Ben from Valhalla has been busy in Wellington for the last few years fulfilling metal heads dreams with the high calibre of acts he has preforming at his venue. I have seen quite a few of my heroes perform there and tonight was another such night. Long may it continue.
Gorguts from the States and Marduk from Sweden are almost opposites in a lot of ways, but when it comes to extreme metal they are both the same and certainly can deliver.
Gorguts' set was around 45 minutes long with only 3 songs but we were treated to the epic Pleiades Dust coming in at just over 30 minutes. This was an amazing showcase of stamina, talent and brutality that left you stunned to have witnessed it. I was more than impressed by their performance. The audience were given a lesson on how itís done and responded in kind, with the pit chaotic as hell.
Marduk delivered a blistering set of black metal. Their set was primarily comprised of the 1996 album Heaven Shall Burn played in its entirety with some other goodies tagged on at the end. This set is only being played around 12-13 times worldwide before they return to normal set lists so it was an honour to get 2 of those shows in NZ. Mortuus commanded from the stage as soon as they stepped up and the pit went mental. Another lesson was given on how to play extreme metal and at the end I knew I had just seen two masters of their craft.
The best thing about Valhalla is that itís a fairly small venue. That might seem crazy but getting this close to these bands is something that you wouldnít get in many other places in the globe. It gives the fans a unique experience and the bands fed off that too, as they probably never get that close either. Very small green room area means bands walk through some of the crowd to get to the stage and more often than not the bands hang out to watch the other bands play or have a few drinks.