The night got off to a blistering start with Noctem, playing a phenomenally heavy and dark set with a passionate performance from all five members. In particular their frontman put on an excellent performance, at one point throwing his microphone stand down (where it remained for the rest of the set) and disappearing off the stage for a short while before returning covered in blood for the remainder of the set! The music was incredible and the band were exceedingly tight – what more can you ask for, especially with an opening band?
Up next was Slegest and although they could have been viewed as the ‘softest’ (if that’s even the right word to use) band of the night due to the slower pace of the majority of their set, they truly kept the momentum going and they seemed to effortlessly merge a multitude of genres into one, with black doom and even groove-influenced sections at times! It was an individual performance and although at times it didn’t feel like the band had much stage presence, the set as a whole was excellent.
Next it was Aeternus‘ turn to take the stage and they utterly dominated, annihilated and destroyed Sound Control. A new discovery for me, their music had brutally heavy sections that were perfect to headbang along to and with such incredible showmanship from all members, it was absolutely impossible not to enjoy their set. Playing for 50 minutes, they churned out belter after belter and there was a brutal heaviness and energy to the set that created a fantastic atmosphere – even with technical difficulties in the middle of their set. The definite highlight of the night for me personally.
After what felt like an age between bands, the room finally came alive when Taake took to the stage after a lengthy intro track. It seemed like they could do no wrong to the enthusiastic room – with yells of TAAKE aplenty – and they fed off the strong crowd reaction, which reflected in their performance. Enigmatic frontman Hoest gave a strong performance and he truly exerted himself onstage, whether that was by doing high kicks, moving around with a mysterious aura or just straight-out screaming into the microphone, he gave it his all – hissy fit aside, when he threw the microphone down onto the floor after yelling about it not working!
Something especially refreshing to note about the show (amidst a multitude of incredible songs) was how tight-knit the tour clearly was, evidenced with Taake inviting members of Aeternus and Slegest back onstage for one song and you could really tell how close everyone was, which was a pleasure to witness.
It’s rare to attend a gig where every single band puts on a quality performance, but that’s exactly what happened here because there was no ‘weak link’ and every band stood out in their own right. An incredible night.