Allsiah + Sewer Trench + Ba’al + Tyrannus
@ The Devonshire Arms, London
27th August 2022
Review by Farrah Kathleen
Photography by Farrah Kathleen
The Devonshire Arms in Camden is a mecca for London’s metalheads. I remember packing myself into its tiny little bar at the tender age of 13, or 14, drinking snakebite blacks, hidden amongst my older friends. The venue to this day is still adorned wall to wall with band and movie posters, dim lights, and sticky floors, all of which fit the genre-spanning evening ahead — a little bit dark and a little bit messy.
Allsiah opened the show, a drone/doom one-man band. Imagine it – just one guy on stage with no microphones, no drums and only one guitar with an ambitious amp set up. On paper, this is already unconventional, but once the music started that convention became obsolete as Allsiah took over the room by himself. Alone, Allsiah screamed and built an atmosphere that captivated the entire venue, wonder and confusion, even in my own position at the back of the Dev. This is something everyone needs to see in person to truly understand and appreciate.
Next up were Sewer Trench; again I didn’t quite make it to the front. Sewer Trench are a London native death metal/punk band, whose music is grimy and dark, yet full throttle with the intensity of the guitar.
Their set was gut punching, throat kicking and they made their presence felt to everyone familiar with them or not. They brought an immediate feeling of excitement to the gig, supporting the show in the best way possible.
Following up was Ba’al, a progressive black metal group from Sheffield, and they took the stage to a pumped up crowd who were ready for much more.
Ba’al’s style of black metal is epic, with ferocious vocals which are linked directly to the dense walls of harmonies of the guitars and drums. By this point of the night, the crowd were pushing towards the front, and Ba’al played to them like there was no one left to follow them, owning their portion of the evening in style.
Tyrannus headlined, and as this was their first show in London, to debut in front of a small room of devotees for the Scottish black/death/thrash cult couldn’t have been more appropriate for them. Here it got a lot messier. Fronted by Callum Cant, he made himself a showman and played to the crowd, which they lapped up, eagerly breaking into a little circle pit, pushing each other around the small front of stage, with a handful headbanging pretty much on the stage with the band. Loud noise = Good.
Alistair Harley (bass) jumped off the stage with his bass briefly playing with the front row, then he and Callum played facing each other, before they stood in unison with Richard Codling (guitar). Not to be overshadowed, Alasdair Dunn (drums) made a show of his talents behind the kit, holding the chaos together and pushing it forward with his unrelenting beats. The natural talent for showmanship and the band’s camaraderie was obvious to anyone watching. They took us through their debut album, Unslayable, and indulged us with an encore of Breaking the Law by Judas Priest before closing the show.
Tyrannus absolutely smashed their first London gig and put themselves firmly on the map of bands to keep an eye on in the coming months and years. Their showmanship cemented that they’d certainly be a band that sticks around and I’m looking forward to seeing how far they go. Their support acts went well with the vibe, despite each bringing something different and interesting to the table. I’ll be catching them all again the next time they’re in town.