Not one, not two, but sixteen years have passed since the last time the Norwegians were in Greece for a live show. So, many thought that an opportunity to see them again could not be missed. Of course, when the night ended, probably some of them might had regrets about their decision.
But, let’s start from the beginning. I arrived at the venue at 20:30 and found already a very big waiting line. I don’t think that the doors opened after the programmed hour, because the tickets were being checked really fast and the Academy was quite packed inside.
Gentihaa from Athens were the chosen ones to star the show, as they did the last night in Thessaloniki. A new band who just released its debut album “Reverse Entropy”, but with members that have experience in the local Greek scene. With good sound, although a bit louder at some points, they had about half an hour to present their symphonic death/black metal material of them. With costumes on stage, they had a very good performance, but their songs (that reminded me of Behemoth at times) didn’t get me so much excited. Nor did the audience, because their participation was limited only to “Alpha”, the first and only song so far that is on YouTube as an official video-clip. Besides that, they have already two big gigs on their resume, so this can only be positive for the next steps.
The half-hour wait for the main course seemed to pass rather quickly and with a huge applause, Dimmu Borgir begun taking their places on stage. The start was predictable, as they entered with “The Unveiling” and “Interdimensional Summit” from last year’s “Eonian” and my first thought was “who put the CD on?”. The sound was perfect, crystal clear, although it could have been a bit louder. The band was flawless on stage, I don’t think that we could expect any less from them. The only objection some might had, are the pre-recorded parts, but to be fair they can’t bring with them a symphonic orchestra and a choir in every show. It will be either like this, or the songs will lose part of their magic that they have on studio.
After that, a visit to “In Sorte Diaboli” with “The Chosen Legacy” and “The Serpentine Offering” (am I the only one who thinks that this intro is similar to “Imperial March”?) until we go to “Abrahadabra” with “Gateways” and “Dimmu Borgir”. Especially the latter was for me the best moment of the night. The fans with the sing-along in the choir vocals and the screams during the first lyrics “forces of the northern light – assemble, forces of the northern light – call to arms” created a perfect live atmosphere. Unfortunately, that wasn’t supposed to last for long, because a few songs after, the all-time classic “Mourning Palace” was the last one for this night. Only seventy minutes after.
Setlist: The Unveiling, Interdimensional Summit, The Chosen Legacy, The Serpentine Offering, Gateways, Dimmu Borgir, Puritania, Ætheric, Council Of Wolves And Snakes, Progenies Of The Great Apocalypse, Mourning Palace
But to tell the truth, this particular matter in unacceptable. The fans came massively to this show, even if the ticket was more expensive that we are used to. Also, I don’t know if people chose the higher tickets for balcony and VIP, but it seemed that they were thirsty to see Dimmu Borgir. Seventy minutes and eleven songs are way too few for a band of their status. After the show, seeing the setlist from last year’s performances for the promotion of “Eonian”, it seems that they did the same. Only in a few occasions they played twelve songs. In conclusion, excellent performance, professionalism on stage at its best, but such duration is unacceptable.
Photos: Peter Papapetros