by Chris Conde
A full moon, lunar eclipse, and comet all took place Friday night as two of the most influential bands in black metal played a show in San Antonio. Coincidence? Satanic miracle?
Entering the Alamo City Music Hall after a thorough frisking (take me to a black mass first, geesh!), I walk into an ocean of black shirts and jean jackets adorned in patches from metal’s most extreme bands. This ain’t no Papa Roach show, and the audience looked pretty serious about taking in a night of Lucifer-inspired metal performances.
Inquisition took to the stage and the crowd erupted in joyful chaos, throwing up the classic “horns” hand sign and head-banging to the onslaught of distortion. If you closed your eyes, you couldn’t tell that the band had just two members — a single guitar player/vocalist and a drummer. Their music was loud as fuck, and with intervals of creeping, waltzy breaks between the bone shattering drum hits, Inquisition forged a delightfully dark offering of technical black metal perfect for a seance in the middle of a dark forest.
Next up was Mayhem — one of the most revered bands in the genre and hailing from the black metal capital of the world, Olso, Norway. Soaking the audience in blast-beats and shrieking as candles on stage flickered behind them, Mayhem played De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas from start to finish, an album that is revered as a classic in the extreme and macabre genre. Head-banging and moshing ensued as the Norwegian five piece shredded through their 46 minute magnum opus before bringing the evening to its eldritch consummation.
Before jumping into my friend’s car to head home, I notice a bus parked near us with the number "66625." Kind of interesting, considering we had just witnessed two bands with lyrics that are pretty forthright about their devotion to the dark lord. And, whether or not seeing that bus with Number of the Beast was serendipitous, with all the weird shit happening the sky last night, it’s sort of fascinating to think that maybe, just maybe, there is a devil — and all he wants is just a little attention.