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6 Gigs That Made My Jaw Drop 0

Xen Oyr of Ne Obliviscaris: Six Gigs That Made My Jaw Drop

Ne Obliviscaris singer Xen Oyr shares the story of six gigs that changed him forever. From Satyricon to Anaal Nathrakh to Triptykon at Hellfest in France, these are the shows that left a permanent mark on this Melbourne-based heavy musician. Xen has also created a playlist soundtrack to this article, check it out here: Xen Oyr Six Gigs Playlist on Spotify. Watch our video interview here: Ne Obliviscaris Void Interview on YouTube.

 

1.SATYRICON @ THE HI-FI, MELBOURNE (2ND DECEMBER 2006)

It’s no secret I grew up on black metal, Satyricon was the first BM band I’d listened to, and their first album ‘Dark Medieval Times’ to this day is still my favourite album. Granted nostalgia may play a small part. In 2005 I’d had an accident and was struggling physically, upon hearing the tour announcement sometime in mid 2006, it gave me hope that things weren’t so terrible. I couldn’t fathom that this Norwegian band who’d I’d absorbed for so many years, was actually coming to Australia. Even when they took to the stage I was still in disbelief.

‘Walk the Path of Sorrow’ opened the show … that intro … then the eruption of black, raw, unbridled passion tore through the venue … it was the most euphoric moment of my life. There I was, on crutches, open mouthed and on the verge of tears. Throughout the show, they very cleverly altered the mix to accommodate for the different eras of their music, being true to how the music was presented on each the albums. When their anthem started, ‘Mother North’… everyone started singing along to the melody, like a huge choir, you could feel the unified feeling in the room … the night will be something that would stay with me forever. I left the venue, a changed person.

A photo posted by Satyricon (@satyriconofficial) on

Xen Oyr (Ne Obliviscaris): Six Gigs Playlist

2. ARCTURUS, VIRGIN BLACK & ASTRIAAL @ ESPLANADE HOTEL, MELBOURNE (ST. KILDA) (31ST MARCH 2007)

This was announced as Arcturus’ last show ever (also their first and last Aus tour), so there was no questioning whether I would go, especially considering I’d been a fan since ‘La Masquerade Infernale’. To top off the hype, two Australian bands, Virgin Black (one of my favourite bands), and Astriaal (‘Renascent Misanthropy’, being the best Aus black metal releases ever) … so the night was already up there being one of the best shows I would ever get to experience.

Astriaal performed a stellar show, however the sound was a little sketchy and loud for the venue, the The Gershwin Room at the Espy is notorious for it’s unpredictable sound. Virgin Black followed quickly afterwards, a complete contrast to the in-your-face black metal half an hour before. Two words I could use to describe their music, beautiful and tragic … Virgin Black is an atmospheric experience, so much emotion and depth to the doom they present, however highly under appreciated. If there’s one band that will move you to tears, it’s them.

Arcturus took to the stage after, in all their space pirate glory, Vortex lumbering forward to the cheers of joy at his massive presence. Upon the first note … the sound was perfect and smooth, one of the only performances where earplugs weren’t needed (so hat off to the sound guy).The show felt like you were feasting in the halls of some cosmic version of Valhalla … an incredible performance, by some amazing musicians … especially with Hellhammer on drums, a juggernaut of impeccable precision, watching him drum was worth the price of admission alone. 

3.ANAAL NATHRAKH @ BRUTAL ASSAULT, CZECH REBUBLIC (8TH AUGUST 2015)

A band I thought I would never see live, however I had the perfect opportunity…playing after them at 2am. The day had been a nightmare, due to a few issues with Tim missing his flight to Czech, for security concerns taking his -violin of mass destruction- onto the plane. Everything turned out fine, but the pent up stress of the day only subsided when Anaal Nathrakh took to the stage. Playing before them, I had the prime position side of stage, while warming up. The rest of NeO didn’t understand my appreciation…whatever. I had reservations as to whether AN could pull off their epic sound live, but I was very wrong, never before had I heard such a grotesquely huge wall of organised chaotic carnage…incredible sound, surgical timing and those vocals; from face scraping screams to soaring majesty…I felt assaulted, yet I loved every minute of it. To be honest, at first I felt like there was no point to playing afterwards, trying to match that (?!)… however the elation of seeing them gave me the adrenalin I needed. We then played one of our best shows of the tour.

A photo posted by @anaalnathrakh on

4.TRIPTYKON @ HELLFEST – FRANCE (CLISSON) (21ST JUNE 2015)

NeO had played earlier in the day and we didn’t need to leave until the next day so it was a rare opportunity to enjoy part of a festival for once. Throughout Hellfest I’d had the chance to watch The Great Old Ones, Tribulation, Cavalera Conspiracy, At the Gates and Samael…but my highlight was Triptykon. I’d never seen Celtic Frost live, and would never get to nowadays … so Triptykon would do, and honestly I like them more.

I watched the first song dead centre in the crowd, to get the initial vibe … the atmosphere was thick, brooding and dark, the smoke poured in and Triptykon began. I was interested to hear how the new material from ‘Melana Chasmata’ would go down live, and it was simply crushing. Everything about it screamed darkness…a lot of black metal bands try to pull off “dark” music but Triptykon’s music (not being BM) is…dark, and it really translates live.

I moved to watch side of stage along with the Cavalera family, it was great to see the respect and Max taking it all in. I can now say that I’ve seen one of the most atmospherically consuming shows I will ever see, their show is like being in the centre of a black hole.

5.BEHEMOTH & MOONSPELL @ RESURRECTION FESTIVAL, SPAIN (18TH JULY 2015)

This was the first festival NeO played on our first European tour, and the only show we’ve played without our bassist, due to equipment not making the plane somewhere on one of the layovers. It’s quite the experience watching your own bass player in the crowd while you play…something I don’t wish to experience again.

First band I wanted to see of the festival was Moonspell, I’d been a fan for many years, ever since hearing ‘Wolfheart’. They’ve always remained somewhat underground and underrated yet their fans have stuck with them, they’re a band who sound like no one else, and have withstood the test of time because of it. Seeing them is unlike any other band, they’re a mixture of so many influences yet have a strong, dark poignant core which I think resounds with people who’re open-minded. It was my first time seeing them and will not be forgotten.

A photo posted by Moonspell (@moonspellofficial) on

Later on in the evening, a lethargic Tim and I found our way to Behemoth. He’d had a long stressful day and I kept glancing over at his tragic expression, he was barely able to stand … however, Behemoth took the stage in all their ritualistic malevolence. I’d seen them many years ago, but that was nothing compared to this, with ‘The Satanist’ filling a lot of the setlist, it could only be a good thing…being the strongest of their albums in years. The show was flawless, the only band I’ve seen that comes close to Behemoth’s somewhat almost choreographed performance is Fleshgod Apocalypse, where every move has purpose and conviction. Nergal is without doubt one of the best frontmen I’ve seen, his presence is huge. I walked away seeing flames everywhere…

A photo posted by Adam Nergal Darski (@nergal69) on

6.DIARY OF DREAMS @ KULTURFABRIK, GERMANY (KREFELD) (28TH OCTOBER 2011)

Despite my heavy diet of black metal, contrary to what most believe, I do listen to a very broad range of music, and have a soft spot for the European darkwave scene. Germans, DoD are a mixture of industrial, goth, electronic/synth, hard rock, heavy beats and deep vocals, not for everyone but there’s a certain brooding charisma about them which really appeals to me. I’d seen them with dark electronica band, Covenant in Melbourne some years ago, however the Australian “goth” scene, is quite small and overall rather lazy to be honest when it comes to attending shows…hence this show had a tragic turnout and I honestly felt sorry for the bands.

To see them in their own country was an opportunity not to be missed (I was in Europe on holiday), arriving just as the support band was finishing unfortunately, the crowd was packed and this was the audience they deserved. You could tell DoD were playing to people who understood them, one of the most diverse black-wearing crowds I’d seen before. The energy of the show was incredible, the crowd feeding off the very charismatic frontman, Adrian Hates as he sang with the dirge-like deepness of Peter Steele…surrounded by crunching guitars, thick atmosphere and danceable beats. The show was almost tribal in feel, that night the people there did not care what the world thought, and neither did Diary of Dreams…Everyone there understood … No fucks given.

Words: Xen Oyr, Ne Obliviscaris

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