Live Review - The Heretic March (Thron, Slaughter Messiah, Abyssic, Imperium Dekadenz, Psychonaut4, Nargaroth) - Resonanzwerk Oberhausen - 03/24/24

Saturday - such a lovely day to drive across the A40 which is one of Germany's busiest highways. Fortunately I left my home quite early to arrive just in time to see German shooting stars Thron as the first band at that festival. With their latest album Dust they offered some really cool, highly melodic and catchy black metal Dissection-style. So I was curious to see and hear if they can keep the high quality from their studio-albums on stage. And what can I say – yes, they do. Kicking off with 'Dying In The Mud' which is also the opener on Dust, they fully convinced me (and the audience) to their craft. The whole performance was full of energy and the sound was great. You could easily recognize every song they played and the guys focused mainly on material from Dust but they also referred to its predecessor Pilgrim with three songs. This was some good stuff to start the metal afternoon (although I don't exactly know why the guys had to open the gig because in my opinion they had earned a later slot).


Now it was time for some slaughter. Belgian speed-black maniacs Slaughter Messiah entered the stage and took no prisoners. After a sinister intro they attacked with their first strike 'Slaughter Messiah' which is one of their earliest songs back from the demo tape from 2011. Great and really psycho. The vocal performance of Lord Sabathan (who really is a metal maniac with all the old-school heavy metal patches on his battle vest) is really unearthly and it is fun to see him screaming and yelling his lungs out. Obviously they had a very good day that Saturday and showed that to the crowd. I personally liked that they didn't focus too much on their full-length album Cursed To The Pyre from 2020 (a new EP is coming later this year!) but also on some older stuff from their EPs and a new track ('Exorcized To None'). Hopefully the guys will come around soon again to do some more live slaughter.

Setlist: Intro / Slaughter Messiah / From The Tomb… / Pouring Chaos / Descending To Black Fire / Black Speed Terror / Bells Of Damnation / The Hammer Of Ghouls / Crypt Of The Undead / Exorcized To None


Shame on me, I never had heard anything about Norwegian doom-deathers Abyssic before, even though they are currently signed to Osmose and already released three regular studio albums. So I actually didn't know what to expect but what the Norwegians did that early evening was really fantastic. First of all the wardrobe of the guys and the lady looked really great (dress award together with Nargaroth), especially drummer Tjodalv (yeah, you're right, that's the ex-drummer from Dimmu Borgir or Old Man's Child) had a very special disguise for the first songs (interesting fact: they only played songs from their debut A Winter's Tale and the third album Brought Forth In Iniquity). And second, the music was some kind of both, relaxing and stirring. Abyssic were spreading a very special atmosphere with the contrast between dark growls, very heavy guitars and the contrabass vocalist Memnoch was playing here and there. If I had to describe their style of music, I would say that if Theatre Of Tragedy would have chosen the dark and non-kitschy way back on their first album, it might have turned out like them, combined with some more doomy influences like Aeternus. This was a remarkable gig and with that they have at least one more fan now.

Setlist: Funeral Elegy / Cold As Winter Storm / Chronicle Of The Dead / Sombre Dreams / Mirror Of Sorrow / Djevelens Lys


Now it was another debut time. Germans Imperium Dekadenz played with their new line-up for the first time. Their new guitarist Ursus debuted as well as C. as their new drummer so that Vespasian fully switched to bass activities. Starting with 'Bis Ich Bin' from their 2019 album When We Are Forgotten they had an easy game with the audience. They got really strong support from the sold-out Resonanzwerk and had a lot of fun on the stage which they also gave back to the audience. Songs they played were from almost every album, only Meadows Of Nostalgia wasn't regarded in the set-list. If you didn't know that they guys were playing the first time on stage together, you really wouldn't have noticed that. Their gig was flawless and the music came over really great. I hadn't expected so much power from them, thumbs up for Imperium Dekadenz!


The female metal fans (especially) in the first row were highly expecting Psychonaut 4. A lot of them cheered for them when they entered the stage and a lot of songs were sung along by them, too. Their casual mixture of black metal and kind of depressive rock was quite entertaining and came over not as half as depressive and average as on CD and way much better than Shining did on their latest albums. This was a furious show with vocalist Graf who kneeled, screamed, and jumped into the photo pit to shake hands with the fans. This was a show which was over way too soon because of its intensity.


Last but not least it was Nargaroth's turn. This band is highly controversial if they are trve or not and this essential problem in the black metal scene couldn't be solved that evening either. But what you could see was a band that had a lot of joy on the stage and who didn't take themselves too seriously. Vocalist Ash made some jokes about his age (guess he has seen Lethal Weapon too often) and that his spikes are way too heavy but this really made the gig very likable and entertaining. Apart from this show, they kicked ass pretty much and convinced me to check their stuff once again. Actually, I don't know if this all was true or just some kind of show, but I liked it. And so did at least 95% of the audience, too. This was a fantastic old-school black metal gig with nothing to complain about. And since I am making compliments now I would also like to compliment the entire Redback Promotion crew who delivered a fantastic festival with great bands and an unforgettable evening once more.

Entered: 4/10/2024 3:17:57 PM
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