Tengger Cavalry + Formicarius + Maxdymz
The Underworld, Camden, LONDON
Review by Nathan Slack
Photography by Miguel de Melo
On tonight’s bill we have a rather hastily drawn up lineup from Nightshift Promotions, who had the unenviable task of trying to find 2 bands that could open for an Nomadic Folk metal band like Tengger Cavalry.
Being a bit DIY or die…(on their ride), no bands had been added to the bill the week before they were due to fly over from their New York base. So it was left to London’s dark rockers, Maxdymz to open for us tonight. Personally would have loved 3 hours of the headliners but that might have been slightly unorthodox!
The openers fuse 80’s gothic rock with a 90’s metal sound, like Sisters of Mercy meets Pantera and remind me a little of Birmingham’s best, Godflesh who pioneered progressive industrial metal and helped form Grind Kings, Napalm Death.
I realised that I’ve met the lead singer, Twister many times whilst I’ve lived in London and have gotten drunk with him more than once. So standing there a little bemused I watch Twister cavort around the stage like an English Iggy Pop. Theres a seizable crowd here watching them thrash out their half hour set. It’s a fun half hour I’ll give them that and they have a sound that is still in fashion, or did it ever go out of fashion? Not sure. The drums are fast and heavy and guitars a nice and loud. Nothing amazing but better than I anticipated. 6/10
Next up is the symphonic black metal band Formicarius, formed of band members from other UK bands like De Profundis and Domitorem this young band take to the stage to launch their first album Black Mass Rituel (See a review by Independent Voice here. www.theindependentvoice.org/2017/08/04/formicarius-black-mass-ritual/)
They have a great many influences from Emperor to Dimmu Borgir and add keyboards to a crushing black metal sound. Personally I’m not a big fan of the straight up corpse painted black metal bands and I really don’t dig it live. So maybe I’m not the best person to formulate an opinion of this band. Wasn’t my thing… everyone else before them does it better..etc. I really don’t want to be too negative here and by all means ignore me, read that album review and give them a listen because everyone deserves a shot. 5/10
Before putting my name forward for this gig I watched a few video’s on YouTube, watching the Mongolian/American Folk metal band’s past live performances and I have to say I was really excited to see them live. The blend traditional Central Asian instruments and overtone throat singing perfectly into a form of Folk metal never before heard in the genre.
I certainly was a lively and energetic performance from the band and hearing “War Horse” live kicked off a rapid mosh pit to match its fast paced riffs. “Die on my Ride”, one of their new singles off of their acclaimed 2017 studio album of the same name was also a great treat.
What let them down a little was that only half the band was there, Uljmuren who plays the Morin Khurrs, a Mongolian fiddle was notably absent and the drums were played from a small laptop that the guitarist has to fiddle with after every track. I’m sure that’s it’s very difficult to keep such a niche band together as replacements isn’t that easy to come by. Me and my friends had a fun night and we listened to some bands that we might not have listened to before but I ultimately felt a bit disappointed that we couldn’t get the full show from them. Would love to see them play in New York though with Uljmuren back on his ancient instrument. 7/10