On 6th of February ‘Europa Blasphemia Tour’ show was set to take place in TivoliVredenburg Ronda venue. Absolutely massive line-up, featuring Abbath, Entombed A.D., Inquisition and Behemoth, promised to bring a lot of noise and destruction to Netherlands. The venue promised to be totally packed with metalheads with nearly a sold-out.
Event started on-time, with Swiss precision. Inquisition was set to play first. For those unfamiliar with the band it could have come with surprise that there were only two people on stage. Yes, reality is they are two-piece band. Lots of people were still trying to buy merchandise when first riffs hit. Being a representative of classical black metal style allowed this duo to sound like a full band. And quite a balanced band. It was obvious they have worked it out together during last 20 years of collaboration. Huge amount of shredding produced sound, that while losing its clarity, gained power and aggressiveness. Band performed for 30 minutes and nailed 7 songs. By the end of their set, it was hard to tell who shredded more – drummer or guitarist. It was quite an experience provided by short, but aggressive setlist of this unique band.
The follow-up to Inquisition were Entombed A.D. These were the well-known members of death metal society, that left band Entombed and re-appeared as Entombed A.D. It came to no surprise, that the sound they produced started to raise roof of the venue. Two massive guitars and bass were blasting the hell out of speakers. It must be said that sound engineer did a good job of balancing volume and clarity of sound for their set. Finally, crowd seemed to gather inside and involved itself in few mosh pits. During first few songs, there was a feeling, that something was still missing in their performance, some sort of boiling point. But then band went on to cover classics of Entombed and delivered solid ending to set. It was an OK performance overall.
After quick adjustments on stage, it was time to welcome ABBATH on stage. ABBATH, led by black metal icon Olve Eikemo a-k-a Abbath, was formed after his split with band Immortal. It was intriguing to see Abbath as part of something new. And it proved to be one hell of a show. There was a feeling of freshness with old Immortal songs. Absolutely astonishing performance of “Tyrants” blew my personal roof off. It was quite unexpected to see new life of old songs. The sound was full of drive, that was so missing lately with Immortal. Lights engineer did awesome job in framing this show into one of the brightest (in all senses) this evening. It looked like Abbath found a second youth with solo career.
Finally, time has come for something big. The feeling was in the air. Especially since stage was going through total re-compilation. It meant one thing – Behemoth show would be special. And so it was. The road of the band to this point was not an easy one, with leukemia trying to take vocalist Nergal away from music and fans. But he kicked the ass of a disease and came out strong. After years of silence, in 2014 band released long-awaited “The Satanist” album and came into 2016 still touring with it. The album (of 9 songs) was played into its entirety during this tour… and so it deserved to be. Performance was one of pure class. The fire show, the sound, the energy – it was magic. Crowd was amazingly receptive. By the moment Nergal went to share some sacred Behemoth hosties – everyone went crazy. And to top it all up – band finished the show with classics “Antichristian Phenomenon” and “Chant for Eschaton 2000”. It was absolute classic by Behemoth. This was one of the best performances of 2016 so far and others will have to try hard to top it up.