Mayhem, Inquisition, and Black Anvil Live At The TLA!! Philadelphia, PA 2/16/17

Recently the epic Norwegian black metal band MAYHEM released De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive, which is a live version of their 1994 album De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas. This tour they plan to play the entire record  each night. The band was formed over thirty years ago and has an incredible, though sometimes unpleasant, story. Books have been written and movies have been made. In fact, check out the book Lords of Chaos if you want to know more about MAYHEM’S history and black metal in general.



BLACK ANVIL opened the show at the TLA. They are a thrash-black metal band from New York City. The band was started about ten years ago by former members of the New York hardcore outfit KILL YOUR IDOLS. They recently released their fourth studio album As Was in January. Their set really started off the night right.



INQUISITION was originally formed in the late 80’s by singer and guitarist Dagon in Cali, Colombia and eventually moved to Seattle, Washington. The band is currently a two piece with Incubus on drums and of course Dagon. They’re touring in support of last year’s release Bloodshed Across the Empyrean Altar Beyond the Celestial Zenith. They played some songs from that album including “From Chaos They Came,” “Vortex From the Celestial Flying Throne of Storms,” and “A Magnificent Crypt of Stars.”



INQUISITION has a classic black metal sound with a unique vocal style, that is often described as reptilian, though in person it sounded almost robotic. They put out an inhuman amount of sound for two people and the crowd loved every minute of it.



Finally the band everyone had been waiting to see, MAYHEM! After a brief announcement asking the audience not to use cell phones or flash photography; the group entered the darkened stage in their black robes. Starting the show at the beginning of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas with “Funeral Fog” and played the album in order all the way through. Their stage set includes ghostly figures that stand behind the band and are some of the only light on stage.



There are no spotlights and few foreground lights, keeping the band as creepy hooded silhouettes most of the time. There is also an altar on stage with candles and a skull. Their sound while almost deafening has a hypnotic quality that you really have to experience for yourself. Although, if you didn’t get to see this tour you can always listen to De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas Alive.



LIVE IMAGES AND WORDS: MEGAN C. BROOKS PHOTOGRAPHY


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