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(Live Review) METAL THREAT FESTIVAL - Day 2 (Impaled Nazarene + more)

Metal Threat Festival

Part Two

Day Two 4-15-23

The Brauer House

Lombard, Illinois

By The Beard & Little Johnny

As day number two of the Metal Threat Fest begins, and we attend stop ten, and bands #56-63 on our “2023 The Reviews Never Stop Tour”, let us review who is on the bill for Day #2 titled: "Black Metal Day"

Impaled Nazarene



Power from Hell


Deus Mortem



Yep, looks like a long day of Neil Diamond covers in corpse paint! Lol.

Okay Johnny, this is your fest. Get out there and go to town. The Beard, as usual, will find a wall to lean against away from possible mosh pits.

First up today were Washington’s own:


Not surprisingly black/death with punk metal undertones. This allowed them to be sloppy and yet still be in-genre. That is an apt description. They played fast, aggressive, and sloppy. I think this may have been how Venom might have sounded in their garage circa 1977. (Ed: I Thought Venom only played the Hammersmith Odeon?!)

Songs were mostly drawn from their latest release, Copulation of Cloven Hooves.

The Beard is going 75/100 as they were the opener for the day.

Next up were Norwegian symphonic black metal outfit:


These guys play like a runaway train. They got shafted with poor lighting though. Good lighting could have really been an asset to these guys. It would have provided some atmosphere at least.

Morgul’s vocalist could not get here; thus, the set was largely instrumental. Given what passes for the standard black metal voice, this in my opinion, probably did not hurt them. Still, with no help on lighting and no vocalist, I am as always grading the set that is in front of me and so based on that.


A slower start to Black Metal Day than yesterday’s Death line-up.

Third up today were Polish black metal act:


Polish lead singer, Merek Lechowski, (aka Necrosodom) stands at least 6’3” and has some serious guns for arms. Add in the long hair and corpse paint and he is one intimidating dude. I have no idea what he is singing about, but I sure as hell am not going to argue with him about it.

Otherwise pretty standard 1990’s era black metal, think Marduk or maybe Carpathian Forest. Deus Mortem isn't really much about atmosphere, mostly it is meat and potatoes speed licks and double-bass drum thunder.

These guys are not going to replace MGLA as Poland’s leader in the sub-genre, but they do have all they need for the genre, a look, a sound, and a presence, plus a really good crowd response. Little Johnny is looking for corpse paint to put on his own face. “you’re going to end up looking like a mime little dude.”

Interestingly enough, I find myself awarding this act an ...


Well executed stuff.

Marking today’s halfway point, are Belgian act:


Not much subtext to get through here. Five guys in corpse paint: check. Double bass drumming at the speed of a monkey on crack: check. Lightning-fast guitar riffs: check. Black-metal-from-the-grave style vocals that I cannot understand a single word of: check. Crowd and Little Johnny mosh pitting all over the floor: check.

So, yep pretty much on the money for the genre. I do have to throw in a couple points for forty-five unrelenting minutes. I assume most songs were from their one full length album, 2017’s Exorkizein.

Overall, it was like watching five Little Johnny’s up there.


Fifth up today was a replacement act. Hells Militia could not make it. Possibly they were too busy with corrupting Senators and Congressmen.

In their place was...


I guess that is the non-military side of Hells security, you know without the jackboots or armbands.

Power from Hell is actually black thrash outta Brazil. You certainly cannot accuse this fest of not pulling bands from all over the world to play. The Beard is impressed with all the different countries I am getting to see represented here this weekend.

Okay, first off what a cool band logo (check the video on my TikTok page (thebeard0728 or #thebeardandlittlejohnny).

Second, the guitar player had the beard of the fest, (especially with his corpse paint added in), and anyone reviewing as The Beard certainly must acknowledge and respect an outstanding facial fescue.

Third, Power from Hell had a black/thrash attack and I like that combination.

Fourth, South American singer “Sodomic” just looks evil. Good sell for this type of noise. Touring behind the new release Shadows Devouring Light, this was a quality set from a band that originally was not even on the bill to play.

So, with these several positive points, The Beard had to award Power of Hell a very nice 87/100. Great sub-in set tonight.

Sixth up tonight, (and sticking with South America), the Bolivian black metallers:


These guys pretty much use the 1990’s Black Metal Playbook. Since they have not released an album since 2002, and have not toured much either, it is paint by numbers black metal. Blend some Mayhem guitar sound with some Immortal drumming. Not bad, but as this is the sixth straight blackened unit today, remaining original is getting harder. I do not dislike them, but nothing is raising the bar for me either. Awarding ...


Seventh band up tonight were Swedish melodic black metal outfit:


Best backdrop of the day.

(Check the video) TikTok: Thebeard0728 #thebeardandlittlejohnny.

The music of this five-piece group was more melodic, (at least in-between the mine-car-plunging-down-the-cliff speed of the rest of each song), than anyone else today.

While I cannot say I loved the vocals, in a day with so much corpse paint that somewhere in Lombard clowns and mimes are walking around in flesh-tones, this band eschewed the deathly white and black adornments and played naturally, (well, at least until lead singer Nisse Karlen started dumping blood all over himself). NOW it’s a party!

The strength of this set is the musicality & the theatrics. Karlen gestured and gesticulated all around the stage. His full wrist to elbow nail gauntlets flying about and risking serious injury to his bandmates throughout, no doubt this guy was seriously into the aura he was creating on stage as he howled his songs from the bands latest release Shadow of Oblivion to the approval of the crowd and the whirling of my sweaty, cap wearing sidekick.

All of this equated to a decent rating. The Beard awards Sacrementum an 89/100 as they did give us a “show” as well as a set and were my Band of Day Two.

Festival headliners were the Finish long time act:


Back in the 1990’s (during the second great wave of Norwegian black metal), Impaled Nazarene was originally as black as black metal could be. Thirty plus years though has modified their sound to now encompass hardcore and punk elements.

The 2023 Impaled Nazarene opened with “Heil Satan” so yeah definitely some hardcore with their basic black.

The crowd was packed for this set, so vision was hit and miss, but two main standouts audibly were; one, the drumming of Reima Kelloski is machine gun, no idea how he keeps that pace, ... and two, original member Mika Luttien can really scream in multiple octaves even after over thirty years of doing it.

I will sum it up by saying this was a good set, and I am glad to cross them off my list of famous black metal acts I have never seen before, but that said, I have no need to actually own anything by Impaled Nazarene (Ed: Life without Ugra Karma, Nihil or Rapture? Shame!) and the rating tonight is a solid if unspectacular 85/100.

This wraps it up for day/night two here at the Metal Threat Fest. Overall, Black Metal Day may have been just behind Death Metal Day in terms of overall eight band totals. Tomorrow, the word is it’s Thrash Metal Day.

Until then, this is The Beard and Little Johnny signing off and really hoping Satan is not under our beds when we get back home after all this Blackened & Evil day.

I almost “don’t” want to say it tonight, but as it IS our sign off line ...

Horns Up!!!


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