Exodus + English Dogs + The Heretic Order
@ The Underworld, London
24th June 2015
Review, video & photos by Oliver M.
Just two days after having played at the Hellfest in France, thrash metal legends Exodus went straight to the UK to offer two crazy shows at the Underworld in London on Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th of June. The British maniacs had the privilege to see their idols on stage twice on two consecutive days, which is very unusual for any kind of tour. While they were driving to England, some strikes occurred in the North of France and their bus got stuck for a while when they reached the border. As a consequence, the Californian arrived in the capital very late but fortunately, they succeeded in performing their first set in its entirety.
Before the beginning of their second gig, I had the opportunity to interview bassist Jack Gibson who confirmed me their night was incredible, full of energy, stage divers and mosh. I’ve also been informed that one fan got hurt and was bleeding in the mosh pit. This time, their show wasn’t as violent as the previous one, which was a good thing for the ones who really want to enjoy the music. Regarding those London concerts, Exodus were supported by English Dogs and The Heretic Order. I attended the second show only.
The Heretic Order (3.5/5)
Formed in 2014, this brand new English horde offered a very nice live performance. Just prior to their set, I had the privilege to meet the band backstage along with charismatic vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza. As always, he was very enthusiastic with everything and in a great mood. He told them to give everything they had on stage and that’s what they did thereafter!
They play old-school heavy metal in the 70s and 80s style, with a slight rock ‘n’ roll touch. The guitar solos were well performed and remained clearly the strong point of their evil art. The compositions are interesting but could have been more sophisticated and melodic.
Instead of working the melodies, they prefer to focus on the atmosphere and I have to say they did really well on that side. They use the typical satanic imagery from classic horror films (especially the Hammer horror cinema) for their gigs and album “All Hail The Order”. Planned to be released in September this year by big German label Massacre Records, this first opus sounds like an underground black/thrash metal release when you look at its cover artwork.
Yes, their lyrics and imagery are so cliché but they don’t look bad. Wearing a monk’s robe and corpse paint, their vocalist Lord Ragnar Wagner is similar to a cheesy satanic priest coming straight from a Halloween party night. I strongly recommend that you watch their funny video clip “Burn Witch Burn”. I can guarantee you will laugh for sure.
It was also good to see two beautiful and seductive ladies dancing on stage gently. They reminded me the typical charming female vampires you can find in any old British horror film (that I love by the way). At the end of the set, they spilled slowly some blood from their chalice on their bust.
These guys have definitely good tastes in terms of cinema since they also chose The Omen’s theme song “Ave Satani” as intro. Anyway, The Heretic Order are a promising act who were very lucky to sign with a well-known label quickly. I strongly advise them to create an account on Metal Archives as their profile has still not been listed.
English Dogs (4/5)
Currently signed at Candlelight Records, this UK-based speed/thrash metal band delivered an excellent performance thanks to Gizz Butt’s great talent (former guitarist of British thrashers Sabbat). They released their last album “The Thing with Two Heads” in 2014 through that same label, which was quite surprising.
In fact, English Dogs started out as a punk rock act in 1981 and then, changed progressively their style to power metal through the years. Their punk roots are still present in their new compositions and I didn’t expect that Candlelight would add them to their roster.
Gizz Butt’s guitar solos were impressive, showing experience and very good technical skills. He’s clearly the most important element of the band and I fully understand why Exodus invited him to play one song with them during their set.
If you enjoy old-school speed/thrash with some punk influences, I suggest you check them out straight away. By the way, it’s interesting to notice that Andrew “Pinch” Pinching is also the drummer of cult punk rockers The Damned. Very strong set!
As soon as Bay Area thrash metal pioneers came on stage, the big crowd went totally crazy and out of control. The audience was very quiet until they finally appeared. Their fans wanted more from them, even after enjoying their first set during the previous night. They simply got what they wanted in the end: pure thrashin’ madness!
Exodus offered an amazing show, confirming their deserved status of legends in this musical style. Of course, they played some old classic songs but were mainly there to promote their tenth opus released by Nuclear Blast. They have been part of that label since 2003, just before the release of “Tempo of the Damned”.
“Blood In Blood Out” has been praised by the whole international press and marks the great return of charismatic vocalist Steve “Zetro” Souza who has proved again that he’s the best Exodus singer by far. He’s undoubtedly one of the happiest/enthusiastic metal vocalists I’ve ever seen live and constantly tries to pass on his emotions to the crowd.
He loves to see his fans practicing stage diving and moshing in the pit. As I mentioned previously, they were glad to perform one track with Gizz Butt and both parties seemed to get on very well together. That was very nice to see some solidarity here. Steve and his mates gave all their energy to the great satisfaction of their maniacs. Thanks Exodus for giving two consecutive epic nights that will always be remembered by their UK fans!
Setlist (signed by Steve “Zetro” Souza!):