Illnath

Templet, Lyngby - 2009

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

It had been a long time since my last visit to Templet. First of all, they don’t host as many concerts as the inner city concert halls do; and when they do it seems it is rarely metal.
Therefore I was delighted to see that they would host a show with Svartsot and support act Illnath, as this gave me a reason to visit this very special place once more. Little did I know (or remember) how small the place was; or maybe it was I who had grown?

Anyway, as I mentioned Illnath was the band which started the evening off.
Illnath is a Danish / Norwegian (actually originating from Lyngby where Templet is located) black / death / some other obscure forms of metal (in short – dark metal (according to themselves)) which I only knew by name before, simply because this is not the type of genre that usually gets me going.
Still, that is simply a matter of taste, and Illnath had pulled an impressive amount (taking the size of the place in consideration) of people to their show.
One of the first things to hit me was that they had brought a lot of “show” to the show, if you know what I mean. They had their own backdrop, decorative pieces of cloth covering all of their speakers and their personal appearance wasn’t lacking anything either with their trashy gothic clothes and bloodstained faces.

Another thing was, sadly, how poor the sound and light quality was for the evening.
The sound felt very muddy, with the bass-humming nearly drowning out all the rest, and generally just too loud for the location.
The lights were a mixed bag as the backlights were professionally handled an active, whereas the frontlights were nonexistent. Upon inspection they actually did have several frontlights hanging, so why they weren’t in use is a mystery.
Still, even though Illnath experienced these purely technical difficulties it didn’t seem to stop them from wanting to deliver a good show, and even though Norwegian vocalist Bjørn Olav ‘Narrenschiff’ Holter chose to speak English between songs he came through as clear as blood spraying from a freshly cut artery; and the crowd was very willing to follow his commands for making moshpits or raising their arms to scream along with the band. The rest of the band seemed to be pretty into the show as well, but were unable to be too lively, most likely due to the small stage area they had at their disposal.

Illnath got to play for about half an hour, and their set contained songs from both of their full length albums and their old MCD Angelic Voices Calling; they even put in a couple of songs from the upcoming album Three Nights In The Sewers Of Sodom.
What surprised me was that Narrenschiff announced the new song Hellish Butterfly as being the last song for the evening, and then they continued to play both Damnation’s Dawn (also new, although available through MySpace for about a year) and Death Becomes All in quick succession. The latter was amusingly enough started off with the intro riff from Deep Purple’s Smoke On The Water.

Admittedly, I didn’t really have any expectations for this show, since I was pretty sure that Illnath’s music wasn’t something for me, which it wasn’t.
Musical taste aside, Illnath still managed to surprise me in a positive way with their performance. They were as lively as the stage would allow, and they had a very good connection with the audience throughout the concert. After the show was finished Narrenschiff stayed on the stage for a short while to shake hands with the fans, and both he and guitarist / founding member Peter ‘Pete’ Falk were to be found out in the audience for the rest of the night; Falk even held a lively (drunken) sing along together with some fans up in the bar later on.

Setlist:

Zetite
Cast Into Fields Of Evil Pleasure
Pieta
Virgin Soil
Ravenous Crows
Hellish Butterfly
Damnation’s Dawn
Death Becomes All

Illnath

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