Gatecreeper + Urne + Celestial Sanctuary
2nd July, 2022
Review and photography by Dovalde Gaidelionyte
The first Saturday of July and a bunch of metalheads are heading to one of Camden’s top venues – The Underworld. On the stage today are three bands, locals Urne, Celestial Sanctuary from Cambridge and Americans Gatecreeper.
Upon my arrival, the venue was still quite empty, with the majority of people gathered around the bar and just a few securing their spots near the stage. The first ones up today are Celestial Sanctuary. Tomas Cronin (vocals, guitar), James Burke (drums), Jim Rutterford (bass) and Matt Adnett (guitar) released their debut album just last year and are claiming to bring the British Death Metal to the 21st Century, scraping old school lyrics about misogyny or violence towards people of any gender.
The band started to play promptly and people started coming up from all the corners of The Underworld. True fans of the band started to mosh even before Celestial Creature said hello and within the first few seconds more joined in. The set was intense, but slightly lighter than your usual death metal. Of course there’s plenty of heavy riffs and that familiar drums rhythm, but perhaps that’s how the new wave sounds?
The band played for less than an hour but I believe for those fans moshpiting in front of the stage it seemed like moments. A short break followed and next up – London trio Urne.
I remember the band had to support Orange Goblin on their 25th Anniversary in London, but couldn’t make it (at least on the day I attended) so I was quite interested to hear them live. Joe Nally (vocal, bass), Angus Neyraafter (guitar) and Rich Harris (drums) have an EP and one album (released in 2021) in their discography.
The trio invited even more people for their performance and venue was really packed. Compared to the band before them, Urne, at first, seemed not as intense. Fans were moving to the rhythm but no mosh pits were forming. The band is known for combining different metal genres and you could hear it. Melodic and slower riffs in one song were followed by some dirty rock in another. And with the energy changing, more movement happened in the audience too. You can never know what band has up their sleeves next, and that is what keeps bands like Urne interesting. Quite a treat for the people with wider taste in music.
Time flew by and after another break headliners of the night were coming up next. The show was clearly highly anticipated as the venue appeared even more full and it was even harder to move to another spot.
Founded in the year 2013, Americans Gatecreeper (Chase Mason- vocals, Eric Wagner – guitar, Matt Arrebollo – drums, Israel Garza – guitar and newest addition, Alexander Brown on bass) were ready to rock the walls of The Underworld. With two studio albums and handful of splits and EPs, the band has already defined their style and is known around the world.
Within seconds of the first sounds, fans went crazy. Huge mosh pits started to form and not long after the rule of “No Crowd surfing in the venue” was broken. Nasty, heavy riffs filled up the place and people from all corners pushed in to the front. The place was so crowded and I saw a few souls trying to find their way back upstairs. Maybe the never-ending moshpits were a bit too much? Who can blame them. Myself, being aware of what’s happening in these kind of shows, I tried to find a remote, yet not blocked view so I could observe.
Old school death metal was slightly mixed with some doom-like sounds and overall everything sounded quite similar. I introduced myself to their 2019 release “Deserted” and was glad that their live show did not sound like one, never-ending song, but to each their own!
The audience was beyond happy and the insanity carried on throughout the performance. It was lovely to see what kind of power this music has and how it unites people.