Enthroned @ Electrowerkz
2nd March 2013
Review by Soozi Q
Photography by Michelle Murphy
Videography by Jo Blackened
So, the time arrives for Belgian Black Metal Maestros Enthroned to kick up a storm in London! As part of a five-date UK tour in support of their latest album, Obsidium, Enthroned plus nine of the best upcoming bands of a darker metal nature get together for a loud and proud all- dayer at Islington’s Electrowerkz.
The day kicks off with Bloodguard; a melodic death metal ensemble with a blackened twist.
Unfortunately, due to a disastrous tube journey, we just missed their set but having spoken to a few people who did catch them, the overall opinion was a positive one.
Next up is Premature Birth; a four-piece extreme metal outfit from London.
Having formed only two and a half years ago, Premature Birth appear very confident in their sound and seem relaxed on stage. Guitarists Dev and Billy are very tight and their melodic riffs are a delight to the ears.
Drummer Adam, however, appeared a little sloppy at times and bassist Simon who accompanied Dev on vocals seemed to forget the lyrics quite a lot! Overall, the PB boys have created an adventurous and experimental sound and they are enjoyable to watch, but could do with getting together for rehearsals more often to ensure they are as tight as can be.
Groovy but extreme metallers Ataud are up next, and they instantly give off the impression of that they could not care less whether we like them or not! Frontman Andres owns the stage, taking swigs from a bottle of Jack Daniels between each song and blowing us away with his deep and powerful vocals.
Drummer Rueben is a real talent- his technically tight techniques, livened up with quirky fills are astounding.
Each number has its own personality; no one song sounds alike but overall there is something about their sound that reminds me of early Sepultura, which is certainly not a bad thing.
The only negative opinion I have of this band is that guitarists Jacob and Dave both looked bored out of their skulls! Personally speaking, I think that if the band looks as though they are having a good time, it gets the crowd going as well, and that’s surely what any band wants, right? To please and entertain?
Next is Vehement; a four piece black metal band from Eastbourne.
However, they chose their closing number wisely- brutal, bouncy, full of groove and stirred up the audience a treat!
Having been together since 2005, and you can certainly tell that these guys have got some years behind them; they are extremely well rehearsed and have a unique and thoroughly developed sound. Guitarists Wraith and Xysor demonstrate their skills through intricate solos and heavy, sinister sounding riffs.
Bassist Nybras is incredibly funky for a black metal band, but it somehow works.
There are times during their set where things became a little dull, and the (lack of) audience reaction reflected this as well.
It’s Death/Black metallers Aeturnum’s turn to show us what they’ve got, and they do not fail to please the crowd despite what appeared to be technical difficulties affecting the bassists’ sound. In between each song bassist James would fiddle with his amp but never seemed to solve the problem, resulting in an unpleasant sounding twangy tone.
Despite this, the group remained professional throughout, keeping the energy levels up and the audience very happy. Vocalist Eliot was on top form with his powerful vocal skills, but the overall sound of the band lacked clarity at times; the drums and guitars all merged into one heavy mish mash.
Scutum Crux rolls on to the stage next, covered in Corpse Paint and ready to unleash their brand of extreme metal onto the now well- intoxicated audience!
Despite being made up of just three members, they manage to create a very rich and complex sound, packed to the brim with groove; Svarth on drums is superbly tight and Qvazaar and Demiurge prove themselves to be technically advanced guitarists.
It is evident that a lot of thought and efforts have been put into their songwriting, resulting in a highly entertaining and impressive set. These guys were born to perform.
Verdelet; a four piece black metal band originating from Southampton have done pretty well for themselves considering they have only been together for just over a year. Signed to German label Ashes of Paltry Souls, Verdelet perform a solid set that improves with each number.
To begin with, they sound a little generic and do not offer a great deal of diversity, but this soon changes once more up tempo songs are introduced. Vocalist Morior demonstrates a great deal of power and the band as a whole performs extremely well.
One thing that they fall short on is stage presence, but considering Verdelet is still a very young band, this is understandable and something they will no doubt gain as they continue to gig.
Primitive Graven Image is next up. Founded by brothers Rob and Luke back in 2006, the black metal foursome were soon snapped up by American label Open Grave Records, and since then have moved over to Envenomation Records and released a total of three albums, the latest being ‘Psychadelic Episodes’ back in September 2012.
To see PGI perform live is a pure delight; they clearly enjoy performing and have created a supreme blend of melodic, speedy black metal with real balls. Both Rob and luke’s vocals are fiercely brilliant and they manage to make both operatic and heavier styles of singing work.
Their interactions with the crowd is well received, getting everyone worked up- to be honest though, I can’t see how any metalhead would not enjoy them! PGI put on a show of supreme standards; in my opinion they were one of the best bands of the night.
Black metal outfit Ethereal were scheduled to be up next, but due to unforeseen circumstances they were unable to make it.
Which meant it was time for the main event; Enthroned!
The Belgian fivesome take over the stage to an eerie piece of music to set the mood and dive straight into first number, ‘Deathmoor’. Frontman Nornagest is on top form; he has the crowd eating out of his hands from the word go and whips them into a frenzy with his bellowing vocals and his commanding demeanour.
Drummer Menthor is a pure machine, relentlessly and effortlessly bashing out the blast beats and Neraath and Noens thrash around onstage, exuding energy and excitement but remaining tight with their intricate and melodic riffs.
Albeit a short set, Enthroned did not fail to impress, showing London that even after 20 years, they’ve still got it.
All in all, a fantastic 9 hour day of pure Black Metal!