Concert Review with PHOTOS: Mayhem

  Photos by Mark Derricutt

Photos by Mark Derricutt

By Mark Derricutt

Artist: Mayhem with special guests Anno Domini Mortus & Vassafor

Date / Venue: Tuesday January 23rd, 2018 - Kings Arms, Auckland

I've tried starting this three or four times already, and I'm still unsure how to describe, without being cheesy - the mayhem that occurred last night at Auckland's iconic Kings Arms Tavern. Infamous black metal act Mayhem performed their first album DE MYSTERIIS DOM SATHANAS - regarded one of the most influential black metal releases in its entirety.

Tonight was my the first time back to Kings Arms this year, walking in the door and find Mark Peterson behind the sound desk was a surreal sensation much like Alice awakening from her dream - Mark was there with a shiny new desk, an international heavyweight act on the bill, and a venue already packing itself out even before the first band had started.

Opening with New Zealand's long-standing purveyors of darkness - Anno Domini Mortus graced the stage for their final swansong after 13 years, followed by Vassafor - a perfect match for Mayhem, and a fitting way to enter the last days of The Kings Arms life. Both bands delivered pummelling sets of black metal, a relentless barrage of sound - whilst Anno had the help of the dying twilights sun to offset flood lights behind the stage, Vassafor were shrouded in total darkness.

And then it was time for Mayhem - with sweat dripping from everywhere, the whole evening was a humid sauna befitting a torture pit from Hell, the air became thick as dry ice mixed with sweat, and the circle pit rose from behind - our bodies crushed against the stage as we tried to document the show, between spleens and stomachs being impaled upon the fold-backs, and misplaced fists landed on heads, we fought on in quest of…. well - in quest of at least one or two photos followed by an attempt to escaping the pit.

Usually this isn't so difficult, once you whether the storm that is a song, calculating just how many bodies you need to pass to get your freedom; you make a beeline for side-of-stage during that moment between songs, but tonight - it was straight from one song to the other, there was little respite but to make that journey mid-pit.

Kudos to Exordium Mors frontman Scourge Witchfinder - who buffered my escape to fresh air.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE FULL MAYHEM GALLERY