CONCERT REVIEW: Folterkammer – Witching – Sarmat – Viserion Live at The Kingsland

The great thing about metal shows in NYC is you never know what kind of metal it will be, but probably all the kinds: Black Metal, Doom Metal, Jazz Metal and more graced the Kingsland on the night before Easter.


Far from the verdant, mountainous landscapes of Scandinavia that inspired the pioneers of black metal, a new wave emerges from the grit and grime of New York City. Enter Viserion. For fans of raw and speedy black metal, Viserion is the band. Venomous growls and screams pierced through wicked riffs and commanding drums. They’ve listened to all the underground black metal so you don’t have to, and incorporated it into their sound.

There’s something about New York City bands, always ready to bring something new. Sarmat does that with their jazz-metal fusion. Most think of Imperial Triumphant dominating that sphere (in fact Imperial’s bassist Steve Blanco has joined Sarmat), but Sarmat creates an even weirder, dense cacophony of not-so-subtle jazz-infused Tech Death.

Somewhat of an outlier on the bill although a nice palate cleanser, Witching brought sludgy doom. The crafted a captivating setlist that deep dives into heaviness, then comes up for air with tender, tortured vocals by Jacqui Powell. Whatever genre you want to call them, they were captivating in their emotional intensity, going from haunting melodies to lurching riffs and intense snare. Something about doom metal is always oppressive yet liberating, and Witching provided the perfect catharsis.

On the bleeding edge of genre-bending metal, we find Folterkammer. Their lineup is saturated with creative talent: professional opera soprano, Andromeda Anarchia, Zachary Ezrin of Imperial Triumphant, Laurent David of Kilter, composer Darren Hanson, and drummer/director Brendan McGowan. With a German name meaning “torture chamber,” theirs is most likely of the BDSM variety, where the lines of pleasure and pain blur, a recurring theme in their music.

To match the extravagance of their sound, serving an all-out performance was not optional. The men took the stage clad in red religious robes and the band launch into “Anno Domina” where rock-heavy riffs mix with ethereal opera singing. Andromeda’s voice rang out like church bells signaling a new era of female supremacy.

As they alternated between new and old songs, the shift from traditional black metal to avant-garde became apparent. The tracks from their first album, “Die Hymne” and “Das Magnificat,” were more eerie and dark while their newer material went full baroque. If you missed the tour, their Victorian-fight-club-themed video for “Leck Mich!” perfectly depicts the lavishness.

Folterkammer’s second full-length album Weibermacht, drops April 19, 2024 via Century Media Records.

Pre-order the album here: