A darkness descended on Dallas when the Under Our Black Cult Tour rolled into town. Once I saw this tour announced, I knew that I had to attend this night of unholy worship. The bill is stacked from top to bottom featuring some of the hottest new acts in black metal plus the Greek titans in Rotting Christ. It was crisp, cool night in Dallas but the stage was on fire with each band’s performance.
First up was Portugal’s Gaerea, who are making their first appearance in North America on this tour. For me, this band is one of the biggest newer names in black metal. They have been on a meteoric rise since the release of their 2018 debut album Unsettling Whispers. After that, they made the jump to Seasons of Mist records and have put out two of the best black metal albums of the 2020’s with Limbo and Mirage. The band was greeted by Gaerea chants and lots of cheering as they took their places on the stage. The band quickly launched into their first song of the night and had the crowd in absolute frenzy. All eyes were transfixed on the stage as the band played their dizzying, cathartic brand of black metal. The highlight of the set for me was on the second song of the set when they played my personal favorite track in Salve. The band was razor sharp in their performance of the track and vocalist Guilherme was spot on delivering the cathartic and tortured vocal performance that you hear on the album. The band played a few more track before ending with Laude. By the end of the set, the vocalist was off the stage, standing on the barricade to scream the last few lines of the song right into the awaiting crowd. As soon as the song was over, the crowd clapped, cheered and sent them off with another Gaerea chant. One of the best opening acts to a show I think I have ever seen. It was absolutely epic.
Next up was Portland’s UADA and they kept up with the masked band theme that Gaerea also employs to shroud the member’s faces. They opened up their set with the title track from their killer 2020 album Djinn. This was my first time seeing UADA and came away totally impressed by how tight they are in their live show. Every song they played was on point with the album and front man Jake’s vocals were absolutely haunting throughout the set. They played tracks from each of their albums in their set, such as Snakes and Vultures and Cult of a Dying Sun from their 2018 album Cult of a Dying Sun. The crowd cheered them while headbanging and getting a small circle pit going during the majority of their set. UADA ended their set with Black Autumn, White Spring from their debut album Devoid of Light to the crowd’s pleasure. Once finished, the crowd cheered the band as they thanked us for coming out.
The Dutch symphonic black metal band Carach Angren were next up and just like when I saw them in 2022 with Hypocrisy, the band had the crowd eating out of their hands. I will admit I am not super familiar with most of their work but from what little I have listened to this band; they are incredibly on par with their studio sound when they are on stage. They opened up with The Sighting is a Portent of Doom and the crowd went absolutely crazy. Circle pits, crowd surfing and headbanging were all present throughout their set which included tracks The Necromancer, In de naam van duivel, A Strange Prescence Near the Woods and many more. My favorite moment was when they played Monster and the vocalist donned a mask that had a crown attached to it and he was still spot on with his vocal delivery. Closing out with Bloodstains on the Captain’s Log, the crowd and band fed off each other’s energy, giving each other their all. Each time I have seen this band live, they have left me thoroughly impressed by their performances.
To close out the night were the Greek titans Rotting Christ. I have been a fan of this band for a very long time and getting to see them twice in less then a year has been an absolute dream. The Hellenic black metallers opened up their set with 666 and had the crowd totally amped up to the max. They then launched into Kat Ton Daimona Eaytoy as the pit roared back to life and everyone else in the crowd was headbanging along with the band. It wasn’t all older stuff the band played. They also played Fire, God and Fear and the Raven from The Heretics which pleased the crowd. Much to my surprise, they played their cover of Thou Art Lord’s Societas Satanas which had this guy headbanging like crazy with the biggest smile in the crowd. Such a killer cover. Other highlights of their set for me were Elthe Kyrie, In Yumen-Xibalba and Grandis Spiritus Diavolos. This setlist was perfect for this Rotting Christ fan with tracks from all over their vast discography. After playing the Raven, the band exited the stage much to the crowd’s dismay. A few people started to make their way out of the crowd before Sakis came back out and asked if we wanted one more and the crowd roared in response. They treated us to one more song before exiting for good but not before they thanked us for coming out and hanging with them for the night.
At the time I am typing this, this tour is only on it’s fourth stop so there is still plenty of time to see this absolutely fantastic tour. They will be going all the way until March 14, which includes four stops in Canada. If you are a fan of black metal or just metal in general, please do yourself a favor and go see this show. You will not be disappointed in the slightest.
- The Metal Architect