Damim + Natas + Hex Morbidity + Sufferer
@ The Black Heart, Camden, London
1st March 2018
Review by Ryan Whitwell
Photos by Jo Blackened
On a snowy Thursday night, a gathering of black metal fans made their way through frozen Camden Town to see four bands at The Black Heart. Tonight would be a pretty good mix of black metal styles, with Damim being supported by Natas, Hex Morbidity and Sufferer.
Sufferer began the evening with just two of three members on stage, with the drummer and one guitarist/vocals blasting out some frantic blackened death metal for the opening number.
The next number, Pale Blue Dot, saw the other guitarist, Allastair Thomson, having a bit of a technical issue, so it took a while before the band was in full flow.
But once full flow was achieved Sufferer sounded great. Songs like “Raise Your Sword” offered some steadier headbanging rhythms, with chanting lyrics from Cam Clarke repeating the song’s title.
The face-painted three-piece don’t feature a bass guitar, with the lower frequencies being filled by the frantic bass drum of Caio Alves.
The tempo throughout the set had huge swings, seemingly offering steadier headbanging phases juxtaposed with break-neck, thrashy death metal.
Funeral Rain was a good example of this, with it’s low and sludgy opening being blown away by that rapid bass drum and the occasional half-time beat to keep us headbangers on our toes.
Stepping out with a hip flask in one hand, and a hollow body Epiphone in the other, Jarod Lawley; frontman of Hex Morbidity, stood centre stage at the Black Heart.
A short blast of pre-recorded organs and choir set the melancholic tone before the band went straight into “Half a League Down”.
Some great tremolo playing from guitarist Torbjørn Jørstad added an old-school black metal edge here and they went well with the aggressive drumming style of Demitri Levantis.
No bass guitars on stage though, instead Hex Morbidity have cello player, Arianna Mahsayeh, who adds some great macabre tones, especially in tracks like “Pallu Noch” where the gothic cello sound was given a chance to shine.
We got a great taste of a couple of new songs from the band, as they mentioned they are recording new music.
Tracks like “Decree of the Nazarene” offering a glimpse at a darker and heavier sound that was well received.
Ending the set with the rapid and furious, “Hex Morbidity”, these guys sounded great with some great musicianship throughout the set.
All the way from Førde, Norway, for their first ever London gig, Natas took to the stage.
Wearing Satanic corpse paint and spiked arm guards, the look certainly matched the sound.
By the third number, the blackened side of ‘melodic black metal’ began to take hold as the tone of the set shifted to an even darker side.
The two vocalists worked well together, allowing for a mix of deep and guttural growls and higher, chord straining screams.
Along with the two vocalists, there were four other members in this band, which was a bit of a squeeze in the Black Heart, but it worked well.
The two guitarists seemed to switch between lead and rhythm, which I liked. The tempos and moods tended to switch throughout as well, with almost choral chanting juxtaposed with hard-hitting blackened death.
As the set continued it seemed madness began to set in, as the songs grew darker and chaotic as if Satan was slowly creeping through the room and getting closer to the stage. This reached its climax with the final track, “Blasphemy”, as the satanic themes were made crystal clear and the room’s headbanging intensified.
It was Norwegian blackened death metal at its best.
No messing around from headliners Damim.
Just a quick four-count and straight into The Difference Engine.
It’s a big, fast number, which gave Flow on drums a good leg work out as the kick pedal battered the bass drum. Didn’t take long for the fans that were not scared off by the snow outside to get into the set, with plenty of banging heads all over.
The distorted and dirty riffs from Nathan and Edd on guitar continued into the next number, Eyeballing, as everyone was well and truly warmed up. The raw energy contained within the frantic blackened thrash metal was firing into the fans. I’m a big fan of a solid guitar solo, and there were a fair few.
The one in ‘In a language, they understand’ was a corker! At this point, all note taking went out the door as I decided to get into the headbanging mode that this band is perfect for.
Plenty of fills and continuously frantic beats from the drummer ensured there would be plenty of stiff necks the next day.
Damim also treated us to a newer number, Descendants of Amalek, that has some great a few rhythm changes in there that sounded pretty tight and gave a good suggestion that the band may have a few more technical numbers on their next release, which is something I’m looking forward too.
I do feel sorry for the people that missed out on this one due to transport links freaking out over the weather, because it was a cracking line-up, and Damim did a great job of making those in attendance use the last of their energy with the kind of full throttle, infectious thrash that makes it near impossible to keep still.
The Difference Engine
In a Language They Understand
No God With Me
All I Want to Know Is…
Beyond The Call of emptiness
Descendants of Amalek
Body is Broken
Mirror Image Ritual
Hex Morbidity: www.hexmorbidity.com