Unleashed @ The Chance (2/9/2007)

Even though the band was performing this same week at B.B. King’s, I made the decision to head upstate to see friends and then check out the band at The Chance in Poughkeepsie NY. It would be my first time ever hitting the venue and seeing two of the bands on the bill tonight. The Death Metal was being delivered in force tonight by not only the headliner but by openers Belphegor and Krisium as well. We were sure to be there in time to cover all of the main label bands and should you like to learn more just click their logo below. It shall bring you over to the main PiercingMetal.com site.

Logo - Unleashed

Artist: Unleashed
Venue: The Chance (Poughkeepsie, NY)
Opener: Krisium, Belphegor
Date: 2/9/2007
Label: SPV Records

When it came down to Sweden’s Death Metal masters Unleashed coming over for a tour and bringing with them the mighty Krisiun and Belphegor, I knew that I wanted to do the review at one of the other stops on the tour this time around. The opportunity would arise for me to do just that with the bands appearance at Poughkeepsie, NY’s The Chance Theatre. This former Opera house is a great place to see a Metal show based on its actual layout. There is a spacious upper level and the space where the orchestra pit used to be is now where the Metal maniacs mosh to their hearts delight. On arrival, we found the show to be starting a little later than we had expected as not only would the three major bands be playing, but also two unsigned groups as well. To be honest, both of them were forgettable since there was nothing different to be enjoyed by them. The first band was ok but the second was worse based on their lead singer being drunk as hell on stage. He berated the audience and then jumped into the pit to mosh with them. It was a very poor display of professionalism and bands like this do not belong on quality bills in this writer’s opinion. Belphegor was up shortly after the time wasting, and proved to the attending crowd why they are one of the most important of the Black Metal bands today. Now signed to Nuclear Blast Records, the Austrian band delivered a competent set of music from their latest release “Pestapokalyse VI”. They are truly heavy and stand for their musical cause with horns raised high. Helmuth is a commanding presence as their front man and during the set, he would frequently speak to the audience showing there is personality behind the power. My only problem during their set was the overall limited audience at hand. Tickets would be available tonight very easily, but perhaps the lack of a full house was based on their performing in New York City’s B.B. King Blues Club the previous night. The venues being in reasonable proximity

Krisiun came up next and I am always blown away by the overall presentation of this band. They are very simply “Metal”, and there is nothing that needs to be said past that. While they were not headlining tonight, this show did find them closer up to that role on the performance roster and it is about time. They are a headlining capable band and they always seem to make every effort to impress during a set. It is thunderous Metal and there is little pause left for the audience or deviation from this very brutal brand of Death Metal that the Brazilians are bringing to the table. Their set would also be a short one and I found that annoying and if I had not seen them a number of times in the past I would have felt ripped off. In speaking to some of the audience around me, they had attended once again after seeing one of the earlier performances. The group is signed to Century Media Records and would deliver a hot set of material from their back catalog as well as their latest release “Assassination”. I loaned a healthy amount of props to their drummer Max for the evenings set, as he was incredible and literally a force of nature tonight. They are a tight machine as well, and not many people realize that they are all Brothers. It is my hope that this run of tour dates finds the potential for some headlining shows for they are really deserving of them at this stage.

For Unleashed, the crowd was at its fullest, and it seemed to be a good 300 supporters strong. I was interested in this set, as I had never honestly followed Unleashed prior to this and their latest release “Midvinterblot”. The group had recently just issued this epic piece of Metal with their signing to SPV Records. As soon as they began, I knew I was going to enjoy this, for while I am a fan of Death Metal anyway – these guys truly have a different handle on it. Led by Johnny Hedlund, this Swedish band leans more to the classic Thrash Metal side and offers a healthy amount of Viking lore to their lyrical content than most of their peers in this genre are doing. To be honest, they came off to me as a Heavy Thrash-laden Viking Metal group despite this Death labeling. Similar to the openers tonight, Unleashed would be about the music and not the nonsense. Arriving in Poughkeepsie like their Viking ancestors would do to many cities, they hit the stage like Metal warriors and were not going to settle on anything less than the destruction of the people in front of them. Their set was a limiting thirteen numbers, but as result, they would only touch upon the new album and then deliver other epics from their back catalog. I had to admit liking this aspect as it gave me the chance to absorb more of the material that I was not too familiar with. During their set, the members of Belphegor were hanging out and mingling with the crowd and drinking beers with them, and I always like when they take the time to do that sort of stuff. Overall, this was a fun night with many memorable performances and in the audience, you would spot Reed St. Mark (former Celtic Frost) as well as the guys in Immolation. Everyone was a fan tonight and all would raise the horns high as Metal legions. Hails!

Photo Notes: This was not too easy a night to shoot, as while the venue is cool the lighting was terrible during Belphegor and Krisiun. It offered me little chance to get killer shots and for Unleashed I edged into a very tight photo pit area with such limited mobility that I was stuck with one visual means for the time I would shoot. Using the balcony was great for some of them, but the lighting was an issue in most cases.

Set List:
1. Blood Of Lies
2. In The Name Of God
3. Never Ending ..
4. Don’t Want To Be Born
5. To Asgaard We Fly
6. Execute Them All
7. Triumph Of Genocide
8. Midvinterblot
9. In Victory Or defeat
10. Winterland
11. The Longships Are Coming
12. Death Metal Victory
13. Into Glory Ride

In addition to the knock you to the ground Metal show that was being delivered care of these three bands, we had some other Metal names of note in the venue with us as well.  Present and accounted for were both Bob Vigni and Ross Dolan from New York’s own Immolation and also legendary drummer Reed St. Mark who was a part of that little band by the name of Celtic Frost.

Immolation & Reed St. Mark

I don’t remember the name of the first dude on the left, but after him we have Bob, Reed and Ross.  All of course showcasing the proper Metal photo op horns.  Oh yes, and there is more….

Belphegor's Helmuth, Rock Fantasy Steve Keeler & Reed. St. Mark

The Chance venue often finds events sponsored by Steve Keeler, owner of the Rock Fantasy Concert Shop over in Middletown, NY.  We snared a photo of Helmuth from Belphegor and Reed who helped promote the shop by posing with Steve as he held up one of the cool shirts that bear the logo.  I have this design on a hoodie.  Their eyes are closed from the super bright flash and absolute darkness of the spot we were all hanging out in.  Check out more about Rock Fantasy in this re-presented article that I wrote for Metal Edge magazine by clicking HERE

Official Web site: www.unleashed.se
Official Web site: www.belphegor.at
Official Web site: www.krisiun.com

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