@ The Underworld, London
22nd January 2018
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Jo Blackened
The Underworld; the finest venue in Camden Town was packed to the brim tonight with a sold-out show of metalheads eagerly awaiting some extremist entertainment on a Monday night – one can think of no better way to start the week.
So there we were all piling in and drinking well when first band: Stahlsarg; a homegrown Black Metal act from Suffolk took to the stage.
Having been on tour for over 5 years and having released their second studio album: Mechanisms of Misanthropy last year, Stahlsarg are regulars on the London metal circuit. I’d seen them tear up the stage at Incineration Festival last year, now for another onslaught.
And what an onslaught it was. With themes as far and wide as historical battles, moments of major turning points in history which might have led to bloodshed or plenty of anger in the common man, or just general moments of violence blurted from the amps.
Stahlsarg are not too technical a band, but certainly have the audacity to take on many good themes of modern Black Metal and deliver it at either a steady and bold pace, or something as fast as a Scud missile blazing towards an enemy target.
I’ve viewed Stahlsarg as the leaders of war-themed Black Metal alongside fellow Suffolk group Eastern Front, and here the venue did not betray the boys from putting up one very good fight.
No matter how hard these guys may have been hit by the recent recession or whatever music industry struggles have come their way, they still came out on top, opening the show with nothing more than all audible guns blazing to fire up the crowd.
Next, it was the turn of two men all the way from the USA to come and give us a good blast. Inquisition; a band who’ve faced a fair share of controversy in their 29 years on the road, but have defied all that to come and produce some delectable atmospheric BM that sounded nothing short of perfect in this underground cavern.
Frontman and guitar lead Dagon walked on and was more than fired up to breathe some decent flames into the mike. And within seconds we were all under the spell of Inquisition, which I’m now quite miffed I missed them at Bloodstock last year.
But now was the time to be taken in and given a delightful session of audible bliss as the songs flowed and bounced around the room, Dagon’s fantastic screams accompanied by drummer Incubus’s fluid blast beats.
And I was not the only one feeling good to see this band, the crowd were going wild! I’m not saying it’s wrong to be moshing or crowd surfing, as the crowd began to do, but this band didn’t strike me as the sort who’d incite such activity.
Inquisition play atmospheric BM, the type I’ve never had down as the kind you can mosh to, and every few seconds another drunken reveller was up on the stage, running around Dagon and diving back in, with not much sight of security.
If you’re going to a gig like this, be aware of the sort of music you’re going to see and expect mosh pits and mayhem. The crowd were non-stop entertainment tonight!
Besides that, Inquisition delivered classic after classic tracks. Though I did feel a little too long a set time might have been handed out with two short intervals in the set.
Apart from that, Inquisition told us that despite recent hardship in the States, the recent changes in its government and culture has not damaged its BM output. Great show boys!
- From Chaos They Came
- Hymn For a Dead Star
- Dark Mutilation Rites
- Ancient Monumental War Hymn
- Command of the Dark Crown
- The Realm of Shadow Shall Forever Reign
- Vortex From the Celestial Flying Throne of Storms
- Embraced By The Unholy Powers of Death and Destruction
- Astral Path to Supreme Majesties
- Desolate Funeral Chant
- Infinite Interstellar Genocide
- A Magnificent Crypt of Stars
And finally, it was time for the highlight of the evening Septicflesh.
Coming all the way from, Athens, Greece. they bring some of the best in the world of Symphonic Death Metal.
Septicflesh are still eager to give a fine rendition of new material from their recent album Codex Omega flourished from the darkness.
Dressed in costumes I can only liken to the still-suits worn by the Fremen in the film Dune, these Greeks were ready for action. And that action blasted us right to the back of the neck as the drums began to rain down on us and the guitars and bass split through skin and bone to show the world Greece is in no way failing on the Metal front.
Excellence in technicality, tempo and tightness of the group was more than enough to say this band were going to put on a good show. As well as giving us lots of good tunes from recent studio outings and from across their versatile career, Septicflesh were a very welcoming and homely band. I was each time Spiros Antoniou addressed the crowd as ‘my friends’, making me feel proud of how hospitable Greeks can be – having been surrounded by them all my life.
And again, this was a wholly memorable jam of finely crafted orchestration, particularly pianos even though there wasn’t a keyboardist on stage, but it still meant Septicflesh are a widely versed group of bards.
The crowd felt the good vibes echoing around the room as everyone went nuts the moment fan favourite ‘Anubis’ began playing, with people jumping on the stage and crowd surfing!
I was very pleased to hear a lot of songs from across the band’s 27 years in the business. Something about them spoke through to me saying that no matter how terrible things might seem at times, these guys just lift you up. With their immense energy, they do not go quietly into the night.
In fact, we had a band here saying that strength has come and built itself taller in times of hardship, especially for the Greeks.
Well done my friends, you really ripped a whole new whole of excellence in the Underworld that night. Keep up the excellent work Septicflesh.
- Portrait of a Headless Man
- The Vampire from Nazareth
- Pyramid God
- Enemy of Truth
- Dante’s Inferno
- Dark Art