Domitorem + Ereskigal + Völniir + Sufferer
@ The Black Heart, London
March 9, 2018
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Thomas Saunders
What keeps people into metal is the ongoing emergence of new blood pumped into the veins of every scene in every city. Or, it can be the experienced veterans of said scenes doing something new. And a new act took to the live stage for the first time in the capital on a Friday night in March at The Black Heart in Camden. But firstly, it was time for some up and coming acts to open for the new project.
Opening the night were the London based death metal act Sufferer, a trio who’ve been gigging non-stop over the past few months all over the capital, and had played one show exactly a week before on this very stage.
So here they were, ready for round two. And I must say, Sufferer are an act of much precision. Especially drummer Caio Alves who had it in him to pack more than a punch when it comes to precision blast beats and technical tempo changes, giving Sufferer a mix of old and new school death sounds.
Vocalist Cam Clarke roared over the thick blackened riffs expressing tune after tune of melancholy and general aggression at all types of things that can anger and exasperate a young person in today’s society. Even though the crowd could have offered a little bit more support and enthusiasm in my opinion, it felt as though Sufferer were well received as an opening act. A nice blast of good death metal to start the night.
Up next were a band from the north of the country. Formed in Manchester in 2016, Volniir took to the stage with intent to show how all over this green and pleasant land, the common metal fan can create and express a strong level of aggression in both stripped down and atmospheric ways.
To begin with, Völniir offered some tight and hard boiled black metal given at fine speed and a good set of vocals and drums. But as time wore on, I felt the band could have done with being a little heavier. They were in no way bland or seemed like another generic UKBM act, they had potential – but could have done with perhaps an extra guitarist to add some depth to the mix.
Völniir played on well and proved to be a strong act who’ve definitely worked well to get where they are, but maybe just a little work around the edges could be put in. Apart from that, a decent act playing decent tunes.
And so we’d had some novice blood from the north and south of the nation showing how the British extreme metal world is still alive and angry with lots of new ideas raging from the amps.
But now it was time for a band who’ve existed as a project of a UKBM veteran in more shape than one since 2012 and were now ready to perform their first live show in London.
Armed with a lineup consisting of members of bands like Sathamel, Vehement and the recently defunct: Repulsive; Ereskigal strolled onto the stage ready to give us a rendition of UKBM as fierce as how the band appeared.
It seemed fit so say Ereskigal was a supergroup of sorts, not just because it had veteran musicians like Dev Gohil (guitar) and Elliot Beaver (vocals) at the helm, but the precision and outright onslaught of every tune was little more than mind blowing.
From the moment the music began to fly from the amps like a fresh barrage of heavy machine gun fire, I knew this was one new group with plenty of straying power. A little ironic for a band whose debut EP is titled Sojourn (a brief stay).
Their stay may have been brief, but I knew this wasn’t going to be the last time I’d see this band live. Ereskigal had the might in them to send the crowd into a brutal frenzy only Black Metal is capable of doing. I thank these guys for giving many a London metalhead the impression that UKBM is not waning in power. It is here to stay with plenty of new material on the horizon. Keep up the good work, lads.
And last but not in any means, least, we had the headline act of the show. The band who grew out of the gone but not forgotten project: Premature Birth and who slayed their appearance at Incineration Festival last year arrived to showcase their versatility in playing extreme music about death and horror and suffering: Domitorem.
The theme of doing something new or taking a different path was evident here to, for a recent lineup change had led to keyboardist Morath (Vicki Thompson) ditching her keys for the bass guitar. So now we had Domitorem the guitar band for the first time on stage.
And I have to say, minus the symphonics Domitorem still packed a hard enough punch to show the world that these guys just won’t stop making excellent music.
In this band we had veterans of the London metal scene whom I’ve seen perform in countless bands for the best part of a decade. And it’s true what they say: some people just keep getting better with age. And Domitorem are no exception.
Blast after blast raged on over the PA and out of the amps as the crowd roared and cheered on these guys who took the esoteric and alchemic themes of all kinds of Black Metal and shoved them right in our faces with plenty of twists and turns in the riffs.
In short, Domitorem raged through hit after hit to say they were here to stay and more than likely lead the way in the movement of esoteric UK Black Metal that might come about and rage forth in the coming future.
I’ve had plenty of respect for these guys over the years and that definitely hasn’t been torn from me, as they once again tore up the stage and the crowd into another blissful frenzy making it clear the London metal scene won’t be broken anytime soon.
That was another good Friday night out enjoying the many talents of London’s Metal scene and its definitely exciting seeing some new projects finally out on the road.