Havukruunu + Slaughter Messiah
@ The Boston Music Rooms, London
28th May 2022
Review by Demitri Levantis
Photos & Videos by The Flaneur
It would be an understatement to say that interest in metal gigs is unstoppable, and that was what I saw at the Boston Music Rooms on the 28th of May when a good blast of Finnish and Belgian talent burn a new hole in London’s Tufnell Park.Slaughter Messiah had begun to fire all they had into the crowd. Dressed in spikes and bullet belts that reminded me much of old school acts like Nifelheim, Slaughter Messiah’s mix of fast blackened thrash had me by the throat before I knew it.Even though the crowd wasn’t heaving and there was plenty of space to move closer to the stage as I did, the vibe was nothing short of exciting. Once I walked in, the Belgian black metal group
This was the first time I’d seen and heard of these guys from Hainaut, which had led to my friends and I jokingly confusing them with the British band Savage Messiah.But Slaughter Messiah made the aforementioned British act look like an arena rock band with the chilling, catchy ferocity of their galloping tunes of darkness, black magic, and death in general.
What made them such a fun group to watch was how they pulled no punches in their old school approach: no theatrics or elaborate set designs and little interaction with the crowd, making them one hell of an opening act.Two members of headliners Havukruunu joining the band on stage for the final song meant the party was in full swing, so everyone was in a good mood as Slaughter Messiah left the stage.
I hung around the merch stage for a while and enjoyed some of the fresh air in the smoking area meeting with people who’d arrived during the set but soon it was time for round two of the audible onslaught.
Now it was the turn of a band who have ignited a strong interest in the Finnish scene since they exploded onto the black metal circuit in the last decade. Havukruunu, fronted by Stefan who was clad in black robes signifying the band’s dark and pagan sentience, was firing up the venue in the only manner their music could do so.
Now that the crowd had swelled to an almost full capacity, there were some mosh pits breaking out not too far from the stage meaning Havukruunu’s loyal English followers were celebrating the band’s pagan tunes in the most brutal way possible.
Evilness and the harrowing lonesome vibes that only Finnish black metal can capture reaped forth from the amps giving us a dark and morbid image of the band’s homeland and how the country’s vibes of emptiness and loneliness can produce some of the best metal imaginable.
This was a band who pulled no punches and gave the impression of travelling musicians who were having a great time on stage and were very much enjoying their tour of the country.Sadly, all good things must come to an end, and it was only fitting the Finns gave us a brilliant encore that saw them in rapturous applause. Thanks for one hell of a show Havukruunu with your tightness and pristine deliverance of excellent music. Come again soon.