The sun was burning red hot in Helsinki and the people were having fun by enjoying such a beautiful day, drinking the beer and boozing all around. When arriving at the Nosturi venue, the whole sunny day was pretty much gone. The darkened club atmosphere created the opposite feeling and vibe. The British doom/death metal mongers’ first indoor gig in Finland had pulled a handful of people to the Nosturi club. Of course, the band is relatively unknown for the masses. When unveiling the members behind the names will be known: Tim Bagshaw (ex-Electric Wizard), Leo Smee(ex-Cathedral), Alex Thomas(ex-Bolt Thrower) and finally Lee Dorrian (Cathedral), the members definitely have the reputation well-earned over the years.
Before the doom metal all star group hot the stage, the domestic outfit Morbid Evils had been scheduled to open up for With The Dead. The band being the second main band formed by the Rotten Sound vocalist is mostly a three-piece unit. They were supposed to have the fourth member being the third guitarist as well, because of a family issue, Morbid Evils pulled off the gig as a three-piece. The group’s doomy oriented sounding material was time-to-time extreme heavy as tons of bricks. The band’s heavy riffs sounded good, even though the mix could have been better. Morbid Evils must be witnessed again as this gig was more an obligatory choice to do a warm-up.
With The Dead arrived at the stage and kicked the set off with “Living With The Dead”. Dorrian ain’t that reckless personality having 220 volt up going thru his body, instead his appearance and moving was nearly as slow as the material of With The Dead. The four piece doom squad hammered seven songs down in 60 minutes. The band definitely sounded heavy and brutal as hell. The material can be described a mix of super heavy doom stuff with the certain death metal elements involved. With The Dead is definitely heavier and slower than on later releases of Dorrian’s previous band, Cathedral, who sounded extremely deadly doom in the early releases for sure. Of course Dorrian’s vocals sounded basically the same in the heyday era of Cathedral. Even though Cathedral pops up here and there, but there is an obvious difference between these bands ; sounds and different kind of heaviness. The material is such depressive slow and doomy, the band definitely isn’t hyperactive and restless on the stage. The way of concluding the show was quite classy as Dorrian was withdrawn backwards and stepped aside the stage meanwhile the rest of the members of With The Dead finished the song and exited without any big drama. With The Dead offered a great lesson in how real slow doom(/death) should be performed with all the hooks. Despite the low attendance, hopefully With The Dead will visit again.