MORBID ANGEL @ O2 Islington Academy

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Morbid Angel @ O2 Islington Academy

22nd November 2011

Review by James Griffiths

Photos by Andre Purvis

Tuesday evening in Islington, London and it’s pretty cold outside and due to trains running at 5mph on the track and an extremely early opening time I find myself running to the O2 Islington Academy to try and get there before the first band of the night finish their set!

Arriving at the venue nice and early, at around 18:45 I made my way in to hear the first band already playing so I grabbed myself a well earned beer and proceeded to settle in and take in the might that is Nervecell.

Hailing from Dubai these death metallers certainly know how to open a show, deep growls streaming from the throat of vocalist James Khazaa while shredding on his bass is a sight to see, along with Barney Ribeiro and Rami H. Mustafa totally owning it on guitar.

Having never actually heard of these guys before I was extremely impressed and was blown away by how tight and in tune they were with each other. Having got into the gig late I unfortunately only got to see the last half of their set but this didn’t matter as after I had watched 2 songs they then asked the audience if they could play a cover for them and tbh there wasn’t much of a crowd at this point, but when they announced they were going to cover a Bolt Thrower track the crowd that was there just exploded with cheers.

The cover went down extremely well, people were headbanging and chanting along to the song.

All in all these guys were awesome and really hope they come back to these shores again soon as more people need to see the might that is Nervecell! [8/10]

Second band of the night were Benighted. These guys hail from France and when they took to the stage the crowd which had grown a little bigger by this point were assaulted by bellowing growls and wailing pig squeals from vocalist Julien Truchan. These guys really owned the stage and had the crowd really going throughout their set with the band throwing down track after track and each one just as heavy and brutal as the next.

All members were as tight as could be and with all of them running around the stage at several times throughout their set and even getting in each others way, but it never put them off or make them miss a beat, which is truly impressive considering the space they had to play with during their short time on stage. Again another band I hope return here soon so more people can witness their sheer pressence and amazing music. [8/10]

It was at this time our photographer turned up, just in time for the final support band of the night, Necrophobic.


These guys are from Sweden and at this point in the night the venue had started to actually pack out.

I found myself really confused by these guys, they were no where near as heavy as the previous two bands and didn’t seem to fit into black or death metal.


This was more a ‘shout into the mic’ kind of thing going on, and the crowd didn’t seem that impressed either, until near the end of their set when they played an epic track entitled – Blinded by the light, Enlightened by Darkness.

Now if these guys had come out with guitars blazing and drums a rolling like this track all the way through their set it would of made for some serious fun in the pit and would also of had the crowd on side much sooner.


It’s a shame really because after that track the crowd seemed really into them and the band looked sharper too. [6/10]

Now its time for the headliners Morbid Angel to take to the stage!

May 1992 was the first time I saw Morbid Angel at the LA2 (R.I.P.) and it was also my first ever gig and what an epic gig it was too!

I stage dived 32 times and even ended up in the picture of the inlay of the live album that came out after that gig, so for me this gig tonight had alot to live up to especially given their new album and the backlash from the fans it got!

Ooooh it certainly did that!

Morbid Angel took to the stage to an enormous welcome from the crowd and just unleashed old songs from Blessed are the Sick, Covenant and Domination all the way through their set.

This might have something to do with it being the 20th anniversary of the release of Blessed are the Sick, even with a few new members in the band it seemed as if they had been there since day one as they were as tight as they have ever been.

David Vincent looked like he was enjoying himself the whole way through their 1h 15min set. They played a few tracks from their new album, and I must admit the new album doesn’t sound that great on CD but when played live it KILLS.

The whole crowd just went along with the new tracks like they were playing old classics from their impressive back catalogue it really was great to see considering the bashing Morbid Angel have had over their latest album.

Many people had questioned whether or not they had lost their crown as the ‘Gods of Death Metal’ but after tonight’s unholy performance I think it is safe to say they can carry on with the rest of their tour and rest assured that they have answered their critics, leaving them speechless after that performance!

I really can’t wait for them to come back here again it was that good! [9/10]