Winterfylleth + Fen + Dread Sovereign
@ The Boston Music Rooms, London
23rd October 2021
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos by Dovalde Gaidelionyte
Tufnell Park has seen more than a fair share of great metal bands over the years, and the Boston Music Rooms stage, which has seen many greats like Emperor and Hecate Enthroned perform, hosted some of the best homegrown and foreign metal on Saturday the 23rd.
People were packing into the small yet homely venue to see some excellent English black metal from veterans who have been on the road for over a decade.
But first, it was time for the first foreign band I’ve seen on stage this year: Dread Sovereign.
Fronted by Alan Averill of Primordial fame, this Irish outfit opened the show with an atmospheric blend of decent doom metal.
As someone who does not normally listen to doom, this was my first experience of Averill’s side project, and I have to say I was impressed at the way the songs flowed and echoed around the venue as they went from tune to tune.
Dread Sovereign take some of the hefty darkness of Black Sabbath and Candlemass, and mix it with other traditional vibes of classic metal with added themes of anti-religion – obviously inspired by their country’s history.
Overall, I was impressed, as was the case when I listened to their album “Alchemical Warfare” from earlier this year, and it was nice of Averill to thank the crowd for the turnout as concerts in Ireland at present are still forbidden.
A doom band with a fun persona that welcomed the punters into a night full of darkness and guitar-driven ambiance.
Next on the bill were a band ready to take that ambience to a whole new level with their deep and brilliant mix of atmospheric black metal and post-metal vibes.
Fen were joined this time by Isengard Promotion’s own JG on drums, and it was great to see the organiser of the gig being part of what made the show as good as it was. By now the crowd had swelled to its almost full capacity and Fen was ready to roar.
Said roar was bright and harsh, yet mellow and uplifting in the manner only post- and atmospheric metal can be.
As each song blended well into each other like a flowing river, the crowd swayed and fixated on these three men who’ve been wowing crowds for over 15 years.
It seems all that time on the road hasn’t put Fen any lower in terms of power and creativity – nor has sitting around in lockdown doing nothing, as vocalist The Watcher told the crowd.
Here was a band who have mastered the flowing blast beats of the best atmospheric bands of the black metal world and added melancholia covering themes of nature, sorrow and solitude – melancholia that warmed the hearts of my friends and I.
Eventually, the last note stuck out and the crowd applauded Fen as they left the stage. Another excellent band to add depth and meaning to the pleasures and vibes of the gig which is what makes black metal gigs so enjoyable in my eyes.
By now the whole venue was full to the brim with happy revellers which made me feel like the last year and a half had never occurred, and things only got better as one of my favourite bands at present arrived on stage for the fifth time I’ve seen them in concert.
Winterfylleth: the band who brought ancient English history into the canon of black metal. They too appeared armed and ready for a damn good show, which is the best way one can describe the performance they gave.
The first thing I noticed was the band showcasing their newest member, Russell Dobson, whose lead guitar led the band in their ethereal and atmospheric tales of pre-Christian Britain and the beautiful landscapes that forged the land as it was.
Having seen these guys many times before I was not expecting them to falter as they’ve impressed me numerous times and this gig was no exception.
Despite a few hiccups with the sound, Winterfylleth managed to lead the charge of the proverbial armies whose battles inspired their excellent melodies. As brutal and vicious as they can sound, Winterfylleth retains an atmosphere that has made them stand out from other contemporary UKBM acts and has brought them to where they are now.
Setlist wise, the group delved into their earliest tunes from the Ghost of Heritage album, alongside their latest release, The Reckoning Dawn. I, like a lot of the crowd, was a little disappointed they did not play Defending the Realm, but the songs were a fun and memorable mix nonetheless.
Before long it was the end, meaning the band had given a beautiful performance that showed they are still on top of their game.
Overall, this was a truly memorable night, highlighting that the metal scene has not waned despite how much of a bashing it has taken in recent times.