Akercocke + Hecate Enthroned + Kill For Company
@ The Underworld, London
October 28, 2017
Review and photography by Thomas
A suitable weekend indeed for the anticipated Akercocke, with Halloween festivities in full swing. We enter into a busy Underworld, large queues already formed at the bar and merchandise stall, groups of fans eagerly discussing the awaited concert.
As the stage warms up, first up to roar into the night are Kill For Company (3/5), formed very here in London, 2014.
Being the first on to open for a major band can make any band quake, but it certainly didn’t show as Kill For Company’s vocalist Tom Hennessy roars onto the stage in a manner reminiscent of early Pantera.
They belted out a strong, if a little disorganized sound throughout their set. The heaviness and energy of their offerings was enjoyed by those drawn to the stage by vocalist Tom’s ferocity. My only real gripe was they they’re a band still searching for ‘their’ sound, as they shift uncomfortably from Thrashing riffs and belting drum-work, to a Metal-Core sound that is too reliant of breakdowns to keep up the speed of other tracks.
However, where these guys thrived tonight was in personality, making use of almost every gap between songs, they made callouts to the crowd, raising fists and enjoying every moment of being on stage.
After a short break, Hecate Enthroned (4.5/5) take to the stage amongst a chilling light and fog. This band take no time in pulling a large crowd to the front rows as lead vocalist Joe Stamps screams out into the night with great effect.
This was made all the more theatrical with his hooded cowl and microphone in hand as he often crouched down low to the audience utilizing his strong vocal range to emphasize the equally strong set that they played.
Their set went through the entirety of their catalog, starting with new material and then heading straight back into the more stripped back black metal sound of their earlier works.
The sound was focused, ferocious and was being so very well received by the eager audience, whom screamed along with vocalist Stamps in many of the songs and were very much enjoying the atmosphere here.
As Hecate Enthroned leave the stage, many of the crowd stay fixed in place, eagerly facing forward in in waiting for Akercocke (4/5).
The mood amongst the crowd prior to their presence is one of anxious excitement, with people crowding into the front rows in preparedness for the headline act to show themselves.
This being Akercockes’ penultimate night of the tour, they literally jump into the stage with the unrelenting blast of “Horns Of Baphomet”, to the delight of the fans whom erupt into a feverous pit from the first note that is struck by Akercocke.
The sound is spot on as Akercocke burn through a superb set, focusing heavily on their most recent album Renaissance In Extremis , which to some was a bad thing, but for myself, I basked in their energy and progressive blend of Blackened Death Metal and the creativity of Jason Mendonça’s superior vocal styles.
Also on incredible form tonight was long serving drummer David Grey, delivery each note and song with flair and genuine passion. This was especially with songs such as “Inner Sanctum”.
Lead vocalist Jason Mendonça was on fine form tonight, bellowing out each track with great precision and showmanship, stalking the stage and evening leaping into songs such as ‘Unbounded By Sin’ which sounded amazing with lead guitarist Paul Scanlan effortlessly executing each riff with practiced ease all while head-banging along to pretty much every song. There was a problem at one point with vocalist Jason Mendonça’s mic, leading to an impromptu guitar solo by Lead guitarist Paul Scanlan, whom himself seemed rather pleased to take stage for those few minutes.
An additional surprise for tonights performance was in the form of Akercocke’s live keyboardist Sam Loynes, being full of exuberant energy throughout the show. Be it in the form of scowling at the audience or striking a series of poses in manic style.
The atmosphere tonight was great, with the crowd going into furious mosh pits at every song, chanting wildly at the end of each track and thoroughly enjoying every moment of the strong performance.
Delving into earlier material as the performance bounded onwards, They ended the set of “Enraptured By Evil” from the album Choronzon, playing it with a great fury that left the crowd happily decimated by the extremely powerful Akercocke.
1. Horns of Baphomet
2. Son of the Morning
4. Unbounded by Sin
6. First to Leave the Funeral
7. Familiar Ghosts
8. One Chapter Ends for Another to Begin
9. Inner Sanctum
10. A Particularly Cold September
11. A Skin for Dancing In
12. Enraptured by Evil