Nile + Hate Eternal + Vitriol + Omophagia
@ The Dome
26 September 2019
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Manu Volpina
Death metal is commonly deemed the most extreme genre of metal and the extremes of all things musical reigned supreme in London tonight as some of the USA’s most renowned DM stalwarts ripped a new hole in the capital.
Nile, the brutal, Egypt themed outfit from South Carolina was in town to promote their new album: Vile Nilotic Rites, accompanied by fellow Americans, Hate Eternal.
Kicking off the evening, however, were some Swiss musicians, all wearing handsome suits and ties – the sort of thing you might not associate with the music they blasted.
Omophagia from Zurich took to the stage as the crowd slowly began to file into the Dome and they assaulted the eardrums with a hail of audible bullets that punctured more than just ear defenders.
For those of you who don’t know, the band’s name refers to the act of eating raw food, particularly meat, therefore I can only assume these guys have an affinity with cannibalism or just love to sing about all things putrid in their rawest forms.
There was certainly a raw nature to the pristine blast beats and guitar riffs coming from the PA system, something a little contrasted by the band’s very friendly nature in how they talked to the crowd between songs.
Overall, these lads were an excellent choice for a night opener because everyone who arrived during their set was fired up for what was to come. Check out Omophagia if you love death metal that is not basic or stripped down but doesn’t feel overproduced or reliant on boring breakdowns.
Next up on the bill was a band who wowed the crowd in more ways than one.
Vitriol, the first US band to take to the stage of the evening, had some technical difficulties just before their set, but thankfully some elbow grease and efficiency from the stage crew sorted things out.
What a blast this turned out to be.
Imagine your head being thrust into a meat grinder then torn back out and shoved back in again – that is the only way I can describe the incredible noise that came from the PA system throughout Vitriol’s set.
The Portland guys were on tour to promote their latest album, ‘To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice’, and what an amazing sound this album must have if the live shows can be this good.
Vocalist Kyle Rasmussen growled and screamed through track after track of violent horror and extreme suffering, as well as talking to the crowd in good faith and thanking them for their patience. Something which the audience repaid happily with a strong circle pit in front of the stage.
Unfortunately, the technical issue led to Vitriol having a slightly shorter set, but it was certainly one that had the crowd on its side. This show was sold out and by now the room was almost full of metalheads eager to hear the headliners.
By this point, the atmosphere of the venue had become one of much hype, for it was now time for the first of the bands much of the crowd had come to witness.
All the way from Tampa, the homeland of death metal, came three men obsessed with the works of HP Lovecraft and the most extreme forms of music imaginable: Hate Eternal.
There was an aura about these men that said: ‘We mean business!’ and business was more than the crowd and I witnessed once the audible onslaught began.
Imagine an occult ritual of summoning demons from another world, and once the portal to that world opens and unleashes the horror from beyond – that is how I’d best describe Hate Eternal.
Putting a love of weird fiction and the pseudo-religious following of Lovecraft to down-tuned guitars and vocals was certainly what the audience wanted, for the circle pits came in fast and hard – I witnessed it widening to over 10 feet in diameter throughout the set.
Hate Eternal are veterans of the death metal world, and I could tell from Erik Rutan’s guttural growl and the blend of JJ Hrubovcak’s bass and Hannes Grossmann’s drums that 22 years on the road has been good for these guys.
The audible demons of Hate Eternal’s lively and violent rendition circled about the crowd, possessing our eardrums until it was, sadly, time for the guys to finish.
Bringer of Storms / Behold Judas / I, Monarch / King of all Kings / Upon Desolate Sands / Powers That Be / Haunting Abroad / Nothingness of Being / The Stygian Deep
Could anything of that audible magnitude be outranked? The short answer is yes, and the long answer is yes, it was by none other than fellow Americans: Nile.
Here they were, the men we’d all been waiting for – a bunch of friendly and determined men from South Carolina, obsessed with Ancient Egypt and the occult and having spent the last 26 years making some of the most impressive brutal death metal.
From the moment the lights went down, the Dome was packed to the brim with hungry metalheads wanting their next dose of Nile’s incredible work in the most extreme metal genre.
It was also quite a privilege to be told by frontman Karl Sanders that London is one of the band’s favourite place to play, and he meant that with determination. It was also great to see that Nile have a sense of humour, for the line up made several jokes in between songs.
Their performance was nothing short of pristine, everyone was enjoying the grinding, tempo-changing blasts that fired into the crowd and fuelled the mosh pits like bellows fuelling a fire.
I have to say that drummer George Kollias is godly in the world of percussion, for his precision blast beats, changes from extremely fast to extremely slow tempos and uses of different time signatures makes him someone to be in awe of – especially if you are a drummer like me.
Nile doesn’t seem to have mellowed one iota in their performances and talk of their new record, Vile Nilotic Rites, had people screaming in happiness and anticipation. Songs played from the new album gained all the cheers, moshing, headbanging and applause they deserved – London seems to have quite an affinity for these technical death metal giants.
Sadly our journey to Ancient Egypt and beyond couldn’t last forever so it was sad to see Nile leave the stage, but the crowds left the Dome satisfied with what they had seen and judging by how many people I saw crowding the merch stall just before I left, they’d left their mark.
Come again soon, Nile.
Sacrifice Unto Sebek / Kafir / Long Shadows of Dread / Call to Destruction / The Blessed Dead / The Howling of the Jinn / User-Maat-Re / The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased / Vile Nilotic Rites / Snake Pit Mating Frenzy / Black Seed of Vengeance