@ Nambucca, London
24th May 2015
Review by Jarod Lawley
Photography by K.T.T.
Situated on the famous Holloway Road, Nambucca isn’t normally the go-to venue for metal gigs in London, but it served as the arena for the arrival of Finish death masters Vorum.
With the venue still empty and few of the regulars hurriedly finishing their drinks up, UK “war metal” band Sturmtiger open the show.
Despite some earlier sound check difficulties, the trio benefit from having a minimalist line-up, with a beefy guitar and gritty bass tone making a testosterone-injected match. Unfortunately, as was the case during their last appearance in London, supporting Hecate Enthroned, the band appear drunk.
They manage to struggle though timing slips surprisingly well considering the lager sips between songs, but the biggest giveaway is the drummer dropping his sticks a few times (tut tut).
Despite this, the three piece have a convicting energy to their music, full of 80s style enthusiasm. The Bolt Thrower influence is loud and clear, not just with the lyrical themes but with the riffs and very Karl Willets-styled vocals, and a bit of rough around the edges appeal seems to go down well with the early arrivers to the gig.
A step-up in professionalism is definitely needed, but their violent-charm makes Sturmtiger a solid choice to open a gig of this size.
Sheol benefit from a much larger crowd to showcase their Sepulchral death metal to.
Those who heard the Sheol / Fōr split 7″ will know that this four-piece have a thick sound of scooped guitars, double kick drumming and guttural vocals, but unfortunately this very dense approach gets lost in translation by a sloppy job at the mixing desk.
This all makes for a bland spectacle, which tells the crowd little about what the band is about, and only the talents of session player Jesel really successfully come across, thanks to the overly loud drums.
It’s a shame that under the banner of two infamously-wicked acts, Sheol’s chance to shine is tarnished, and a return to London is needed to impress me.
After the turnaround, Maveth manage to turn this normally indie-friendly venue into a much more suitably hellish place, taking to the stage with an atmospheric intro.
This all feels sedate however, compared to the blood-curdling brutality of Vorum.
Although their set is a disappointing 40 minutes in length, this short slot maximises the effectiveness of their bone-snapping style of death metal.
Sole full-length Poisoned Void has the material most in the audience are familiar with tonight, but the newer songs are the most memorable, with a visceral edge that makes the small room bubble with heat. Their mixture of crazed-drumming, malicious vocals and demented riffing shows a fresh and well-sharpened new edge to death metal.
The lighting is again disappointing and flat, but the band’s slashed-up attire and smeared make-up makes the quartet look dead and dug-up- a reference to the band’s background in the Scandanavian extreme metal scene.
Two English bands and two Finnish ones has shown to be an excellent showcase of European metal talent, but for their first time in the UK, headliners Vorum definitely deserve more than just 40 minutes.