My Comrade of Destruction, (who will henceforth be referred to as my CoD), and I were lucky enough to go see the triple threat of Helleborus, Dark Funeral, and Septicflesh on their recent trip through Denver, CO. With a crowd that gradually grew both in numbers and in excitement, we waited for the lights to dim, and the music to gush from the speakers in an unrelenting wave of metal. We were not disappointed.
Helleborus, hailing from Manitou Springs, Colorado was the first band to inundate us with their music. Beautifully heavy, with growls that are visceral, while still being quite understandable. A double kick drum set that tore through the space, a little cymbal heavy, but not enough to throw off the balance. The double guitars and bass played off each other, guitars howling and bass throbbing to fill out the sound. All the layers blended together into a dark, reverberating parfait.
The next band to take the stage was Dark Funeral who hails from Stockholm, Sweden. Donning traditional death metal warpaint, wearing black and leather, and jumping onstage with a scream, Dark Funeral kicked off their set brutally. With a lead alternating between growls and screams, racing guitars, a heavy bass line, and pounding drums, Dark Funeral is a well rounded example of great death metal. They also have very heavy influences from both black metal and thrash metal, and this brings a little more depth to their performance. Dark Funeral reminded us of how to gain pleasure while watching the world burn.
Septicflesh, who calls Athens, Greece home, was the final band on our plate, and they were worth the wait. The pioneers of Hellenic death metal sound, blending symphonic death metal with doom metal, took the stage at a late hour. The crowd was beginning to wane in energy, but the wall of sound that was blasted out at us kicked the energy up higher than it had been all night. Lyrics alternating between growling and clean singing, furious and lyrical guitars, driving bass, and fast and well balanced drums made a lush and doom filled melody. Septicflesh is masterful at drawing energy from the crowd while throwing it back, in an heavy, driving, pounding, growling, demanding way.
I gave this show a 7 star rating, because it’s like that sandwich that has amazing bread, but the filling is just meh. Helleborus and Septicflesh were brilliant, but Dark Funeral was just meh. And it would probably have been an 8, but due to circumstances beyond their control, Thy Antichrist was unable to play the show. Which made me & my CoD rather sad.