Another night another show at Saint Vitus Bar. There’s a certain magic to the venue. The fact that there is an entire cult of people in New York City who realize if they go on any given night they are going to find music that they want to see. Music of a darker sort, the kind of stuff that is hard to discover but once you do there is no escape. Such was the case last night as the gathered masses basked in the magic of three of the finest bands in modern black metal, Falls of Rauros, Wayfarer, and Saor.
Falls of Rauros kicked off the evening coming fresh off of the release of their new record, Patterns In Mythology. These folky black metallers have become critical darlings in recent years and their new record is no exception. Their set last night, though it suffered from some first day of tour hiccups, certainly proved why. With potent melodies and dark atmospheres being conjured up throughout their set it was hard not to be enamored with what these Portland, Maine natives bring to the table.
Next was Wayfarer. The Colorado group sit in a similar place critically to Falls of Rauros. Though their sound is a bit more atmospheric than many of their peers they certainly seem to revel in the magic of the stage. The energy that they brought throughout their set was impressive. With hair flying, every barked utterance seemed like a step deeper into the groups’ collective psyche. In a genre that seems to frequently focus on being as artsy-fartsy as possible, it’s refreshing to see a band who bring a touch of punk rock fury to their brand of thoughtful black metal.
Closing out the night was of course Saor. Having toured out from Fire On The Mountains the band was well-rehearsed and ready to unleash their brand of black metal. With violin accents soaring on top of searing guitars and punishing drums they conjured up a transcendent experience. Saor is the type of band I can sit back and watch forever. The deeper you delve into their live set the more clear it becomes that this is a band apart. As with Wayfarer, there is a heavy emphasis on stage presence here and that makes for a compelling group to watch, one who leaves you begging for more.
In brief – it was a night of black metal transcendence. In an era where no show feels special and we are over-saturated as consumers, Gatekeeper Productions was able to once more curate an impressive bill. Falls of Rauros, Wayfarer and Saor may each explore different sides of the black metal genre but together they make for a compelling show. It’s important to find music that gives us meaning and a reason to continue, these bands provide that, especially as we look forward at another week in hell.