Gig report: Nasty Abyss: MystifieR | Craven Idol | Zlobnik

Gig report: Nasty Abyss: MystifieR | Craven Idol | Zlobnik

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I remember joking with friends about how much will the Brazilians Mystifier react to the bloody heat in Zagreb, Croatia that was soaking our balls these past weeks. A week before, Massacre graced us with their performance and pretty much all that I can remember that it was a furnace level of heat in Močvara. Good thing that I did not write the report for that gig.

Of course, the same things were thought for this tonight’s gig. Boy, how we were wrong. The moment I saw Armando da Silva Conceição (or Beelzeebuth) from Mystifier strolling around in the Possessed long sleeve dark clouds just came about and rain not long after dropped in like it was nothing. So much for Brazilian weather.

After the much needed chill, the first band started right at 09:00 pm satanic central time: Zlobnik. Before I continue, a big kudos to the organizers of Nasty Events for pushing the local bands into their events and supporting the Croatian scene. Zlobnik is a fairly young black band formed back in 2016 and released their first album in 2018 under the band’s name. I must admit that I had little to no time to do my homework on them so I pretty much dropped into them with fresh ears.

During an ominous intro somewhat older lads arrived, the one guitarist was barefoot (he was thinking ahead). Not the most visually ‘black metal’ band that you’ve seen in your life, but by all the gods that slaves had created, did that change when the guys started playing. The sound was very good from beginning to end, the vocals that were shared between Zorić (bass, vocals) and Kero (guitars) were impressively combined and the music is black metal at its finest but with a solid amount of technicality and awesome ideas put in which keeps you glued to their performance from beginning to end. I don’t remember the last time the opening band impressed me to this degree. I remember yelling to the guy next to me in the first row “What is this Abigor bullshit?!” Zlobnik was that technical at some moments. Their set list consisted of the material from their album like “Sprovod”, “Osveta” and “Zlobnik” but also their new material like “Potraga za Vječnošću”. The name of the songs are as cliche as they can be but their music in general more than makes up for it. After one time seeing them, they are my top 3 black metal bands from the Balkans. Very much recommended.

After a quick line check, Mystifier‘s direct tour support was on: Craven Idol. A UK based blackened thrash metal band with four releases under their bullet belts. These ones I checked out and I must admit my first thought was that they sound like a poor man’s version of The Crown but this kind of subgenre usually shows its strength in live performance. Unfortunately, that is not to be in their gig in Zagreb. The previous band, Zlobnik had a very solid sound; you can hear every instrument in the highs and lows. Craven Idol got none of that, the first sign of trouble was the horrid feedback on S. Vraths guitar, a very loud one. Perhaps the line check should have lasted longer. Nevertheless, the guys went to the stage and performance wise they crushed. They really dominated the stage: the headbanging, the moves, raising horns… you got everything from them. Expect the sound was fucking awful, so much that in the middle of the set half of the audience checked themselves out for a breather. Even a friend who is a fan of the band barely recognized their songs. Even when S. Vrath was speaking to the audience he was barely audible. Objectively speaking it is a highly energetic and professional performance (lesser bands would be lost in such noise) but was severely crippled with one the worst live sounds in my recent memory.

Mystifier obviously took a Que from them and took them a long time for a sound check or maybe we were already over our heads with the heat and the lack of oxygen in the club, but at the and it was worth it. On the sound, I can definitely say that the drum sound was the star of the evening: fucking thick and crushing. If it was a male it would have a carrier in the porn movie industry.
For the record, for those who thought that Mystifier is a mere lo-fi black metal band which is only worth token is that they are from Brazil should really check them live. I made the same judgment while listening to their early works from the 90s. Live they are a wholly different beast. Their main man, Armando da Silva Conceição (the only band member since 1989) looks like a combination of Blade (who perhaps kills too many vampires in KFC) and the Oula character from Heavy Trip. The guys really bring an aura of presence on stage, especially him. Every move he makes seems like predetermined and very much well rehearsed with the rest of the band. The same can be said for the rest of the band; despite looking a little silly Diego DoUrden (bass, keyboards and vocals) handles his multi-tasking performance really well and sells the whole vibe and philosophy of the band. A very impressive warm-up for Possessed that are coming this Friday. Hold on to your butts.

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