@ Camden Underworld, London
25th August 2016
Photos by Michelle Murphy
Review By Ashlinn Nash
The gig tonight comes with the unfortunate timing of being a weekday event. So before even being in Camden there was a hope from this punter and a few on the train, that it would be packed out enough to really get a mosh pit going. There needn’t have been that worry as outside the venue was an impressive queue all boasting a buzz about holding the tickets for the night in their summer sweat palms, coupled with a big smile when the doors finally opened!
Due to a bit of an admin error we are unable to get into the venue until Cypher 16’s slot but thanks the kind hard work of the label we managed to secure a spot for Soilwork.
It was all made up for by the crowd being so electric; people keen to buy shirts, merchandise and talk to bands who had played and were about too. A sense of community which is quite rare these days to find was still going strong among everyone.
It’s wasn’t long before Cypher 16 [3.5/5] hit the intimate stage, prowling on with a chi-building instrumental track. Welcomed in by the floor packed crowd who were keen for a blast of Cypher 16’s creative sound, they met with a flourish of dry ice as the four piece soon got to work using the old school carcass-esque style of creating harmonies through their instruments and striking interesting pitches creatively rather than relying solely on keyboards.
It’s about halfway through the set that the band become as submerged in dry ice as the crowd are in music. The pit roared and the moshers wanted more, especially when asked the question “do you want a fast song or a slow song?” Why would you ever say a slow one! The band closed with “Lonely Road” which was a triumphant end to the impressive and delightful to watch set.
The key parts to pull out from Cypher 16’s performance, besides their skillful playing and having a great rapport with the crowd, is the fact that they are humble about it; they acknowledged the two other bands on the bill frequently and thanked the bands for being there. Cypher 16 are a brand of original rock and hard work all with a healthy mix of metal and industrial tweaks which make them appealing across the board as well as massive in sound!
The chants for the evening’s headliner began as the rumbles out of the last chords for Cypher 16 died away. Soilwork [4/5] hit the stage promptly to a harmonious opening of the “The Ride Majestic”
Mainly drawing from old and new slices found on the compilation, “Death Resonance” which has just been released this year, they also offered material from their most recent studio album,”The Ride Majestic”.
Their unique sound is a fusion of the classic Gothenburg metal sound with power-groove riffs of late 1970s, early 1980s British and European metal. It has evolved to fit with the modern times, and they still retain the quality of the old school manual of metal, but pump in new ways of delivering it.
Especially when it comes to live performance, you feel like you’re in stadium with them, the flamboyance of the band is remarkable, using every inch of the stage to fill it with head-bangs, fist pumps which soar the crowd into an overdrive of frenzied excitement.
The band would be lacking a crucial part without the super talented Vocally, Björn “Speed” Strid, who has been for the entirety of the band’s history. His vocal style shifts quite frequently from screams to growls to soulful clean vocals to soaring harmonies. In the live environment it is loud and victorious as well as well respected by the crowd who push him to perform to peak.
The setlist tonight offers a bit of insight into the progression of the band’s sound, with newer tracks and older ones mixing well and being used to advantage throughout. Such as tracks “The Chainheart Machine”, “Let This River Flow” and “Bastard Chain” and smoothing it over with an encore of “This Momentary Bliss” and saving the best for last “Stabbing the drama”
By the time the band finish the boys in Soilwork made damn sure that every song they have released is was worth revisiting. It makes you feel nostalgic to even be here. With their strong combinations of killer bombastic riffs go down after gloriously rich in harmony crescendos, you feel a sense of being alive again and that is the mark of a good live show.
It became apparent why the support bands where chosen for this evening, they all seem to have found elements of Soilwork an inspiration so it felt an overall together evening. Mixing the old and new breed of metal together, it was a fantastic night of quality bands in a one of London’s best venues!
The Ride Majestic
The Chainheart Machine
Death in General
Let This River Flow
Petrichor by Sulphur
The Living Infinite
Whirl of Pain
Late for the Kill, Early for the Slaughter
This Momentary Bliss
Stabbing the Drama