Mayhem @ The Fonda Theater - 11/18/2017 -

Mayhem @ The Fonda Theater – 11/18/2017


Mayhem @ The Fonda Theater – 11/18/2017The most controversial yet popular Black Metal band is back in North America for a month long tour taking them across the USA. After a successful run in early 2017, Mayhem is back playing its epic 1994 debut De Mysteriis Dom Sathana in its entirety. Along for the ride this time around is one of the few New York Black Metal bands around, Black Anvil and in direct support, Death Metal veterans Immolation. On Saturday night November 18, this brutal tour made a stop at The Fonda Theater in Los Angeles to unleash its metal thunder on those in attendance.

Black Anvil hit the stage at 8:30pm and played a 35 minute set of Black Metal. Although not overly inspiring the vibe was in line with what this night was about. The crowd certainly got into the music and this overall was a good way to start the night albeit the band played in almost darkness or with heavy backlighting making it virtually impossible to see the band. Rumor was they wore corpse paint but it could not be seen.

Los Angeles was ready for Immolation as the venue was much more crowded at this point as Ross Dolin and band hit the stage and delivered 45 minutes of BRUTAL Death Metal. The band opened the night with the first track “The Distorting Light” off their 2017 release Atonement. Trading off riffs throughout, guitarists Robert Vigna (who has been in the band since 1988 along with Dolan) and new addition Alex Bouks nailed their dissonant harmonics. The band dedicated 2005’s “Swarm of Terror” to both Black Anvil and Mayhem as Immolation caused their own mayhem with crowd surfing fanatical fans. Immolation ALWAYS delivers.

At 10:35pm things got a whole lot sinister . . . the lights went black, and Mayhem’s album cover of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas was displayed on a large backdrop and LOTS of smoke and fog filled the stage. An announcement came over the PA for fans to put their phones away and enjoy the show and to maintain the atmosphere of the performance . . . some obeyed this request; many others could not pass up the opportunity to snap a photo or take a video. The cloaked band took the stage and went right into “Funeral Fog” as singer and focal point of the band Attila took center stage looking as evil as anything out of a Wes Craven movie began an epic performance of the entire De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas album.

Mayhem @ The Fonda Theater – 11/18/2017Immediately fans both young and old were in awe as one of if not the most notorious and scandalous Black Metal bands were right in front of them in the flesh. Attila with his sinister mask/facepaint that resembled a cross between traditional corpse paint and King Diamond put on an epic performance as his body movements and hand gestures seemed to be conjuring up Satan himself as he belted out his ominous and somewhat spooky lyrics in a Black Metal tone that only he can deliver.

Original bassist Necrobutcher draped in a robe (but no corpse paint) moved about as he released his bass lines into the smoke filled stage that had an epic light show to set the perfect mood for the music being delivered. Complimenting Necrobutcher was long time drummer Hellhammer on drums – the fast paced beats and double bass were never-ending. The band continued through De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas, playing all songs in order as on the album.

Towards the end of the set Attila removed his mask revealing an equaling haunting face painted white with black markings. A table was brought out with candles and a skull further convincing that some type of summoning was taking place on stage as Attila moved his hands over the candles and ultimately sang while holding the skull.

The history of Mayhem is well documented and filled with suicide, murder and alleged Church burnings but all that aside, this band delivers raw, blasphemous Black Metal from Norway like nobody else can with a stage performance that rivals any live act in existence.

Mayhem, Immolation and Black Anvil continue this current tour through early December. DO NOT miss this event if you are even the slightest bit into Black Metal – you will be glad you did!

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