Nargaroth + Absu + Hate + Nekrodelirium + Bloodrocuted
@ The Boston Music Room, London
1st June 2017
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Oliver M.
Black Metal is renowned for its white hot energy. And its no surprise if you go to a gig in the spring or summer time, that the whole concert becomes a sauna with the omniscient stench of sweaty fellow metalheads wafting over you.
That was very much the case a few weeks ago when the German Black Metal titans: Nargaroth came to the capital on their UK tour, promoting new album: Era of Threnody.
21 years on the road and seven studio albums didn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of the German bulwark in the realms of said music and the supports brought forth from all over Europe proved to be more than entertaining this night.
First up on the bill, all the way from Belgium, were a Thrash Metal group: Bloodrocuted – supposedly named after a song by Dethklok, but I might be wrong.
And in short, this was as good an opener as the attendance in the Boston Music Room at the start of the gig. I could see Bloodrocuted were enjoying themselves and a few keen fans were right at the front of the stage to show support which I’ll congratulate them for – but low and forgettable is really all I have to say.
I recall some pretty good riffs that bounced off the walls and ceilings as the set progressed and every now and again I was wondering if the band were touching upon Melodic Death Metal as I was a little bit reminded of Dissection’s later work.
But it was fairly middle-of-the-road Thrash Metal all the way and I can’t really point out anything of high value that stood out for me. This band have been around only a few years so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt and see if they’re better next time I cross their paths.
Up next we had some new talent that emerged from the motherland of Black Metal six years ago: Nekrodelirium.
Fronted by one very talented vocalist: Sandra Stensen, this band began the chain reaction of proverbial explosions that torched the venue into a furnace as the night wore on.
To begin with, I wasn’t so sure if this would be a legitimate band or some weird clone of other bands with outlandish imagery like Tribulation.
But no, Nekrodelirium had it all, sounds that echoed the current black metal anger and blasts and tremolos that had me imagining I was watching Darkthrone live at some point in the 90s, when Fenriz put on shows.
Talent oozed from frontwoman Sandra Stensen and the guitars and drums were all connected together like an expert piece of diecast modelling. A finely assembled army of darkness was recruiting a wide crowd of Black Metal lovers for I felt the crowd grew bigger as Nekrodelirium raged from one song to another.
Excellent musicianship and impressive charisma, I look forward to seeing this band again and hearing of any new studio releases they might have on the horizon.
First Belgium, then Norway – now it was Poland’s turn.
In town to promote their new album: ‘Tremendum’, the Death Metal veterans, Hate came about to give the city an astounding bombardment of Poland’s metal magnificence.
For a city with a strong Polish community, I feel this band’s appearance attracted a lot of blood from that group and the crowd was bolstered well. The mosh pits became more and more gruesome as tune after tune about Satanism, Darkness and the more horrific side of modern life blasted from the PA.
Not a single band at this gig was betrayed by the PA system I must add, so excellent job there Music Room.
Hate gave the night a fine piece of their mind saying just how angry people are across the continent and from that anger swells the creativity to build some of the most honest audible art ever concocted.
Excellently performed and beautifully received – thank you Hate.
So far, Europe seemed to be on fire this night. Quite similar to how me and my friends were feeling now the temperature had rocketed with all the good energy coming from the crowd.
But now things were to become angrier and bleaker on a wider international scale. For all the way from Texas, one of America’s most notorious states, came a band whose output combined both old and new school black metal and elements of performance art.
Absu. A veteran band of the USBM scene whom I can only describe as the only such band whose vocalist is also the drummer. Proscriptor McGovern began the band’s set with some excellent blasts and grooves that would have suited wide ranges of fans who like their metal classic or more contemporary.
He was what stole the show for me because after another drummer took charge, McGovern came front and centre and performed the only vocals I’ve ever seen done with an earpiece microphone.
To add to the quirkiness of Absu’s performance, McGovern accompanied the vocals with odd dance moves and rather enticing actions. At first I was thinking: Is this some kind of Black Metal drag act? Or is he conducting a ceremony of worship which I think the likes of Ron Athey and Bob Flanagan might enjoy.
Absu had a very fine repertoire but it was the presence of McGovern that stole the show and I’d like to see this band again solely for him. The music was also pristine and the rest of the band gave all they had so one very memorable performance from our brothers across the pond.
Now we were back in Europe for the finale of the show.
With the seventh studio album ‘Era of Threnody’ now out, it was time for Nargaroth, all the way from Germany to tell us just how strong the country’s BM scene was now doing.
Nargaroth are an atmospheric band and they have used a lot of different routes from across the genre’s spectrum over the years and I was pleased to hear a wide range of hits that had got me into the band.
Though I do recall the crowd getting a little bit overzealous in showing their appreciation. See Nargaroth are a band best appreciated indoors and with a keen gaze to soak up the anger and inner terrors that Ash has put to music.
Here, people were moshing without a second thought. Now I’m not against moshing but there is a time and a place for it and I think this wasn’t it.
Other than that, Nargaroth did not disappoint. All the touring and many shows they’ve played over the years have revved them up to put on an outstanding show of talent that I was very impressed by.
Overall this was one very memorable night but if I were to ask for anything it’s please let there be an encore next time as Nargaroth left a little abruptly, but that might have been the heat.
The world of metal is still very much on fire.