Wiegedood + Shrines + Jøtnarr
@ The Black Heart, Camden
22nd May 2018
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photography by Jo Blackened
It was a fun night for many Black and Death Metal lovers at Camden’s The Black Heart tonight. The band Wiegedood had come all the way from Belgium to showcase some of their latest material.
Accompanying the Belgians were a pack of new bloods and some experienced veterans of Britain’s most extreme of metal scenes.
First up on the bill were a new band called Jøtnarr, hailing all the way from Colchester – a bit confusing given the Scandinavian sounding name, but I digress.
These boys took to the stage to start the evening and as expected, there was much tremolo picking and savage crafted riffs that blended with some ferocious blast beats at the start. As the set wore on things became a little more droning and atmosphere focused but didn’t fall in style.
Over time, Jøtnarr began to appear as another band I could see appearing on the UK Black Metal scene for many years to come but, in all honesty, there wasn’t a huge amount of memorable moments from their set.
I’m not saying they were terrible, I think they put a lot of effort into their performance and could tell they were enjoying themselves, but as I said: they did not fall in style, but substance-wise: it wasn’t quite there.
Still a good opening act, but I think as time goes on, Jøtnarr might really come into their own.
After a short break, it was time for some boys whom I could call veterans of the UK Metal circuit: Shrines, a progressive Black and Death fusion outfit, and a supergroup of sorts.
Shrine contained members of long-serving bands: Voices (Matt Adnett, guitar) and Akercocke (Sam Lyons, vocals), so I was ready to hear some very deep, meaningful tunes.
As the room was now packed full of happy metalheads and the lights went down, Shrines then came to the stage and were one damn fine piece of audible bliss from start to finish.
Although I’m not the biggest fan of progressive music, I’ve come to enjoy live shows by lots of groups in the past like Gojira, and Shrines offered one hell of a show.
One that put me in a trance and had me hooked from the moment the band took off.
Each song flowed in its anger laden glory and frontman Sam Lyons seemed to have the crowd headbanging and swaying with him like a hypnotist with a set of revellers in the palm of his hands.
Shrines gave us nothing short of excellence, and I can see why these guys have become regular musicians on this circuit, they simply oozed longevity.
Finally, the band we’d all been waiting for; a group who’ve certainly taken off on the Black Metal stage in recent times with some excellent droning guitars and fiery blends of screams and blast beats: Wiegedood.
This was another interestingly named band, for Wiegedood are from Belgium, but their name is a Dutch term for “death in the cradle”.
Anyways, the Black Heart became a cavernous opening as the music blared from the amps, as the stage filled with darkness and endless smoke machine as so many Black Metal do.
In all the years I’ve been doing this job, only bands on the same line as Wiegedood can make you feel like you’re standing at the edge of a whole new world that has your whole body engulfed in odd feelings.
Each track seemed to blend one into another, each one a serving of freshly screamed vocals and some chainsaw style guitars that had me enjoying the melancholic shivers that have made Black Metal my all time favourite genre to enjoy both live and on record.
It didn’t require much interaction with the audience for Wiegedood grabbed us by the throat and led us down the path to a form of blissful oblivion, before letting us go and we were back on earth having felt as good as European extreme metal can deliver.
All was on point here. Strings and percussion nice and tight, and vocals mixed finely to almost feel like another instrument in the band’s output.
Well done Wiegedood, you gave us a show to remember. One that took us to places far and wide on another audible adventure.
Full set of photos here: www.flickr.com/photos/altercarnated/albums/72157667540772927