Well, this one was certainly interesting. If you had asked me even a year ago if I ever thought I might see Mayhem live in concert, I would have laughed. I never expected the band to come anywhere near here, yet there they were at The Waiting Room in Omaha last night.
Black Anvil was the opening band, and I honestly was not familiar with them. I had heard the name of the band before, but maybe I had them confused with Black Tusk or something, because I had no idea they were a black metal band. I was actually pretty impressed with them. Their sound was definitely hateful and aggressive, but they are clearly not a pure black metal band. There were a lot of hardcore and thrash influences in their sound, which is borne out by reading into the band's history, coming from Kill Your Idols. They also had some softer moments reminiscent of the latest Watain album. Black Anvil was definitely impressive.
The second band was Immolation, who have been a favorite death metal band of mine for many years. They played a diverse set covering a number of their albums. Immolation is mostly well-known for their jagged riffs and chaotic sound, and that was definitely on display on Sunday night. Combining that with the fact that Ross Dolan is still one of the better death metal vocalists out there made this one of the better death metal performances I have seen. My wife though was less than impressed and seemed annoyed with the facial expressions of guitarist Alex Bouks, commenting that duck lips had no place in metal, other than Steel Panther's Lexxi Foxx. I did not notice.
After a long wait and a message about not using flash to take pictures so as not to upset the atmosphere, Mayhem was up. The band definitely got some use out of their fog machines and burned some incense, which also annoyed my wife. She says she has been sneezing all day. Singer Attila Csihar was mesmerizing, with his theatrical movements, and his varied vocal styles. He was wearing corpse paint and at one point moved around the stage holding what looked like a human skull. At times, Attila seemed to be attempting to channel evil spirits on stage. I was a little disappointed that his mic was not turned up a little higher as he was sometimes very difficult to hear. Mayhem played the entire legendary De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album, which ended up being their entire set. I was happy about this as it represents the best of Mayhem's catalog. Between the fog, lighting, and the intense music, this was probably the darkest atmosphere for any concert I have ever attended.
This concert was probably one of the most memorable concerts I have ever attended. It was truly an experience to see Mayhem live. As much as I enjoyed the Immolation and Black Anvil performances, Mayhem's performance was incredible. This was a concert I will never forget.