Behemoth, the Polish titans of blackened death metal, descended upon Reverb Nightclub in Reading, Pennsylvania, and left an indelible mark on the city’s metal scene. The night was marked by sheer sonic devastation, awe-inspiring theatrics, and a palpable sense of dark energy that permeated the venue.
Fans adorned in black, leather, and elaborate corpse paint gathered in anticipation of the blasphemous ritual that was about to unfold. The moment the doors creaked open, the congregation surged forward, and the air became charged with a sense of anticipation.
Photos and Article by @A.J.Kinney
Imperial Triumphant’s performance as the opening act was nothing short of a mind-bending journey into the depths of extreme metal and avant-garde artistry. From the moment they took the stage, it was clear that the audience was in for a unique and unforgettable experience.
The band’s stage presence was both captivating and eerie, with their elaborate costumes and masks creating an atmosphere of mystique and intrigue. The dimly lit venue only added to the ambiance, enhancing the overall sense of otherworldly immersion.
Musically, Imperial Triumphant push the boundaries of extreme metal with their dissonant and experimental compositions. Their fusion of black metal, death metal, and jazz elements create a strangely beautiful sonic landscape that was as challenging as it was enticing. The technical prowess of the band members was evident as they navigated through complex rhythms and intricate melodies with precision and skill.
The crowd’s response to Imperial Triumphant’s performance was mixed, as their avant-garde approach may have been too unconventional for some Behemoth fans expecting a more straightforward black metal show. However, for those open to pushing the boundaries of the genre, Imperial Triumphant’s set was a mesmerizing and thought-provoking experience.
While it may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, it undoubtedly left a lasting impression on those willing to embrace the band’s unique blend of chaos and creativity. The opening set was a fitting precursor to both Twin Temple, and Behemoth’s powerful and theatrical performances, making for an unforgettable night.
Twin Temple, the devilishly enchanting duo, took the stage on a night that was destined to be filled with occult rituals and musical mystique. As direct support for Behemoth, one of black metal’s most iconic bands, Twin Temple had big shoes to fill, and they did so with a spellbinding performance.
Twin Temple emerged in their signature black attire, adorned with pentagrams and occult symbols. Their stage presence exuded confidence, and the crowd couldn’t help but be drawn into their world of dark magic.
Musically, Twin Temple’s blend of retro doo-wop and rockabilly with a satanic twist is a unique and refreshing departure from the typical lineup you’d expect at a metal show. Their tight musicianship and powerful vocals, led by Alexandra James, resonated through the venue, creating an eerie yet irresistible ambiance.
The setlist was carefully curated, featuring tracks from their debut album, “Twin Temple (Bring You Their Signature Sound… Satanic Doo-Wop),” including standout songs like “Lucifer, My Love” and “Sex Magick.” These tracks, with their haunting melodies and seductive lyrics, provided a bewitching soundtrack to the night.
What truly set Twin Temple apart was their theatricality. The band’s performance felt like a ritualistic ceremony, complete with incense, candles, and symbolic gestures. Alexandra James and Zachary James have a magnetic chemistry on stage, making their portrayal of dark romanticism utterly convincing.
As Twin Temple’s set came to a close, the band had successfully set the tone for an evening of darkness and mysticism. Their unique blend of genres and their dedication to creating an otherworldly experience made Twin Temple a fitting opening act for a night of metal and the occult.
As the lights dimmed and an eerie, haunting intro filled the air, the stage became cloaked in an ominous fog. Silhouettes of the band members emerged, each more grotesque and imposing than the last. Frontman Nergal, cloaked in an elaborate robe and wielding his signature inverted cross microphone stand, looked every bit the dark priest presiding over a macabre ceremony.
The set opener “Wolves ov Siberia” unleashed a torrent of sonic malevolence upon the crowd. The band’s musicianship was nothing short of exceptional, with Nergal’s relentless guitar riffs and Inferno’s thunderous drumming forming the backbone of their monstrous sound. Orion’s bass lines resonated like a looming cataclysm, while Seth’s lead guitar work added layers of sinister melody to the chaos.
One of the highlights of the evening was the performance of “O Father O Satan O Sun!” The song’s ominous chants and ritualistic atmosphere transported the audience to the depths of the abyss. The stage itself seemed to come alive, with plumes of smoke, and unholy symbols adding to the otherworldly spectacle.
Behemoth’s ability to seamlessly blend their musical prowess with a theatrical stage presence was truly mesmerizing. Nergal’s commanding demeanor, complete with dark incantations, kept the audience enamored throughout the set. The band’s use of dim lighting, and heavy smoke created an immersive experience that felt like a descent into the depths of Hell itself.
The crowd responded with relentless fervor, forming rather chaotic mosh pits and raising horns high in salute to the infernal forces at play. Behemoth’s loyal followers, known as the “Legions,” sang along with every blasphemous lyric, forging a connection between band and audience.
As the night culminated in the cataclysmic finale of “Chant for Eschaton 2000,” it was evident that Behemoth’s performance had left an indelible mark on the souls of everyone present. The atmosphere was charged with an eerie sense of reverence and awe as the band exited the stage, leaving their followers in a state of cathartic ecstasy.
Behemoth’s show was a dark and transcendental experience that showcased the band’s mastery of both their music and their craft. It was not merely one of their most intimate concerts in over a decade; it was a ritualistic descent into the abyss, and those who bore witness will carry its energy with them forever. Behemoth had proven once again that they are true masters of the blackened arts, and their performance at this tiny nightclub in Reading, Pennsylvania will be etched into the annals of metal history.