The black clouds were upon Los Angeles, California on Monday March 28th, a sign of rain, and cold winds hitting peoples faces. A tenebrous winter day on a spring night, it was warning Los Angeles of the winter storm approaching, one filled with brutal imagery, cold battles and dark melodies. Abbath the great winter warrior had arrived in Los Angeles followed by other legions of death. Those legions were Tribulation, Skeletonwitch and High On Fire. The setting was at the Regent Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, the center of all things weird. Well weird is an understatement, we saw no painted faces in line to enter this christening of souls by Abbath, and the Legions mentioned above. You would have imagined a line of black and white faces waiting for the doors to open but not this night. The blizzard took place inside a wide space, where the Abbath merch table was placed to your left right across from the bar. This was the right setting to purchase your battle trophies from this brutal war, booze and black metal fest. The tour was brought to us by Decible Magazine, and it the blackest of them all in L.A. The first band on Stage was Tirbulation, who as Johannes Andersson stated “We tend to shred” did not disappoint. Their guitarist Adam Zaars who plays lead guitar gave an epic performance shredding to “Melancholia”, a melodic Swedish Death Metal masterpiece. Meanwhile, Jonathan Hulten played the rhythm giving it that heavy sound and furious riffs. Front man and bassist Johannes Andersson’s voice is diabolical and adds that death metal madness to each song. The never-ending blast by Jakib Ljungberg cannot be forgotten and the double bass pedal was perfected during his act.
There was no doubt this tour had a killer line up, with Skeletonwitch following Tribulation’s act the night was just getting started. With Adam Clemons as the new front man, Skeletonwitch destroyed the stage and Adam claimed his spot during his spectacular performance. Nate “N8 Feet Under” Garnette and Scoot Hedrick showcased their guitar skills. The moshpit made sure to stay alive during such brutal attack, from this Athens, Ohio. Those cannons by Dustin Boltjes were in conjunction with the beats of Bassist Evan Linger during this Death Metal butchery. The melody in songs like “Beneath Dead Leaves” and “Serpents Unleashed” is what attracts listeners to this melodic death metal band. The tour continues and they will only keep amazing the fans, don’t miss their live killings.
High on fire, was right before the man of the hour, Abbath. Their music is very southern down tuning with a vocalist who can shred mid songs. Mike Pike’s shirtless performance has being pushing the limits and with incredible ability to sing and shred the co-headlined this tour. The upbeat drums by Des Kensel were brutal. Meanwhile Jeff Matz on Bass only completed the ensemble with such heavy distortion and skillful bass notes. Straight from Oakland, California High On Fire came with hunger, one to devour the crowd and create a furious mosh. They showcased a brutal sound with songs like “The Black Plot” ensuring the crowd would have a ringing buzz in their head the following day. The set concluded and the night felt cold and dark as Abbath’s set was being arranged.
Out of the darkness Gabe Seeber stepped into the blasphemous throne, from which heavy cannons would blast. Followed by King Ov Hell, rightfully named, on the bass, defiling it. On rhythm guitar there was a tour filler, who played masterfully, name has not been given yet. We will call him the Mysterious Reaper, as he tore those guitar sounds with ease. No introduction needed for this macabre character, Abbath walked in shredding to “To War” with that killer riff as the whole ensemble manifested a wall of head bangers. Just like in the album, the following song was “Winter Bane” where the blasts by Gabe Seeber were imperative. The sound of Abbath’s devilish voice instilled euphoria and transported you to a cold blizzard. The Regent Theater endured the black metal scene this time. But Abbath was just getting started to create his vicious attack as “Nebular Ravens Winter” hit you in the face. Owning the credits to some of his old band songs, Abbath made sure he showcased with brutal force some classics like “Tyrants” and “One By One”. The crowd wanted blood, and blood spilled as “Count The Dead” played. Abbath stated “Make sure you count your dead” a fucking amazing song performed by these guys. The most vicious songs on this set had to be “Fenrir Hunts” and their closing song “All Shall Fall”. Those sweet trash metal drums, paired with black metal and that sick voice of Abbath is a majestic sound. Women threw bras at this iconic legend, and he graciously picked it up placing it on set. A fan was thrown into the photo pit where Abbath reached out and shook his hand, displaying a sign of respect for a warrior of the pit. “Warriors” which is not on the self-titled album was the highlight of my night, as it is what a warrior wants. The anthem for all black metal lovers should be “Warriors”, as it is “A great day for fire” and well its Abbath’s fucking song. Abbath who is known for his clever crab walk displayed his move multiple times. Abbath is definitely a force to reckon, as his winter cold songs will freeze your empty heart. Tribulation and Skeletonwitch destroyed the opening of this tour in Los Angeles, while High On Fire warmed up the stage for the Nordic act to finalize the cloudy night. If you missed this bone chilling show make sure you look at our gallery for images of the darkness.
Reported By: Hostile Jo