Piraeus Academy, Athens, Greece 26.03.2017
It was the last Sunday of March, the previous night ROTTING CHRIST devastated the same venue playing a two-and-a-half-hour set, spanning all of their discography. But they had a special treat for the second day: the seminal “Thy Mighty Contract” in its entirety, back to back. Along with two pretty unique bands of the modern black metal genre: AHERUSIA and HAIL SPIRIT NOIR. But let’s see what the night has in store.
AHERUSIA were the ones who tried to warm up the crowd at 20:00 sharp. Their brand of folk black metal, directly influenced by traditional Greek music, is truly one of a kind and perfect for live shows, as it gives them the chance to engage with the crowd. I’ve seen them live several times, and they always manage to deliver the goods on stage. They eventually warmed us up with their music, setting the tone for the rest of the night.
In come HAIL SPIRIT NOIR, the surprise of the night for me. It was the first time I ever got in touch with their music. It’s a multi-faced type of black metal. On one side they have their hellenic black metal influence and even some French black metal going on with some more disarmonic, and on the other side you have a strong 70’s jam feeling with a sort of bluesy or psychedelic even feeling all over the place. One of those bands that are immediately recognizable for their unique blend of the aforementioned elements, all brought forth by an amazingly theatrical frontman. One of those bands to definitely keep an eye on right now that they’re current.
Both bands thanked ROTTING CHRIST for the opportunity to open up such a special occasion. At 21:40 the lights go down, and the headliners get on stage playing the classic intro of “The Sign Of Evil Existence”. It was about time for the crowd to start destroying the venue with mosh pits and headbanging.
The rest of “Thy Mighty Contract” followed making the older long-time Rotting Christ fans nostalgic, and the guys themselves naming us under their cult! It was amazing how well they performed and also how close they were to the classic recordings. That’s a big plus right there, not many bands can do that after 30 years. As for the rest of the set, it was mostly based on “Rituals” (“Elthe Kyrie”, “Apage Satana”, “Ze Nigmar”) and “Kata Ton Daimona Eautou” (“Kata Ton Daimona Eautou”, “Grandis Spiritus Diavolos”, “In Yumen Xibalba”, “ΧΞΣ”) with some of the necessary classics (“Nemecic”, “Non Serviam”, “King Of A Stellar War”, “Athanatoi Este”) to make it a fully complete set.
Sakis himself stated numerous times during the show, how much he thanks us fans for supporting the Greek metal scene throughout the years, as well as AHERUSIA and HAIL SPIRIT NOIR for accepting the invitation to open this show. One of the most modest members of the scene, and rightfully respected and praised by every single one of its members.
When the lights went on, it was the end of another perfect gig for ROTTING CHRIST. Along with the sold-out one of the previous day, they made for a great weekend in honor of the first great metal band to ever come out of our country. Thank you ROTTING CHRIST, here’s more of that in the future! NON SERVIAM!
Check S&D Photography for more photos.