@ Camden Barfly, London
18th September 2015
Review by Ben Spencer
After narrowly escaping the full wake of London’s rush hour and Northern line congestion, Camden Barfly appears densely populated by fans soaking up the pre-gig atmosphere while each band runs through their pre-gig sound check.
On first; Designs of Chaos [2.5/5] plunge into their metallic sound with little deliberation. The band appear to fit right in with tonight’s bill as the quintet dish out plenty of anarchistic riffs and aggressive drum work. Both guitarists had a good sense for solos as some impressive fret-work unleashes upon the half packed venue.
‘Plague of Cannibals’ reveals itself to be their strongest offerings as the technical riffs and drum led grooves validate the band‘s sonic forge. If there were one element that is the missing centre of the band, it is in the vocal delivery. Unfortunately for these guys the growls feel unconvincing and lack substance. However, it’s a shame that these didn’t get to play in front a bigger crowd as the crowd start head banging along to the beast-like riffs of ‘Social Phantom’.
Next up, South London metal /crust punk hybrid Kremated [3.5] take to the stage with an applause from their following. Right away the band barge onward with an unyielding array of infectious guitars and throat tearing vocals.
‘Metal Anarchy’ comes across as a crowd pleaser as the roaring crowd move gravitates towards the procession of speedy drums and unifying backing vocals. Together, each member injects enough adrenaline into the room to turn any party into a full-scale riot. The band also decide to play a metal rendition of the Doctor Who theme tune into one of their songs, which around halfway through the vocalist announces that the song is in fact about Cybermen. Meanwhile, the vocalist maintains a strong ability to engage and entertain the Friday night attendees. This approach is also carried forward with references to Jeremy Corbyn, as he pronounces “This is out national anthem: Thash Ain’t Dead”. The band follow up with a speedy array of riffs and lethal sounding drums.
Kremated is a band that others can learn from in the domain of performing live. For a start, they don’t take themselves too seriously, yet they make some solid pit stirring anthems. On the other hand, their music isn’t all about gimmicks and funny one-liners. Their music packs one enough punch to make anyone stand up and take them seriously. Great work guys!
As the lights dim back down, and the arms raise, One Machine [4.5/5] burst straight into their set with the vicious sounding ‘Forewarning’. As the cathartic vocals soar high above the guitars, the tight drumming locks the Barfly into a procession of clapping hands as the guitarists flex their fret board mastery.
Meanwhile, ‘Armchair Warriors’ comes with galloping drums, stadium filler guitars and vocals that bleed with urgency. The guitar crescendo has metallers standing awestruck with gaping mouths and half drunk beers. The band prove their upcoming new material is first class with the title track, ‘Final Cull’. The quintet displays an effortless concoction of guitar solos and powerful lyrics that lock everyone in the small sweaty venue to the front stage area.
Personal highlight, ‘Kill The Hope’ bursts out with larger than life riffs and powerful wailing and enough of their fans singing along. What’s more the melodic passages reveal the band’s diverse influences. Despite having to rush through their set and even having to omit a song from their set list, the band deliver an outstanding set, full of professionalism and innovation. The vocalist’s rapport with the crowd receives an applause from metal heads craving for another dose of noise.
Even if this isn’t your personal brand of metal, you’d have a hard time not walking away from these guys and finding fault with any aspect of their sound. From the songs they played to the stage presence, they prove that they are at the top of their game in what they do!