Nefarious Orations: Inquisition live in Kansas City, MO 09/08/17
This Friday night, it seemed like most people are clinging on to summer as long as they can – Westport was jam-packed with people in t-shirts, shorts and flip-flops enjoying a street art fair. However, the Riot Room hosted four extreme metal bands who seemed anxious to usher in the harsh winter cold that came along with their music. Corpsepainted duo Inquisition headlined a bill packed out with robed atmospheric black metal group Uada, chaotic Quetzalcoatl-worshippers Volahn and spike-and-leather brandishing Garoted brought a night of black metal to put a definitive end to the season.
Starting the evening off with a bang was Nebraska’s Garoted. Although they may come from out of state, they were welcomed as locals from the heavy metal crowd at the Riot Room. Although Garoted’s brand of black-tinged death metal is straight to the point, it’s anchored by a chaotic unstoppable tempo and a stellar performance from drummer Nolan Weber. Although all members of Garoted performed with a fierceness that was palpable, Weber’s insane talent on the drums was truly a sight to behold. One of the best show-opening metal sets Kansas City has seen all year.
Volahn is at the heart of the Black Twilight Circle – a collective of black metal musicians based out of California known for their primal song melodies and fascination with the band member’s own pre-Hispanic and Aztec roots. Volahn’s music is equal parts Les Legions Noires (look it up, kids) black metal and ritualistic Latin American hooks and melodies. Amidst the typical black metal blastbeats and tremolo picking lies soaring riffs and rabid, maniacal vocals. Usually such intricate parts of complicated songs don’t really come through live as they do on album – thankfully the sound at the Riot Room was phenomenal the entire night and Volahn’s entire arsenal sounded impeccably heavy for their entire performance. It’s a bit of a welcome departure from all the songs about Satanism and darkness to welcome in some ancient Aztec history lessons from one of the best up-and-coming extreme metal bands in the country right now.
Black metal bands do two things very well – extreme, non-stop speed and melodic, atmospheric brooding. Uada, newcomers from Portland, OR, are the latter. With the band (sans drummer) set up on the floor of the Riot Room and with a smoke machine flooding the venue so much that it was impossible to see from one side of the crowd to the other, Uada performed their entire debut album “Devoid of Light” to a raucous reception of headbangers. Known for layering riffs and melodies on top of each other, melodic black metal is a more deliberately paced and deliberately played style than its more frantic brothers. Uada’s music was much more thick and atmospheric in a live setting than on record – the fact that all the members were cloaked in hoods and surrounded by thick white smoke helped get Kansas City in the mood.
For a two-man group, Inquisition sounds like a cacophonous wrecking ball. Guitarist/vocalist Dagon is such an unsung master of his craft – not a single sound comes out of his amps unless he specifically wants it to. Luckily, most of the time a swirling torrent of crashing riffs is spewing out over the audience at 666 BPM. Although Inquisition rarely play anything under the “insanely fast” setting, sometimes they break down into a few more laborious movements, such as the chanting track “Dark Mutilation Rites” or the hypnotizing “Desolate Funeral Chant.” The crowd was extremely physical during Inquisition’s set (which is to be expected now), none more so than Inquisition’s unexpected encore of the fan favorite “Crush the Jewish Prophet.” The sweaty, exhausted Kansas City black metal crowd left the Riot Room and back out into the fleeting Summer night after 4 hours of face-blistering extreme music. Bring on the winter.
From Chaos They Came
Hymn for a Dead Star
Dark Mutilation Rites
Ancient Monumental War Hymn
Command of the Dark Crown
The Realm of Shadows Shall Forever Reign
Vortex From the Celestial Flying Throne of Storms
Embraced by the Unholy Powers of Death and Destruction
Infinite Interstellar Genocide
Astral Path to Supreme Majesties
Desolate Funeral Chant
A Magnificent Crypt of Stars
Crush the Jewish Prophet
Devoid of Light
Our Pale Departure
Black Autumn, White Spring