Varathron @ Baroeg, Rotterdam, 31 March 2018

This was the second day in a row I travelled to the Baroeg in Rotterdam. Fortunately it is quite close by. This day it was the host to the 6th installment of the Veneration of the Dead festival. Normally, I am not much into black metal, but I do make some exceptions. In particular when a cult band like Varathron are playing. They have never played before in the Benelux despite existing for some 30 years. Heck, looking at setlist.fm they only played very rarely in the past. So plenty of reason to go to the Baroeg, on this Sunday.

I skipped the first band Bloodtomb altogether and the Belarussian band Pestilentia was almost finished as I arrived. The first band I actually saw was the Frisian Lubugre. Straight up black metal, pretty much in line with the Norwegian style. It bored me rather quickly and the band themselves seemed not all that interested either.

Then it was time for Varathron who were supposed to play a full-length set of 75 minutes. Nice! After the changeover the intro sounded over the PA. Then sounded the familiar tunes of the Greek style black metal, highly atmospheric and quite melodic. The band was dressed in hoods and some face paint. The set was mostly comprised of songs of the debut album His Majesty at the Swamp, the demo and a few tracks from the second album Walpurgisnacht. Which is by far their best material. Necroabyssious actively engaged with the crowd, while the band played very tightly. Despite even a few technical problems with a cymbal and a guitar strap. A new song got played in the form of Tenebrous of the soon to be released album, sounded a bit different from the older material, much like the other two new songs they played. Awesome gig from a cult act.

The last band already of the evening was the Belgian cult band Ancient Rites. Apparently they haven’t played live much recently. People even come over from abroad to see them. Nevertheless I never much cared for them. They had no bass player which made the sound a bit thin. The vocals are awful, especially the more or less clean vocals. All in all it was okayish, so I stayed till the end of the gig, but I won’t become a fan of them.

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