Monday, November 28, 2005
Friday night Anders and I went to the Gaelic Club in Surry Hills to see Nile. Have you heard of them? Yes? No? Well, Nile are a US death metal band obsessed with Ancient Egypt. They write songs about all the different ways that people were killed by Egyptian gods and demons in the Ancient Egyptian world. As with all the best death metal, you can't understand any of the lyrics so you need to consult the booklet in the CD. You can't understand the lyrics because the singer growls, or rumbles; sometimes it sounds like he is vomiting, or he is trying to clear a blockage in his throat. It's a very guttural kind of sound, like you would imagine a zombie might make. It's really great and fits the music perfectly. The music is fast and violent and sounds like you are under attack, but in a good way.
Anyhow, we got there early so we saw the two support bands. The first band I can't remember what their name was, but they were pretty good. Then the second band came on and they were called Furor and they were pretty good too. But wait a minute, I thought, these bands sound like black metal bands! See, black metal has keyboards - there is more of a symphonic element. But I like black metal too, so it was all good, as the saying goes. But with this band Furor, I became sort of obsessed with the guitarist. What I mean is, for their entire performance I was trying to figure out what was going on with him or her. From what I could tell, this guitarist had long beaded hair with glowing lights in it, and goat horns on top. Sometimes he or she reminded me of the Predator in the Schwarzenegger movie, the way it moved. To get closer to the point, this guitarist didn't seem completely human! It was a hypnotic performance, whatever the case.
Then Nile came out and to the dismay of everybody there, took a while to get started. The audience chanted NY-AL! NY-AL! NY-AL! The air was buzzing with suspense! At last they began. They played some songs from their new album Annihilation of the Wicked (which I've got), and from their last album, I forget the title. Yes, I am a total Nile noob, ha ha! I only discovered them fairly recently, actually. But for years I have hardly gone out so you must understand, it was a big deal for me, and for Anders, for that matter. But Nile were great, and the sound quality was magnificent; loud and clear and brutal beyond words. The audience were as interesting as the bands too. Some of them looked like vikings, as though they might swing an axe any minute and send someone's head flying, spurting great jets of hot blood. Yet, consistent with my limited experience of death metal shows, the audience were perfectly well mannered and polite. Excuse me, excuse me, yes yes, of course, no, after you, by all means! etc. But having said that, what do you know happened after the concert! Anders and I walked across the road to sit down for a minute so I could have a cigarette, the cops showed up and started shoving their weight around. They were not dressed like regular cops but like some special division, the same that I have been seeing on street corners around the city lately. Anyway, three of them came over to me and Anders and said OK time to go, time to go. Move it. I said what, I'm just gonna finish my cigarette, but the cop said no you're not, you're going. Now! What the fuck? Well, we didn't feel like giving any shit to these bullies - it would probably not be a very good idea, so we got up and headed off, but the cop said not that way, that way!, pointing back towards Central Station. I said no, we're going THIS way, pointing in the opposite direction. The cop said oh is that where you live? I said yes, we live that way, we have to go that way. I thought it was strange, but soon figured that maybe it was because he thought that it was only Westies who liked death metal, so we would have to go back to Central Station to go home, back out to the Wild Wild West.
Anyway, it was a sour note to end the night on. But at least before those cops rudely forced us to move on, some dude handed us a flyer for another death metal show coming up in January: Behemoth! Hurrah! We'll be there!