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Lyon, France @ Ninkasi Kao, Sunday 12 / 03 / 2006

by Audrey Dujardin


Dark Funeral finally came back to Lyon, after 7 years, when they were on the Satanic Inquisition tour together with Dimmu Borgir. I was starting to wonder if it was something I said. But finally they came back, with an armada of Scandinavians, namely their compatriots of Naglfar from Umeå and the Helsinki dwellers Amoral. Also on the bill were Teutons Endstille who travelled on the same nightliner as Amoral. This means a completely black metal line-up except for Amoral.

Otargos opened the ceremonies with grim corpse painted black metal around 19h15. The atmospheres of true black metal were there: corpse paint and attitude included… But you know what… They’re really a little too unimaginative and basic for my taste. A decent opening band however.


Up next were Amoral. Supporting the release in 2005 of their sophmore album Decrowning, the young Finns began with the boombastic Showdown, opening track on their record too. They quickly set the pace for the rest of their show: a lot of energy, a good use of the space on stage, a great technical mastering, and a lot of spontaneity for a band so young. Musically speaking, this could be compared to something Soilword-like, but with a little more thash, reminding me of Vader, for the extreme aspects and Meshuggah for the heavy and more rhythmically tortured parts. I’m glad that we were granted with some good wholesome blast beating and very quick double bass drumming, especially on Drug of choice. But the best thing about Amoral is that there is never anything overdone. The music and show are amazingly intense and particularly efficient. If I may say so, that evening they stole the show away from their black metal cohorts… And added a touch of energy and innovation in an otherwise entirely black metal line-up.


Third up were Endstille and its true Black Metal, Darkthrone-style. Consquently, that meant lousy sound and simplistic imagery. I don’t really have much to add about the band apart from underlining that the vocalist seemed to spend more time whining than singing.

I quickly forgot Endstille and preferred to concentrate on Naglfar instead. The now typical Kris-style leather tunic was of course the main stage prop, and i’m starting to wonder if Kris isn’t actually nuts to persist in wearing that thing on stage, with the lights and all. I’m not sure how comfortable that thing must be, and I’ve seen him wear it for a year now… I can only imagine what it’s like to actually have to breath with that cloak on! However, the sound in the venue rang a lot better, making quite a transition with the previous band. Mattias, the drummer, was in much better shape than last time I saw him in Strasbourg for the Xmass Festivals. His parts were a lot cleaner, and crisper, and the lighting on stage was mainly directed at him, which actually drew even more attention to him. Musically speaking, Naglfar have never been my absolute favorite band, and I keep hoping that some day they’ll play ‘Enslave the Astral Fortress’ again, but on the whole, Naglfar keep maturing each time I see them live so what the hell.


Finally, after those 7 years, Swedish black metallers Dark Funeral hit the stage. First of all, i’d like to underline a change in stage props and stage outfits. Ahriman kicked out the old SM leathery cross belt, and they all kicked in some kind of Power Rangers from Hell costumes, Batman-style. Second surprise: the very first notes coming out of the (two) guitar amps was really chuffed. In a bad way. Really weak sound. That was really too bad, because the sound techs seemed unable to fix that problem before the end of the (short) show. Third surprise : just when we were starting to get warmed up, and right after Ravenna Strigoi Mortii and Vobiscum Satanas, the band left the stage after announcing the last track of the evening, after only 30 minutes! All the people in the audience were staring at each other, wondering what the heck was going on… And the general astonishment only increased when the lights came back on a few seconds later. The band ended up coming back on stage anyway, Caligula pulling a few gluttonous puffs on his cigarette before throwing a couple gulps of Jaegermeister in the back of his sore throat. Indeed, after several weeks on tour, his voice had been altered by sickness and neither honey nor firewater could help. I remember that seven years ago, Caligula’s voice was already fragile… But I’m not sure that smoke or white alcohol could do much to help. Dark Funeral left the stage after interpreting the excellent My dark desires, together with Kristoffer from Naglfar, who supported Caligula on the last chorus.

On the whole, I was only half impressed by the whole show. A total of 45 minutes for the headliner, that sounds pretty unsatisfying. Of course, I knew that Caligula was sick, but most people in the audience didn’t, which makes them even more disappointed than me. However, it’s always stimulating to see Amoral live. Interesting that it’s the little guys who showed the big dawgs how it’s done…



Links of interest:

Dark Funeral


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