@ Boston Music Room, London
December 5th 2014
Review by Ann Sulaiman
Pics by Graham Hilling
Four years since their last LP release “Godfather In Black”, Italian/British black metallers Abgott had finally returned to London as part of their European 2014 tour. Though not even half of the London scene were able to turn up, due to Winter being the most competitive season for big name gigs, it was ultimately their loss for missing not only the return of one of their own (due to frontman Agamoth’s part in the scene for more than a decade) but a show that wore the spirit of black metal on its sleeve.
Befitting the coldness often drawn to the genre, London-based Mørktår opened with an aural blizzard; static blastbeats and frenzied riffs came together to recreate the frostiness heavily associated with black metal, and thus grew louder and stronger throughout the band’s set to build an atmosphere akin to its earlier days.
Vocalist Repktkor (along with frontman Thrym), without losing pace, let out hoarse shrieks as voices railing against the blizzard.
The result matched the raw yet distorted sound production that most die-hards recognise as an effect that helped make the gradual introduction of black metal so special in the tape-trading era.
An interesting turn however, took place when Italians Throne of Molok took to the stage. Described officially as a blend between industrial and extreme metal music, the group delivered with a violent, powerful blast as they played.
The electronic nature of industrial music, mixed with the organic, live performance of roaring guitars and screeching growls may not sound as if it worked, yet Throne of Molok made it so.
Decked in gas masks and 80’s techno-based corpsepaint, the band knew where to match the hard riffs of electronica with that of death metal for their dystopian lyrics.
Throne of Molok knew that extreme music has more than one form, and from their staunch attitudes onstage, they clearly didn’t want anyone to forget it.
Finally, it was time for Abgott. Owing to Agamoth’s personal history as part of the London scene, before his recent move to Los Angeles last year, the band’s appearance back on British shores could be considered a homecoming of sorts.
Particularly when the man addressed his crowd with open arms, eagerly stating that he “fucking [missed]” his former home town, while adding that he had to come back to try the special Trooper Ale released by NWOBHM legends Iron Maiden.
Light hearted introductions aside, Abgott were a sincerely dedicated band. From his declaration to return to the dirty, noisy approach of the ’90’s era of black metal with newest offering “Masters of Illusion”, the group didn’t hesitate to throw themselves into their instruments as they began to play.
Working from the technical, ordered nature of their debut release, to the experimental “Fizala”, Abgott kept an effortless focus in swimming from one track to the next.
When it came to sharing songs from “Masters of Illusion”, however, Agamoth decided at this point to test the audience’s own dedication – to music.
Reminding everyone that they should sing along to the debut track, it was less than five minutes in when the crowd failed to join in the verses on a cover of Black Sabbath’s ‘Heaven and Hell’.