Von / Saille - Von European tour
Underground Black Metal band Von from San Francisco started in 1991 and released two demos of rudimentary basic Black Metal, dark and aggressive as hell. The band went up in smoke but several Black Metal bands (e.g. Watain) paid respect to them. Not so long ago two members dig up the grave, did a show in London with Watain and The Devil’s Blood. This one was not a big success; however with new members a successfully second try out was done in Arizona, Tempe and some shows in the USA. Together with a CD of re-recorded demo songs and the new album Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves they are back on the map with simple but rough as fuck Black Metal as it was supposed to be. They even put in more atmosphere in the latest record. These first outputs are part of a concept and every six months more records will appear.
The show in Baroeg is one of the first ones of the European tour and despite the critics (some prefer Von Goat, also with members of the original Von) I am curious what to expect. But first it’s time for the Belgium band Saille. They make Black Metal in the vein of Emperor (except for the last album), some Watain influences and with the addiction of keyboards the atmosphere is set. I like the balance between the keyboards and the rest of music because it’s not going to be too fancy and the Black Metal roughness stays. The band cannot hold the attention for the complete set but the last two songs have more aggression and are to the point. A good warming up act and although not every passage was played smooth I think the band will have more impact when circumstances are better.
Von has a playing time of 90 minutes so they start with building up the dark atmosphere with an intro and a slow rhythm when hell is breaking loose. With a minimal drumkit, two guitarists and bassist it’s still simple as fuck but the band easily adds more rock vibes in their Black Metal. That might be strange for the diehard fans, those who heard the Dark Gods: Seven Billion Slaves album could’ve expected that and with more psychedelic rock effects melted with Black Metal in the later songs it will be no surprise this is going to be the future for Von.
In the middle the songs of the past are presented with ‘Jesus Stain’ (that never appeared on a demo, it only was played live in the early nineties) as one of the highlights. The vocals are from a hellhound barking at the timing of the music. It’s cool to see how the musicians have melted the dark Black Metal vibe with psychedelic rock grandeur in the rest of the set. They would be a perfect match for Roadburn 2014 I should say.
Except for black clothing no extra special things are on stage. We just see 4 people who are intense into the music. Specials remarks go to the drummer who is fucking up his band mates by screaming or even spitting when something is not going well. The guitarists never will be the tightest players but that isn’t necessary in the Black Metal scene, with a torturing and bone crushing rhythm section the song of Von stays in the right direction no matter if it’s a fast oldschool one or the longer rockin’ stuff.
The encores where even more spun out, I would’ve expected a biting version of ‘Veadtuck’. That’s the only small thing I have to comment on the live show that surprised me for more than an hour.