Havok + Angelus Apatrida + Savage Messiah
@ The Underworld, London
25th November 2013
Review by Anna Dumpe
Photography by Graham Hilling
When it was announced that Denver’s Thrash Metal four-piece Havok will be hitting the road across Europe and stopping by to play a gig at one of London’s most underground venues, it was clear that it won’t be a show to miss.
Despite the fact that 25th of November was a rather cold and grim Monday night in London, a decent amount of heavy metal fans had made their way down to The Underworld in Camden Town ready to drink beer and party like it’s Friday night.
Scheduled to play alongside Havok were London’s Savage Messiah and Spanish Angelus Apatrida making it a killer thrash metal line-up to cure any of our Monday blues.
The first band to hit the stage is London’s Thrash Metal outfit Savage Messiah. The band kick off tonight’s show with an energetic set and is warmly welcomed by their local crowd.
While going strong since 2007, Savage Messiah lads have not only managed to tour with such bands, like Overkill, Evile, Death Angel and Onslaught, but also release three studio albums and become one of the most exciting metal bands to represent London’s metal scene.
Tonight’s crowd are no strangers to Savage Messiah music, as they’ve managed to fill up the venue nicely and don’t hold back to start a moshpit and finally kick off tonight’s party. Songs that receive the best reaction from the very supportive crowd include “Hammered Down” and “Cross Of Babylon” and by putting on a performance fuelled by heavy riffs, Savage Messiah prove themselves to be a tight sounding band with rather great potential.
Savage Messiah frontman Dave Silver shows excellent skills delivering sharp thrash metal vocals and guitar performance throughout the set, while the rest of the band put on musically heavy and intense show.
Finishing their set with the killer track “Insurrection Rising,” Savage Messiah make sure to increase the energy in the room to the max and end their performance on a high note.
Without wasting much time, Spanish thrashers Angelus Apatrida storm the stage and catch London’s crowd off guard. If Savage Messiah tonight were strongly supported by their local crowd, Angelus Apatrida seem to be more of a novelty to London’s crowd, although they’ve previously played here alongside Havok when both bands were opening for 3 Inches Of Blood.
With a lot to prove and live up to, Angelus Apatrida guys kick off their set with great confidence and energy. By demonstrating distinctive thrash metal vocals of Guillermo Izquierdo and strong rhythm parts, they seem to catch the crowd’s attention within the first few minutes.
Few songs into their set and Angelus Apatrida have won over the London’s crowd completely. Head’s are banging and beer is being spilled as Angelus Apatrida guys deliver a pounding and tight sounding set with their guitarist David G. Álvarez throwing in some melodic solos and drummer Víctor Valera demonstrating some rather epic blast beat skills.
Angelus Apatrida finish tonight’s performance with “Blast Off,” “You Are Next” and “Legally Brainwashed” making it the absolute highlight of their set. Angelus Apatrida live show seems unstoppable and presents musical significance, so it’s highly recommended to keep an eye on these guys and watch out for what more they’ve got to offer in the near future. If that ain’t enough for you, these guys have their own beer as well, which is always a bonus.
When it’s finally time for tonight’s headliners Havok, The Underworld is packed out with rather excited and drunk fans who, despite the fact that it’s Monday night, seem to be up for a killer party. Last time Havok played here at The Underworld was back in March 2012, when they were opening for the legendary 3 Inches Of Blood, so it’s safe to say that Havok have had a successful year, as this time they’re back as headliners and sounding tighter and heavier than ever.
Opening with “No Amnesty” and “Point Of No Return,” Havok kick things off with some of their most popular tunes to prepare the crowd for an hour of absolute mayhem.
The kind of Bay Area thrash metal that Havok perform ain’t nothing new or previously unheard, but it sure kicks ass when it comes to their pissed off and politically fuelled lyrics, extremely fast and precise drumming by Pete Webber and riffs and riffs and more RIFFS(!).
Introducing material from their latest album Unnatural Selection, like “Give Me Liberty… Or Give Me Death” and “I Am the State,” Havok prove themselves to be a lot more than your average thrash metal band that put their main focus on throwing in extremely fast blast beats or brutal growls into each and every song of theirs. In stead Havok seem to take a step back and focus on their melodics and tone, quality riffs and overall feel. Such approach most definitely works in their favor, set Havok apart from most bands and add distinctive old-school feel to their sound.
“From The Cradle To The Grave” and “D.O.A.” mark the ultimate highlight of Havok performance with Reece Scruggs laying down some melodic and rather skilful guitar solos and Pete Webber demonstrating his ridiculous drumming skills making Havok performance a lot more dynamic, sharp and professional. When it comes to up and coming thrash metal drummers, Pete Webber is worth keeping an eye on, as his drumming skills and talent are simply mind-blowing.
Havok intense live performance gives the crowd no time to stop and catch their breath, as the band work through their setlist without letting the energy level drop an inch. Havok not only demonstrate spectacular musicianship and sound, but also great attitude towards their crowd. Frontman David Sanchez puts on hell of a show by interacting with his audience and by demonstrating great vocal performance.
Havok finish their set with the ultimate banger track that is “Time is Up” once again proving that rhythm section plays a huge part in their performance, as Pete Webber (drums) and Mike Lion (bass) make one hell of a team providing superb rhythm parts.
The crowd goes crazy for one last time, but it’s no surprise when the band returns to the stage for an encore to perform “Fatal Intervention” and put an end to their energy fuelled and musically solid performance.