@ The Underworld, Camden
19th September 2012
Review by Wolf Shankland
Photography by Michelle Murphy
I love the Underworld in Camden! It may be a small venue but it has housed some of the biggest names in metal, such as Fear Factory and Suffocation and tonight it’s home to Gothenburg melodic death metal titans, Engel.
So let’s get this mother fucker underway shall we…
Sadly, there was a lack of people here tonight and arriving there at 7.30 to find I was one of the only people down there (apart from bands, crew, sound techs and bar staff)
I know it’s the middle of the week but this was dire!!
Finally people started to turn up and the place started getting livelier, just in time too as Crystal Head appeared on stage.
Now I’m not gonna lie, this opening band wasn’t my cup of tea, they had some good hooks but I didn’t get into it, though these guys in certain areas did have the energy.
It’s just a shame it was quiet as these guys had a nice following at the Purple Turtle for their album release.
With an interesting mixture of sounds influenced by Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead and Nirvana, there were signs of melodies and the odd heavy pounding from the guitar and the intense drumming.
So with Crystal Head now finished the Underworld has started to pick up a little bit.
Bumping into Al from band Breed of Burden the drinkage begins ha-ha!! And right on time as Scandinavian melodic metallers Malrun take the stage to put on one hell of a show.
Now these guys can party, and just think, they burst onto the scene back in 2010 with their debut album “Beauty in Chaos” and playing massive festivals like German Roch Harz in July of this year, with huge bands such as Arch Enemy and Viking metallers Amon Amarth and they owned the stage at the Underworld tonight.
With vocalist Jacob calling from the stage to the upper crowd to join him on the floor the band kicked in with “Face of the Unknown” I loved them!!
They had so much energy it was flowing off the stage. Following with new song “Shadowborn” then “The Pledge” the crowd started to finally liven up!
Jacob really loved the crowd that night and enjoyed interacting with everyone. “New Blood” “The Iron March” and “Bloody Mary” followed, next to follow was the epic “The Jovian transit” which went down amazingly with this new crowd!
Ending on “Yoke of Stone” and “Trim the Fat” Malrun really got the crowd rallied up, even with the use of a megaphone, for our upcoming headliners.
Now the crowd begins to gather as Engel begin to setup for their set and it’s promised to be a good one! With London based bassist, Steve Drennan, back on UK soil and in his hometown of London, he definitely had a massive smile on his face.
After replacing former drummer Daniel Moilanen aka Mojjo, with Marionette drummer Jimmy Olausson, Engel recently released their newest album “Blood of Saints” back in May of this year and have been on what can be only described as the immense “THE BLOOD OF SAINTS OVER EUROPE TOUR” and they’re glad to be here at the Underworld, and to make it better, Malrun are supporting with Crystal Head!
The crowd has moved from the top to the floor, drinks are spilling but no one cares as they all try to get in closer to see these guys! But I need a drink….so I make my way to the bar where I bump into Jacob from Malrun, and congratulate him on a good set.
He agreed but was upset with the turn out tonight, but hopes the next gig in the UK will be a cracker. But now the hauntingly epic music kicks in and the lights dim.
The crowd roars in excitement as Engel take the stage!!
Opening with “Cash King” the crowd begins to move, hair flying, beers dropping as they’re knocked out peoples hands, damn equilibrium! As the crowd scream out as the song finishes, Magnus interacts with the crowd. Saying how excited Steve is to be back on UK soil.
The next songs “Scythe” and their new single “Frontline” shatter everyone’s ear drums, but they have nothing on this next song as Magnus reveals the next song “Casket Closing”…My favorite song! I first heard the demo version a few years ago and tonight they are playing with amazing hooks and killer drumming, from new drummer Jimmy who nails this song perfectly.
With Melodic vocals collaborating perfectly with the haunting screams from Magnus, it’s no wonder this epic went down a storm!
Now I didn’t realize till halfway through but then it hit me, they’re down a guitarist!!??
It didn’t hinder their performance at all however as just having the one was as good as two, and this was shown in the next track “Threnody”.
Next up is the dubstep infused song “Question your Place”.
I’ve recently seen dubstep rise up in the scene quickly, why?? It’s horrible!! But this song does it alright to be fair, and the crowd really loved it.
Engel really had the crowd by the horns tonight; Magnus gave Steve the crowd, telling us how happy he is to be back home, as well as insulting Magnus’s lack of English ha-ha!
They started playing through epics such as “Calling Out”, “Elbow and Knives” and many more gripping epics before ending the set with the awesome “Propaganda” which left the crowd wanting more.
So they answered the call with an amazing encore of “Sense the fire” “Until Eternity Ends” and the sick as fuck “In Splendour”.
Tonight Engel destroyed The Underworld like many others before them!!!
Well done you psychotic fuckers!!
Question Your Place
One Good Thing
Six Feet Deep
Trial and Error
Elbow and Knees
Down to Nothing
Sense the Fire
Until Eternity Ends