Abbath Tyrannus 24/6/24 Slay, Glasgow.

Spread the love

Review By Paul Taggart Photos By Barry Douglas

Slay is a small, intimate venue, nestled just off one of Glasgow’s main shopping streets. Beyond the Marks and Spencer’s and the dubious tartan tourist  trap shops black metal’s cold cadaverous heartbeats for a packed crowd. Tonight the only shopping being done here is for pints and socks with Abbath’s face on them. This is a stop on Abbath’s Return To The Raven Realms tour on which he is playing nothing but Immortal songs, a band he co-founded in 1991 in Norway with the guitarist Demonaz but split from in 2015. Since then he’s forged his own frost-bitten path with a series of three solo albums to date but tonight is all about Immortal’s music. Immortal was a band that was socially involved in the Norwegian black metal circles but never a part of its more infamous deeds. No church burnings or shot-gun deaths for them. Immortal always strode a more theatrical, fantastic song road through ice-blasted forests and hills caked with snow where ancient evils lurked in the endless frozen wastes.

Speaking of social issues, the Glasgow based band Tyrannus is the support act. They play black metal but it is a kind of black metal fused with the mindset of an anarchist, anti-fascist punk band. They promote themselves as such and songs and stage banter also promote this ethos.

Tyrannus are no fans of Sunak, that’s for sure. The music however is pure extreme metal, black metal vocal rasps twinned with Slayer-type riffage with the occasional mid-80s Metallica melodic interlude before roaring back into rage again   Their sound is sadly muffled at times but their anger comes across. They go down well with the crowd despite the audio issues.

A small wait ensues, as roadies do as roadies will. Then smoke begins to billow from either the bowels of hell or a machine on stage and then Abbath appears, along with his trio of black metal companions. Abbath resembles a member of Kiss but decked out in corpse paints and Conan The Barbarian armour while his backing band are similarly painted but have Matrix outfits on that have seen more than one gun battle. There is a straight slam-bang into

“The Call Of The Wintermoon”, all thrash riffs, and sand-paper vocals but remaining melodic and catchy. Abbath himself is less a lofty, serious-minded individual as one might think a black metal musician to be, but instead stalks the stage like an 80s cock rocker would. He pokes his tongue out like that fella from Kiss, his is also a large tongue, fist bumps the audience at moments and plays out cheer and response games more than once. For such glacial-minded music, the showman act makes it fun and engaging but never to the point of parody or cheese. 

The metal muscle of an epic such as ‘At The Heart of Winter’ precludes any such notions, with its drone intro giving way to startling barbed wired riffage and shrieked yet tuneful vocals, the song rises and falls until an abrupt halt and it really was the highlight of the night. In between the troll haunted. songs there is hoarse and engaging banter.

There are now low-lights however, only that it ends after twelve songs but that twelfth song is performed with Abbath doning a fucking horned helmet and thrashing away like there was no tomorrow on Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark). A truly immense way to end a show.

Abbath setlist.

The Call of the Wintermoon
Sons of Northern Darkness
Norden on Fire
Nebular Ravens Winter
In My Kingdom Cold
Damned in Black
The Sun No Longer Rises
At the Heart of Winter
All Shall Fall
Withstand the Fall of Time
Blashyrkh (Mighty Ravendark)

You May Also Like

More From Author

+ There are no comments

Add yours