It should go without saying that Daniel Drexel (Enthauptung) knows how to set a “black metal” atmosphere. Last night, inside a lodge at Powder Mills Park in Pittsford, NY, we witnessed his latest show concoction come to life. It was a 3 band bill, made up of Mavradoxa (a killer new black metal outfit with a melodic/melancholic edge), The Highest Leviathan (a frightening, cataclysmic bombardment of savory doom) and Enthauptung (unmerciful atmospheric black metal).
Each time I see Enthauptung, I come to appreciate the environment they expertly shroud themselves in more and more. The lights go down, the candles lit, herbs burning, a variety of scents filling the room, and a stage show that requires no introduction, awkward frontman segways in between songs, or flashy showboating during songs. Enthauptung is about their music and how they want it to make you feel, nothing more.
Knowing all this going into last night’s event, it was nice to see that a similar mentality, atmosphere (darkness, candles, herbs and all) and presence were transferred into the other two acts’ sets, as it was a “Daniel Drexel event”, if you will. Mavradoxa and The Highest Leviathan also had very little to say in between songs (if anything) and both bands just powered through their sets with ferocity and a mutual desire to connect with their audience through music alone.
I’ve listened to The Highest Leviathan off and on for what’s going on two years at least (since we added them to our first local comp in summer 2015), but last night was my first time seeing them live. For just a 3-piece (vocals, guitar, drums), they sounded just as powerful (if not more powerful) than any 4 to 5-piece band going for the same quality doom sound.
As for up and comers, Mavradoxa, it was my first time seeing them live as well, but I’d luckily already had an opportunity to review their debut release, Sojourners (click here for the review), so I knew exactly what I was in for, musically. But seeing them in an intimate live setting, shrouded in darkness and despair, made for an infinitely better experience. I love this band. Their sound is so dark, authoritative, yet sad and foreboding all at once. I love the album and spin it regularly.
Not much more can be said for Enthauptung here. I’ve been praising their albums, A Forming Void and Adirondack on here since around the time we first put up the blog. Theirs is a black metal sound so “true to form”, yet so refreshed that we’re just lucky to have them in this scene (even more so now that Drexel has to cross multiple state lines to go to band practice).
It was great seeing so many familiar faces (new and old) last night, coming together for this unique event. Many thanks again go to Drexel for keeping Western New York metal a priority and returning from time to time to give us performances like these. Hails!