Anaal Nathrakh @ Camden Underworld, London 15th May 2011
Support Line Up: Drugzilla, Xerath, Palehorse
Review and photos by Jo Blackened
Sundays are usually a day of rest, to recover from the weekend but not for London’s Metal heads who were heading for Camden tonight for a Brutal night with Anaal Nathrakh!
Given the slow transport Sunday service I arrived quite early and there was already a good crowd outside, lining up with tickets in one hand & beer in the other! The doors opened on time and with the place filled up fast!
First band on was Palehorse; a band who formed in 2003. They released a three song demo which was described as ‘hardcore with a furious wrath’. Soon after they played Connecticut, New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts with 2005 being a huge year for the band but soon followed the devastating loss of band member; guitarist John Tamas. The band continued, releasing another EP which followed the Album ‘Amongst The Flock’ soon after the band made some line-up changes with them releasing ‘Hate Your Guts’ with Vinny fronting the band & Dave on lead, they are now currently on tour with Anaal Nathrakh!
As soon as these guys entered the stage, there was no doubt in my mind these guys are crazy!
As I haven’t seen these guys before I wasn’t sure if they were just really drunk or if they always perform like this?
Either way they were great!
I wasn’t feeling their music too much at first, despite the intense bass lines that were pounding from the stage but the growls and screams coming from vocalist ‘Vinny’ were impressive!
Their set seemed to end fast and although they did start to grow on me and despite them being quite extreme in their sound, it seemed to stay the same throughout with lack of variation, but there was one thing you just could fault with these guys and that was their stage presence!
Throughout their set these guys gave great energy with the vocalist unable to stand still!
Spending most of his time, jumping off stage into the crowd, hitting people as he went which he did genuinely seem sorry for and giving everyone hugs which the crowd just loved!
This band are great live and definitely worth seeing, giving a great start to the night!
Second band on was Xerath! A four member symphonic metal band from UK, who formed in 2007 and who are now signed to Candlelight Records.
These guys are just amazing, live and in the studio! This was my second time seeing them this month, but I love this band so much I would happily see them again next week!
With a slight delay due to a longer sound check, and as they were just about to start, they soon realised they were one member down; who was still back-stage, but the rest of the members joked with the crowd asking if anyone had seen him? But it wasn’t long until their symphonic intro began to play and the now larger crowd went crazy for these guys!
But even with technical problems and missing band members, this is one band who are worth the wait!
They have such a great energy & presence on stage, this was definitely the best performance I’ve seen from them to date!
All members were on top-form tonight and ‘Richard Thomson’s’ vocals sounded brutal and amazing, with great riffs from ‘Owain Williams’ and intense bass from ‘Christopher Clark’ and impressive drumming from ‘Michael Pitman ‘ as well as giving great interaction with the crowd throughout their set and in-between songs.
Playing tracks from their first album ‘I’ and their just released ‘II’ album, including one of my fave’s ‘Enemy Incited Armageddon’ it was no surprise the crowd were going crazy!
These guys have such a strong stage presence it’s impossible not to get caught up in their energy.
Their set was way too short for me and I’m sure it won’t be long until these guys will be headlining at larger venues, this is one band who are a ‘must see’!
Third band on…wasn’t really a band at all, with just one guy appearing on stage with a laptop in hand, wearing a black mask, so it was no surprise there was a confused looking crowd with no-one knowing what to expect. This would be Drugzilla; an extreme experimental electronica metal duo from Ireland and with quotes like; "We are here to make your eardrums bleed, your stomach wretch and your brain melt"….they weren’t wrong!
The crowd’s reaction was of shock at first as their first song belted out intense faced paced extreme techno metal, which was pretty amusing to watch at first!
I personally really enjoyed them, but it clear the audience wasn’t taking to this new hardcore techno pace, with metallers looking at each other with the look of confusion on their faces, but I did see two people getting into their set and it wasn’t long until the rest warmed up.
Despite the cold and silent crowd the masked member seemed to be enjoying himself throwing his arms up and doing the metal horns throughout his set and it wasn’t long until he was mixing in some well known death metal tracks which the crowd easily identified too and the crowd soon accepted him.
Half-ways through the set his mask was taken off, to reveal yet another one, whilst another member joined him on stage with mic in hand, who belted out some rather impressive death metal vocals which got one member of the crowd so excited he couldn’t resist jumping on stage to show his appreciation!
But as stated in previous gig reviews, there is lack of security here at the Underworld and crowd surfing and fans jumping on stage are common, I had no idea what was yet to come with this!
The brutal vocals went down well and it was a shame there wasn’t more of this as the second band member left after afew minutes whilst the other member took over on vocals, but his microphone was so quiet you could barely hear him but appearing on stage was vocalist ‘Vinny’ from first band ‘Palehorse’ who took over and joined in for some guest vocals which the audience went crazy for.
Probably not the best duo to play in this line-up tonight as most UK Metallers really don’t appreciate the hardcore techno vibe but their energy was great and they did get a great reaction from the crowd when they walked off stage to an amusing funny outro and it was clear why this duo were picked to play tonight!
There seemed to be quite a long delay before the headlining band were ready to come on stage, but the DJ kept the crowd happy belting out death metal tracks throughout, having stopped once or twice not knowing if the band members were ready to come on!
This was down to technical problems, but although the crowd grew impatient they seemed happy entertaining themselves, chanting ‘Anaal Nathrakh’ until the lights went down and it just turned into screams!
It was pretty obvious from the over-packed crowd and their reaction that this was the band they were all here to see tonight, but for those who missed the support bands, you really did miss a great line-up!
Tonight’s Headliners need no introduction! Anaal Nathrakh!!! The UK based members burst onto stage with vocalist David Hunt Aka ‘V.I.T.R.I.O.L’ screaming in the faces of the crowd!
These guys actually hosted the London and Birmingham shows, choosing the support bands themselves for this tour!
There is no doubt they were the highlight of tonight! They are such a brutal band and just amazing live with fantastic energy from all the members from the start, showing their years of gig experience, they clearly loved the crowd’s reaction tonight!
Playing some great tracks they were continually joking throughout their set whilst chatting to the crowd, they were really funny and entertaining; Especially when apologising to the crowd for having to cancel their recent ‘Cardif’ show and making a personal apology to one member of the audience who was shouting out his disappointment as his band were one of the support bands who was suppose to have been playing with them!
This was so funny as ‘Dave Hunt’ dedicated the next track to him apologising for his 48 hour illness but feeling like you’re about to die, there’s not much you can do, except watch the boxset of ‘House’!
Drinking beer throughout, they really played a great set list including a track from their new album ‘Passion’ via Candlelight Records, Dave joked to the audience, come on guys don’t pretend you’ve not heard it, I know you’ve already downloaded it online!
It wasn’t long until the stage diving started and all the members were happily encouraging the crowd to join him on stage to do one massive stage dive! This was probably one of the funniest things I’ve seen, despite it being almost impossible to get any shots of this, I can honestly say it was crazy, with metallers flying everyone with one or two who just dropped and hit the floor hard!
This band play so tight, with such great energy it was actually disappointing when their set finished and I was surprised there was no encore, but given the time with four bands playing tonight, I have never seen the venue emptied so quickly!
Tonight was an awesome gig and one that shouldn’t have been missed, even for a Sunday night!