(Our Atlanta-based contributor Tør was in the audience at The Loft on June 6th when the Devastation on the Nation Tour made its stop in Atlanta, and he provides these impressions, with his own excellent photos following the text.)
I have been looking forward to this night for months. The Devastation On The Nation Tour is in full swing, and co-headliners Dark Funeral and Belphegor are being supported by a host of bands including legends Incantation, HATE, Vale of Pnath, Nightmarer, and Malformity.
I make it to The Loft and have to walk up the stairs past some teeny-bopper event going on in the first-floor lounge area. Yes, I am a metal snob. I walk in the middle of HATE’s set, and Sinner’s vocals hit me like a brick. After a short setup, death metal legends Incantation take over the stage. With every riff and groove, I’m reminded of why this band has such a cult following. Incantation embody American death metal in the most imaginative way possible and I have a total blast watching their set.
But the night is about to get even more brutal. Austrian masters Belphegor are up, and I am standing about a foot and a half from the man-giant Helmuth Lehner. In an hour-long set, Belphegor entertain the crowd with their unique blend of blackened death metal, grinding every note with precision and delicate brutality. The crowd go wild with excitement as they watch the bellowing beast salute them with his deep gaze. Belphegor bring all to the table: chaotic riffs, atmosphere, and image. By the time it all ends, I am soaked in sweat and delirious with all the mayhem.
It has been a bloody great night so far, but it is not over yet. I make my way to the tiny photo pit and await the wickedness that is about to grip me. Dark Funeral walk out and kick things off with “King Antichrist”, “Ravenna”, and “Temple of Ahriman”. The setlist has a healthy mix of early and recent albums, perhaps more so than when I saw them last year. “The Secrets of the Black Arts” comes right before the encore. The band finish off a fantastic night with “Unchain My Soul”, “My Funeral”, and “Where Shadows Forever Reign”, one of my favorites from the last album by the same title.
As I leave the venue, I am grateful for having witnessed one of the best shows of the year so far. I blast “In My Dreams” from Angelus Exuro Pro Eternus on my way home and wonder when the new Dark Funeral record will be released.