CONCERT REVIEW: Rotting Christ – Carach Angren – Uada – Gaerea at Gramercy Theater

Not to keep fans waiting long after their “Devastation on the Nation” tour last summer (in which they rocked Saint Vitus Bar with a doubleheader), Rotting Christ made their NYC return.

The show opened with a frontrunner in the next generation of extreme metal, Gaerea of Portugal. For the USA debut, they delivered a short but heavy setlist from their latest album Mirage. At first, the title is ironic, as the band’s sound is far from diluted and illusory; rather, their caustic speed and venomous vocals prompted a deluge of emotion. They kept things interesting with atmospheric and progressive tendencies, varying tempos, and hammering intensity, not to mention the vocalist’s menacing contortionism – think: the energy of Deafheaven’s George Clarke, but in need of an exorcism.


Gaerea’s pulverizing sounds relented to the more melodic and catchy jams of Uada. With the name Uada meaning “haunted” in Latin, it makes sense that the Portlanders’ long, intricate songs felt ritualistic; it was as if fully cloaked apparitions were conjuring otherworldly spirits through sorrowful harmonies and bombastic blast beats. Classics like Cult of a Dying Sun, with themes of gloom and desolation, escalated the urgency of the onslaught. They closed with the nine-minute epic Black Autumn, White Spring where vocalist Jake Superchi shrieks out the nature-themed sermon’s final words of wisdom: “infinite is the sun/ eternal is the moon.”


Hailing from the Netherlands, Carach Angren are black metal masters of scene setting and storytelling. The vocal/keyboard duo Dennis “Seregor” Droomers and Clemens “Ardek” Wijer have spent the last twenty years taking inspiration from ghost stories and folklore to craft momentous concept albums, using symphonic elements as a vehicle for their dark fairytales. They played songs spanning their discography, including the notable The Necromancer off their latest opus Franckensteina Strataemontanus: a track interlaced with maniacal laughs and wicked riffs, these Dutchmen know how to turn the creepy dial up to eleven. They were joined by drummer Gabe Seeber, who has, it seems, been non-stop touring over the years with bands like Veil of Pnath and Obscura

With the sold-out venue packed like (willful) sardines, the legendary Greek four-piece that is Rotting Christ took the stage. With the three frontmen’s backs turned to us, drummer Themis Tolis pounded a somber, tribalistic beat to signal the opening anthem, 666. Right on queue, the song burst into wrathful instrumentation and booming vocals by veteran vocalist Sakis Tolis. The guitarist and bassist thrashed their long-haired heads wildly, sending the crowd into equal fervor. Their whole set provided unrelenting energy in the form of fan favorites like Fire, God and Fear, and Non Serviam. I will say as much as I enjoy Saint Vitus Bar, seeing this band at Gramercy was a major step up for them; the enhanced sound, lighting, and overall space lent much to their grandiose and occult vibes. 




Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy

Fire, God and Fear


Apage Satana

Elthe Kyrie

Demonon Vrosis

Societas Satanas

Non Serviam

In Yumen-Xibalba

Grandis Spiritus Diavolos

The Raven


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