APRIL 20-27th 2012
Review and Photos By: Char Tupper
Peter Ruttan:

April 20th, my 7-show trek along the Decibel Magazine Tour with BEHEMOTH, WATAIN, THE DEVILS BLOOD, and IN SOLITUDE has begun. I had been counting down this day since the tour dates were announced 87 days before this. It was an exciting day, seeing my friends, my favourite band of all time, Behemoth back on the road here in the United States. It had been 2 and a half years since I saw the band back in January 2010, before Nergal fell ill with leukemia in August 2010. It was a horrific day when I got the news that my idol, my friend had fallen ill with the disease. However, when I heard word of him being released, and he had Conquered all, I couldn’t have been happier. To do 7 shows of this tour was a must in my eyes, not seeing my favourite band, not seeing my good friend for over 2 years, well, I couldn’t resist. My journey took me through the entire west coast, and a bit into the Southern States as well. I trekked through to Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Mesa, and Albuquerue. Where do I begin?



Let me start off in Seattle. Taking place at El Corazon, which was a sold out show, and jammed packed like sardines! This show was particularly special to me though, because it was the first one, the first time I would see Behemoth back on stage, in person, not through good old fashioned “Youtube videos”. The local support, Samothrace, opened the show. I don’t usually talk bad about local bands, since I hate to hurt their egos or anything, but I must say, this was a terrible opener for this tour. I literally stood in the venue for 5 minutes, and instantly had to leave, I couldn’t handle it. It was like watching a band tune and adjust their instruments in their garage, just horrible in my opinion. Thankfully it was 4/20, and Im sure the stoners appreciated it, but for me fully sober, there was no way. I highly recommend these guys change their style..and fast. In Solitude ran into vehicle issues, so The Devil’s Blood performed next. I was surprisingly caught off guard by this band, they had that old rock feel, mixed with psychedelic rock from the 60’s and 70’s. These Dutch Occultists, definitely had their sound together, walking on stage covered in blood, and performing rituals while on stage, but also performing with such precision, this band was fantastic, and I certainly looked forward to seeing them 6 more times! The retro-metallers of Sweden, In Solitude finally arrived after fixing the vehicle issues and were up on stage. This band, I wasn’t quite the fan of at this point in time, it was a little too thrashy sounding for me. However, they put on a great set and the audience loved every second of their set , and knowing our very own “Metal Mom” giving their CD a great review, I continued my trip open-minded, and waited to see if they would grow on me. The Infamous stench of Watain was next to perform this evening. El Corazon was so packed, you literally couldn’t move, so hopefully everyone had had their smoke, or pre-Watain beer before hand. They had a fantastic performance all around, sadly due to the venue serving food, the lamb heads and stench didn’t fill the nostrils of the crowd this evening. Near the end of their set however, one of the tech guys from the tour apparently had a huge issue with someone in Watain, came and doused out both of the Inverted Crosses flames, well, Erik definitely didn’t approve of this, so he grabbed the tech guy, and punched him square in the face. What is the lesson here? DON’T MESS WITH WATAIN !!! It wasn’t allowed to have flames at El Corazon, for obvious safety reasons (a Low roof and a very small room), but, it was refreshing to see Erik stand up for what he truly believes in, and that is the darkness of Watain. The next performance of the evening was the long-awaited appearance of Behemoth. Opening with “Ov Fire and the Void” and walking on stage with such power, such presence. The sound at El Corazon is always fantastic to say the least. The room was still to the point where you couldn’t move it was so packed. The sea of “Behemoth shirts” filled the room and horns held high for the return of Behemoth, salute to Nergal’s health also. It was the greatest feeling to see the band back on stage, to see that raw energy I had long missed for so long, and to know I am going to see this 6 more times, I was speechless. They still played some of their expected songs, like “Chant for Eschaton” and “Demigod” , however, they added a few new tracks that they haven’t played in years on US Soil, like “Moonspell Rites” and “23(Youth Manifesto)” as well. During the second last song, Nergal walked out with his ring of crosses around his head, that were featured in the “Lucifer” video back in 2011, while also covered in blood. They put on a fantastic show, the audience was revved up for such a great performance, however, a couple crowd surfers, which there wasn’t room for, so Behemoth’s tech crew pushed them off, thankfully, since, they were knocking mic stands into Nergal and Orion’s faces, which in my books, how stupid are these fans??? Aside from that, the over all Seattle experience was a fantastic one, and now, it was onward north back to my homeland of Vancouver BC. 



Vancouver was also a fantastic, sold out show, the sound quality for all the bands wasn’t all the greatest, but this is legendary here at the Rickshaw. I don’t understand this, yes, the sound was a bit better from the usual mishaps like at previous shows, however, I just don’t get why the venue cant invest in a better sound system? Either way, that being said, the bands all performed again with such enthusiasm and devotion to putting on a great show for their Western Canadian fans. MetalTitans got to interview both Erik of Watain, and Pelle of In Solitude. Both were fantastic bands, filled with such devotion and passion to their bands and beliefs. Sadly missed The Devil’s Blood performance, since I was conducting my interviews, however, from what I heard, it sounded great. Everyone played so well, and despite some sound glitches here and there, the show was fantastic. Now back south to the city of Portland for Show 3.



Portland, not much to report on, I missed the first local support, however, catching the rest of the tour and seeing how packed the venue was, it was again like Seattle being jammed into a small space. This show was sold out as well, the crowd was a little bit more calm then the last two shows, but, still very enthusiastic and supportive of all the bands that came out to perform. The next journey was new and exotic, we were off to San Francisco. The weather was sunny, but a little on the windy side, but that didn’t matter, I was over 1500km from home, to see my one and only, Behemoth. Slim’s was a unique venue to me, the staff was a little weird, kind of rude in some cases as well, which I didn’t appreciate much at all. The stage consists of two big beams front and center, and between bands, they have a huge white screen blocking the stage, maybe to add that added “suspense” when the band plays? The beams kind of “ruin it” for myself, photography wise, but that being said, the show was once again well executed by all, got to meet fellow “Behemoth tattoo fanatics”, and it is always great to meet fans just as dedicated as yourself. The show was great for meeting new people, and also meeting in person some of the MetalTitans fans, which was an unsuspecting bonus.



Los Angeles, the infamous House of Blues Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. This was a venue I highly enjoyed. It was like a wooden Commodore Ballroom, but a lot larger capacity size for sure, I deeply loved that old rustic feel to the venue. The weather once again was blasting sunshine and as the night began to grow, the sense of evil in the air began to thicken. Ides of Gemini was the first to perform, a local band and they weren’t nearly as bad as Samothrace from Seattle, however, their sound was very slow and melodic, definitely not my cup of tea, however, for those into that, they performed well. The other bands performed extremely well, by this point of the tour, In Solitude had really grown on me, and to the point where I couldn’t miss a single set of all 4 bands anymore. The sound system here was top notch, it was nice to hear a grade-A sound system for the bands as well as stage room as well. Watain’s set was a couple songs shorter then the other shows, which was too bad, since they cut my favourite song, “Stellavore”. Their performance was still fantastic, alongside Behemoth as well, sadly the band felt a lot of pressure, having their record label in the house, alongside Glen Danzig and some of the members from Opeth also joined in on the show on their day off from tour’ along with many other sponsors and more. A lot of famous faces were there that night to join in on this tour, however, adding a lot of extra pressure to the band’s performance, which adds a bit of tension. For myself also, it was great to catch up from friends I know in Los Angeles outside of the tour, and it was great to finally meet some of them for the first time as well, I hope we can all unite again, maybe next Behemoth tour?



Time to set Eastbound to Mesa, Arizona. The Nile Theater was a strange, yet interesting venue for myself. This show was definitely one of my top favourite shows, the sound was fantastic, and photography wise, it was just right. The show was sold out, but most showed up for Watain and Behemoth near the end. The venue was almost like a small gymnasium, but with a carpet floor with a stage in the middle. Brick walls to add, but saying this, the venue is well located for being close to restaurants or corner stores, it was so conveniently located, since it is so rare to find a well situated venue. Performance by the bands was once again great, and the sound system was pretty good, not Los Angeles good, but better then Vancouver. Behemoth’s performance this show was one of my favourites, the shots captured and in our gallery truly show the atmosphere of this show, and it really was extraordinary. 

Sadly, tonight is my last date of this fantastic tour, and that is Albuquerque at the Sunshine Theater. This show tied with Seattle in my eyes, because it was my last, but also, the bands put on a killer performance filled with energy and enthusiasm that I hadn’t really seen since before the Los Angeles show. I will say though, being horribly crushed by a crowd surfer, and having my camera and chest crushed into the speaker during “Chant for Eschaton”, that crowd surfer better hope I don’t see him again if I travel down that way, because he was a complete jerk, didn’t apologize, nothing. I was extremely pissed off, especially since my camera lens cap and hood went flying off my camera, and the pain was so sharp and painful, I could barely walk and breathe without pain. Thankfully the next day,I was ok. My rant aside, It was extremely hard to say goodbye to the crew, Tour Managers, and of course, the bands. I had felt like “part of the tour” for 7 shows, got to experience their travelling schedules of non-stop driving from city to city, and I sympathize and understand what bands go through, especially if they drive themselves. Behemoth and Watain I will say, had the luxury of a bus driver, next time, I need to get myself a hired driver! That being said, I have to thank everyone from Nergal, Jon, Gypsy, all of the crew for helping to arrange everything for me this trip, you are all amazing people to know, and have shared this trip with. This was one epic metal journey that I thought would defeat me, but it turns out, I “Conquered All” ,and this experience will live with me till the day I die.