes.
Once inside, a sea of restless maniacs roared and immediately indulged in a friendly game of ‘let’s shove each other in the face’ for the evening’s opening act, the monstrous Thy Antichrist. Fronted by Antichrist 666 himself, the band, looking like fiends straight out of a zombie horror flick, ignited NYC on fire with 2009’s sinister “Between God and The Devil.” Rounded out by guitarist Abyssus, bassist Frost Giant, drummer Oricuss, and live guitarist Scott “Wicked One” Eames, the body-painted demons sprinkled in a handful of new tracks (off their brand new opus Wrath of the Beast) into their set, ripping through nightmare-filled gems “Metal to the Bone,” “The Great Beast,” and “Desolation.”
Antichrist 666‘s terrifying vocals were only surpassed by his ghastly goat skull staff, which he often raised in a diabolical manner. Not so religion-friendly classics “Destroying the Myth” and “Where Is Your God” reverberated through Gramercy Theatre before the fivesome posed for an onstage photo and exited stage left. For those of you keeping track, this was Thy Antichrist biggest show in the Big Apple to date, having previously ravaged Brooklyn’s The Paper Box in 2016.
Next up were satanic death merchants and co-headliners Dark Funeral, who hadn’t graced a stage in NYC since their show with Morbid Angel, Grave, and Vadimvon at Times Square’s B.B. King Blues Club in 2012. The band’s lineup has changed a bit since their last local appearance, now sporting new drummer Jaloomah and with Heljarmadr at the screeching helm. But their live music still remains as blasphemous and loud as ever, which could be experienced during deep cuts “The Arrival of Satan,” “The Secrets of the Black Arts,” “Hail Murder,” and “Open the Gates.”
Currently celebrating the 20th anniversary of their third studio album, Vobiscum Satanas, the Lord Ahriman-led heretics blasted though the 1998 LP’s title-track, while throughout their set adding a mix of songs from 2016’s Where Shadows Forever Reign, including the likes of “Unchain My Soul,” “As I Ascend,” “As One We Shall Conquer,” “Nail Them to the Cross,” and more. Unless you had a comfy spot up in the movie theater-style seating section, attempting to catch a glimpse of the corpse-painted Swedes in action proved harder than expected. But one thing is for sure, they sounded vile.
Closing out the evening, orchestral metal pros Septicflesh kept the Manhattan venue’s momentum in high gear, dramatically taking over the stage with “Portrait of a Headless” from their latest full-length offering, Codex Omega. “Are you ready my friends!?” groaned leadman Spiros Antoniou as the band dove deeper into the fist pump-inducing track. Digressing, Gramercy Theatre must be a hell of a favorite spot for Septicflesh as the Greek act have slayed the venue at-least five times since 2012, previously sharing the stage with heavy-hitters like Deicide, Moonspell, and Krisiun. Though, this was definitely their biggest display in NYC to date.
“You f**king rock, are you tired?!” yelled Spiros, but never showing a sign of fatigue, a packed crowd flung themselves over the barricade and into the arms of security dudes, gallantly awaiting the sweaty horde. The mystical atmosphere continued with The Great Mass favorites “The Vampire from Nazareth” and “Pyramid God,” plus Titan‘s “Prototype” and “Prometheus,” along with the title-track off the 20-year-old Communion, and more from the quartet’s back catalog. The band would go on to perform newer cuts “Martyr,” “Enemy of Truth,” “Dante’s Inferno,” and set-closer “Dark Art.”
Our coverage from this show continues with exclusive live photos of all three bands, available below.
As of this posting, the mostly sold-out trek is presently invading Spartanburg, SC and will continue with stops in GA, TX and AZ. All remaining dates can be viewed HERE or after the gallery.
Next up at Gramercy Theatre:
03/16 – Story of the Year, Hello Halo, Awake At Last, Super American [sold out! Re-sale TIX available]
03/17 – Rings of Saturn, Nekrogoblikon, Allegaeon, Lorna Shore, Entheos, Gloom [TIX]
03/20 – Pop Evil, Palaye Royale, Black Map [TIX]
Septicflesh, Dark Funeral & Thy Antichrist (remaining dates):
03/14/18 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
03/16/18 Houston, TX White Oak Music Hall
03/17/18 Fort Worth, TX Rail Club
03/18/18 Austin, TX Come and Take it Live!
03/20/18 Phoenix, AZ Club Red
We like you, will you like us?