As another weekend strikes, the heavy maniacs of SoCal have gathered over at The Hi-Hat for a spectacular set to have ever landed. Better captioned as an “All Killer, no Filler” type of gig with acts from near and very far. With a full capacity and sold out show and on the infamous 4/20 no less, 5 blasphemous sets of pure heavy madness. For the first time in the history of the states, the swamp lords Kalmah have finally been able to grace us with their presence. Hailing all the way from Finland, these titans put on one swamphell of a show along with Norwegian fiends Vreid and supporting acts Empyrean Throne, Wormwitch and Imperialist. A climactic event full of screams and shreds too good to miss.
First to start off the evening are the sci-fi black thrashing locals of Imperialist who reside in the LA area. The 4 piece hellions drew quite a crowd for openers as production managed to give incentives for early comers which in term had the space filling quite fast. With empowering fury and tempos varying from fast and slow-paced rhythms, the band has already set the mood for the types of vibes that are to be felt this evening. Any fan of blast beats combined with euphoric screams are definitely in for a treat due to the energy these gents put forth into their writing. Currently the band has come out with their latest album Cipher jam-packed with supersonic tracks all geared towards a rich symphonic blackened themed piece of art, highly worth taking a listen to.

Imperialist:
1. Binary Coalescence
2. The Singularity
3. Call of Vulcain
4. Advent Anathema
5. Mercurian Dusk

Canada has been introducing us to newer bands lately and what an excellent addition to follow the next set than the mighty Wormwitch hailing just from above us in Vancouver, BC. I had only heard about this band so seeing them on the stage and witnessing the pack that they punch by really pumping up the crowd gives you the sense that they mean business. With an incoming horde of more fans entering by the second this act keeps bringing the heat with
jams such as Disciple of the Serpent Star and Two Wolves. Your only choice is to participate with the heavy
blackened death tones. With a small venue such as the Hi-Hat, it’s both good and bad to be in such close proximity to
these bands leaving the benefit of closer interactions which feels both parties, sure maybe it’ll get tight but better than having barricades and seeing the band from afar. The best way to describe this band in particular would be malevolently epic, the stage presence and aura thrown out is a great setting. While also supporting as a guest act in this tour, the band is also touring with black metal titans Uada in The Spectral Storm Tour which also runs through the rest of this month towards the north of the states. You don’t know what you’re missing unless you’re out catching this band on stage earring it up!

Wormwitch:
1. Dancing in the Ashes
2. Disciple of the Serpent Star
3. Weregild
4. Two Wolves
5. Midnight Sun
6. Lord of Chains

Just south of Los Angeles and in the surrounding Orange County dwells another set of heathens known as
Empyrean Throne. I can’t get enough of the local bands and always astonished as to how many of them
are just a short distance away. I am highly admirable when it comes to groups who have their own set of
charismatic functions and developing presence. E.T. is just that, with their brute force 300 film style-themed
antics the name definitely gives context. Once drawn into the essence through their visual appeal for rituals and chaos,
you get that technical blackened Behemoth elements. With a few hardcore pulses you’re able to feel the type of power
they bring forth to the crowd with killer tracks such as The Twilight Order and Usurping the Obsidian God. It’s a most perfect style of creativity thrown in the mix, fiery lights, stage props, black/death riffs of pure vile hate has you in the adrenaline rush type of mood. E.T. will continue supporting Kalmah up until the very next month of May and is bringing heavy doses of tyrannical fury, be sure to be a part of the spectacle. As if the evening was not finished, yet another group of iconic mortals hit the stage. With a new name and no strangers to the stage is Vreid or better known in their younger days as the very dark and brutal Windir which consists of all original members excluding the very late Valfar. For most who have been followers from the very beginning there are distinct differences between the two but also have some styles that adhere to its predecessor. Vreid delivers a more revamped and versatile style of music which they have made to present themselves evil tracks like Black Rites in the Black Knights and my favorite, Solverv. The only and best elements to expect is the dark spirit of unholy tracks that are the embodiment making this band whole. Of course what is a great tribute to the golden days like a ‘cover’ from your former band which had the crowd going nuts during the segment of Journey to the End. Banger after banger its a sight to behold in getting the opportunity to witness such godlike beings as Vreid.

Vreid:
1. Når Byane Brenn
2. Black Rites in the Black Knights
3. Disciplined
4. Solverv
5. Raped by Light
6. Lifehunger
7. Journey to the End (Windir Cover)
8. Flowers & Blood
9. One Hundred Years
10. Pitch Black

The moment was finally here as the crowd chants “bring out the Swamp Lords” which can only be the forth calling to
legends Kalmah, after so long and many years can finally make history by playing for a full house filled with the fans that enjoy true melodic death metal. Coming from Finland’s finest to destroy the evening in a setlist full of monstrous jams from past and new hymns like They Will Return, The Evil Kin and Swamphell the band delivers. The only goal for the evening is to give the people what they have been wanting and waiting on for so long. Over an hour of chants and killer riffs from all sides of the spectrum be it guitars, bass, effect and who could forget drums. The basis of this group surpasses the rest with its harmonic instrumentals and beautifully crafted rhythms, singer and frontman
Pekka Kokko assures face melting riffs and licks are just a fraction of the entertainment without the hellish leads from Antti Kokko and remarkable fills in effects by keyboardist Veli Kananen. To merely spectate such icons as these is too good of an opportunity to pass up and should highly be taken advantage of to finally see greatness in the flesh!

Kalmah:
1. Hook the Monster
2. They Will Return
3. The Evil Kin
4. For the Revolution
5. Pikemaster
6. The Groan of Wind
7. Swamphell
8. Moon of My Nights
9. Seventh Swamphony
10. 12 Gauge
11. Take me Away
12. Principle Hero
13. Heroes to Us
Encore:
1. The Black Waltz
2. Hades

 

Kalmah

 

Vreid

 

Empyrean Throne

 

Wormwitch

 

Imperialist

I mainly go to rock and metal concerts.
Misael
View all posts by Misael
Misaels website
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