Archive for the Gig Category

Gig Review: Grand Magus (Bogiez Rock Bar, Cardiff, 28/02/13)

Posted in Doom, Gig, Heavy Metal, Stoner with tags , , , , , on March 1, 2013 by Badass and Grim

All the way from Sweden, The Mighty ʻMagus Metal Machine rolls into town to distract the locals from futile slate mining or whatever it is they do.

Thorun
We are eased into the eveningʼs festivities by Thorun, who offer instrumental stoner-doom laden with groove and infused with occasional hints of jazz. Theyʼre heavy, self-deprecating and crucially, understand song structure: their slow jams are a succession of peaks and troughs, making best use of contrast to achieve outstanding heaviness exactly where they mean to. Itʼs extremely palatable, and Iʼd genuinely like to see them play outside of Wales. You could probably book them in return for a crate of Brains, depending on the current exchange rate.

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Primitai
As Primitai launch into their opening song, it becomes apparent that they suck more balls than a hoover at a a bearing factory. Itʼs the singer trying to be a hairy Bruce Dickinson, itʼs the two twelve-year-old guitarists and itʼs the extended tapping/sweep-picking solos they insist on trading between them. As the kickdrumming adds some pace to proceedings it becomes a little more appealing, but why do they have 5 microphones onstage? The result is presumably a nightmare for the sound guy and comes across as trebly power soup. Thereʼs no point banging on about it, because theyʼre trying hard and they believe in what they do, but thereʼs just too much going on for the constraints of tonightʼs tiny gigging environment. Songs like ʻScream When You See Usʼ donʼt inspire much empathy either, but thatʼs because Iʼm an arsehole. Big things are clearly expected of them on account of them being picked to tour with ʻMagus, but a thousand times I would rather Thorun were the higher support act, where their brand of head-nodding, groove-offering instrumentalism would have sat nicely on the bill before the headliners put the crowd in frenzy mode, but fuckadiddums. If you like shredding new-school opera metal go check em out. If not, get another beer.

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Grand Magus
Anticipation grows steadily as the instrumental intro rings out, and for a brief moment it seems as if everything has gone horribly wrong when they abort their opener on account of guitar problems. JB kicks his amp a few times, thereʼs a round of head-scratching, then the bad feedback (if such a thing exists) ceases and they crack on: ʻRight, letʼs try that again.ʼ From there, they never look back – Grand Magus proceed to demonstrate exactly why theyʼre a top-line touring band. Their stage presence is confident & assured without ever being pretentious, the sound is mixed to perfection and the crowd go apeshit which in itself is worrying considering 30% of the crowd are wearing matching ʻDaveʼs Gymʼ T- shirts. In contrast to Primitai trying to do everything all at once sonically, the Magus formula of 3 instruments is perfectly balanced and musically tight, a class act. Set wise, it drew heavily from last yearʼs The Hunt, blended with older stuff to satisfy the die-hards down the front. A thundering drum solo from Mr. Ludde breaks up the performance, allowing JB & Fox to nip off and drag another crate of beer onstage before resuming the high quality metal barrage. Testament to ʻMagus itʼs the only gig Iʼve been to where the band acknowledges the inevitable encore before theyʼve even finished, and they barely even bother to down tools following closer ʻIron Willʼ before theyʼre on again to deliver the now obligatory crowd-pleaser ʻHammer of the North.ʼ The crowd keeps singing it even after the song finishes and they walk offstage, the drunken fools.

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Rumple

Gig Review: Hell, Winterfylleth, A Thousand Enemies (The Assembly Rooms, Derby, 23/2/13)

Posted in Black Metal, Gig, Heavy Metal, NWBHM with tags , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2013 by Badass and Grim

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Murderdeth and myself were lucky enough to get tickets to the sold out Hell tour launch party at the Assembly Rooms in their local parish of Derby. After queuing in the frankly nut-busting cold for a while, we were allowed entry and made our way to the stage.

A Thousand Enemies

To kick things off were local band A Thousand Enemies. I’ve seen these guys a couple of times before and am yet to be disappointed. They’ve got a great modern metal sound which is tight and well executed, and enough riffs and gnarly rhythm to hook your interest where other acts of a similar nature would probably have lost me by the third song. There was a warm reception from the crowd (no small feat considering 10 minutes previously our average temperature had been -2 degrees centigrade), and we were off to a good start. Heads banged, guitar solos whipped our ears, and my initial metal-lust was sated. Job done sirs!

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Winterfylleth

Up next, and honestly the reason this show came to my attention, Winterfylleth. If you have yet to look into this band then get at it, they’re one of the best Black Metal acts to have emerged from the UK, and were present at both Bloodstock and Damnation Festivals 2012. There’s a great mix of brutal rhythm infused with rising melody, at times triumphant at others melancholy, as you would expect from a band who are so focussed lyrically on Anglo-Saxon history and prose.The live show was no disappointment, with the band playing a mix of tracks from sophomore release “The Mercian Sphere”, and their latest album “The Threnody of Triumph”, with song “The Swart Raven” being a particular highlight.

The live sound was great, with two part harmonies from the guitars and the distinctive chord progressions that sweep through their songs. The response was receptive, however compared to their performances at the aforementioned festivals, there probably weren’t quite as many in the crowd familiar enough with the material to chant back those clean vocal sections the way they were made for. I’d love to see these guys as a headline act to get the stage time their mostly legthy catalogue deserves. That said, they’ll have made a fair number of converts with yet another strong live set, and for those of us for whom they were the primary incentive for attending there was a good mix of new and old, and the obligatory awesome set closer of “Defending The Realm”.

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Hell

Following Winterfylleth, Murderdeth and myself took another trip to the bar, this time to sample the ale brewed specially for the tour launch, the 6.66% “Devil’s Deadly Weapon”. Pitch black pints in hand we returned to the the stage room to find the crowd suitably swelled in number for the oncoming headliners.

The palpable anticipation from the crowd was broken by none other that Bloodstock’s Rob Bannister, who gave the audience a jovial tongue lashing and highlighted the number of hardcore fans who had travelled from across the continent to be at this event (how about those seditious sodomizers from Sweden?) Then things really got going as the band made their entrance and we were treated to ‘the greatest show on earth…..in hell.’

And what a show it turned out to be. This was a perfect combination of outstanding musical ability and dedicated showmanship. It would be a lazy comparison to simply describe Hell as NWOBHM, but it’s a good starting point of reference. Mixed with this were elements of thrash, gothic and more progressive styles. The songs were of an epic scale, and the show had a pleasing narrative quality which captured the imagination as we took a trip through the underworld.

As I said before, the whole band put on a clearly polished performance, but the singer David Bower was imperial in his command of the stage and crowd. In my 10 years of attending gigs, he is without a doubt one of the best frontmen I’ve ever seen. When Tenacious D joked about blowing the audiences’ mind with their vocals in “Master Exploder” they might as well have been writing about David Bower. The performance was theatrically augmented with a liberal dash of stage props, at one point Bower preached from the pulpit with a flaming cross in one outstretched arm, later Satan appeared before us wielding a sparking trident, and as you’d expect in Hell, there was a copious amount of fire.

Hell laid down a lesson in heavy metal and how to put on a stage show tha I urge anyone who gets the chance to attend. Even if you’re not a big fan of the 80’s heavy metal sound you would have to be a complete robot not to enjoy this amazing performance.

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Deej

Gig Review: Orange Goblin – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, 30/1/13

Posted in Gig, Hardcore, Heavy Metal with tags , , , , , , on February 1, 2013 by Badass and Grim

Orange Goblin play Wales, accompanied by some of their bessie’ mates and gig-worn locals! What else would you be doing on a Wednesday night?

Lifer

If you live in South Wales or go to one or more UK festivals a year it’s a statistical certainty, like being hit by a car, that you’re going to see Lifer. Lifer are what happens when the mines close and the good ol’ valleys boys discover that Heavy Metal complements their innate raging alcoholism perfectly. While the name suggests a heavy Down influence, they’re actually much angrier, punching out a two-fisted hardcore racket that goes down a treat. As you’d expect they’re very, very serious about what they do and these gents will be gigging until the unlikely event that the coal industry revives itself, so you’ve got no excuse not to get out there and see them.

The Earls Of Mars

These guys are deeply confusing genius. Perhaps the best way to describe them is to follow this tenuous hypothesis: Bill & Ted (of Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure and the notable sequel, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey) are happily travelling through time & space in their time-travelling phone box when they decide to create the most bodacious band ever, possibly as a support act to Wyld Stallyns. They carefully steal a drummer from the whisky-soaked Appalachian mountains of the 1800’s, a moustachioed double-bass player from fin-de-siecle bohemian Paris, a shredtastic lead guitarist from the hair-metal heyday of the 80’s and a keyboard player/vocalist from a space opera in the future. Probably. Then they mash them all together and after the intro “Hi, we’re The Earls of Mars, those lovely gents in Orange Goblin have asked us to play a couple of songs. Hope you like them”, they launch into epic sound journeys that range from baroque & roll Muse-touching to Prohibition Era swing. If you can imagine Victorian policemen storming a building, that’s what The Earls of Mars are the soundtrack to, and about the closest thing you could compare them to is A Forest of Stars with the Black Metal influence removed. It’s a bewildering experience that many aren’t ready for but that doesn’t detract from a powerful performance – I hate to use the word ‘mesmerising’ so I won’t.

The Earls of Mars

The Earls of Mars

Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell

When they take the stage, I’m not sure if Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are a band or historical re-enactment society. While The Earls of Mars are happy to recklessly plunder musical time and take all the best bits like pillaging time-vikings, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell painstakingly re-create the 70’s to the point where the drunker members of the crowd are checking their pockets to make sure their beer-money hasn’t turned pre-decimal and their mobile phones still exist. Cockney accented stage banter evokes pre-80’s Spinal Tap which doesn’t help things and to begin with I have difficulty taking them seriously. Groovy 70’s Sabbath-worship is something that a lot of bands are doing very well and honestly, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell are no exception – but it’s the detail they’ve gone to in order to recreate that whole era, right down to the necklaces, sideburns and flares. It’s all very well using analogue recording and vintage boutique gear to get that vibe into your music, but these guys are living it, they have taken retro rockin’ to its absolute logical conclusion. I get the sense that they’ve lived it once before, born just in time to appreciate and idolise the rock n’ roll greats but 5 years too late to be gigging. Musically, they’re dialled right into it: they’re tight as hell live, their songs have got some groove and bite to them and they believe in it totally, which is a noble thing. Go see them and you’ll have a cracking night; put their album on and you’ve got the soundtrack to a fondue & key-swapping party; but they seem an oddly entrenched choice to put on after the decade & genre sweeping Earls of Mars.

Orange Goblin

And so, to the main event – the club goes dark, the intro music kicks in and the crowd go apeshit. Orange Goblin stroll onstage with cheeky grins and rip into their opener. There are few bands who can look so totally relaxed playing live, but you just have to look at them to know that this is where they belong, onstage, beer in hand, ripping out riff after blissful riff on well worn, hard toured instruments that by now are almost extensions of their bodies. Orange Goblin have worked hard and put in the graft night after night to the point where house melting hard rock is not second nature to them, it is nature. It’s audible, it’s physical, it’s music that makes you move and demands that you sink another beer, grab your knackered air-guitar and headbang like you don’t have to work the next day because the moment is all there is. And the moment is glorious.

One of the greatest things about Orange Goblin’s music is that you can tell the band love it as much as the crowd, and that’s glaringly obvious tonight: Not in a rockstar, ego-trip kind of ‘oh-fuck-I-love-my-solos’ way, but in a life affirming, hail-the-riff aspect. It’s a fantastic connector between artist and crowd, and bolstered by Ben Ward’s trademark frantic high- fiving of everyone within the considerable reach of his arms, they whole show feels like one big all inclusive party. That’s the magic of Orange Goblin, and that’s why they’re going to get the big things they deserve.

The set is a mix of material off last year’s triumphant ‘Eulogy for the Damned’, which virtually all of the crowd is rightly well acquainted with, and their older stuff which serves as a lesson for most and a back catalogue refresher for the guys in the ’95 tour shirts. Favourites like ‘Some You Win…’ and the more recent ‘The Fog’ are received rabidly, every word hurled back hoarsely at the stage. They come back on for the inevitable encore, three songs forming a microcosm of the old/new/old set and then the moment is over, a blur of headbanging in drunken memories. No-one wants to leave.

Ben Ward zombie mode

Ben Ward zombie mode

Rumple

Rumple was accompanied by veteran yankee all-round rock man The Dude, who offers a SECOND OPINION….

Second Opinion:

After a morning in work and three presentations, two of which were ones I gave, I’m just sitting down to write some comments on last night’s festivities.

Earls of Mars… or perhaps the Grand Dukes of Mars! Initially amazed by the electric stand up base and the musician behind it who reminded me of Mr.B the Gentleman Rhymer, which was contrasted by the guitar player who was more like Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad circa 1979. Along with  the drummer – a handsome lad attacking his kit like his very life depended on it – I wondered if these three talented musicians had picked up the lead singer from an insane asylum on the way to the show and allowed him to rant lyrically over their music. Although that idea might make for an interesting future project, I soon realized that the singer was in fact an intricate part of the act complete with mad elbow skills on his keyboard. My over –riding thought as they played was, “I am thoroughly and honestly enjoying myself”

On to The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell… despite the obvious cool factor these guys brought with some wicked sideburns that would make Derek Smalls envious (not to mention the authentic back hair peeking out from under a band member’s yellow OK t-shirt while bending over an amp) these guys brought way more to the stage than a wheelbarrow ‘s worth of Spinal Tap jokes. Despite perhaps still being pissed off about ‘Nam or that they were never as big as KISS, to me, they were more reminiscent of Deep Purple and truly rocked the night away!

As for Orange Goblin, not much to say except ‘too much rock for one hand’. I may even try to catch them again next week at the Fleece in Bristol. Also see they’re playing one of my all-time favourite music venue’s – Bogart’s in Cincinatti, Ohio –  this March so to anyone back on that side of the pond, “freaking tune-in or miss out!”

The Dude

Cauldron – Gig Review (Bogiez Rock Club, Cardiff 06/12/12)

Posted in Gig, Heavy Metal with tags , , , , , on December 15, 2012 by Badass and Grim

There’s something heartbreaking about seeing a decent band playing to an invisible audience, and tonight that fate has befallen Canada’s Cauldron. The crowd consists of a few die-hard headbangers swaying drunkenly and a roughly equal number of middle-aged dog walkers sheltering awkwardly from the rain outside. In fact, the numbers would have doubled if they’d been allowed to bring their dogs in. Nevertheless, the Cauldron chaps take it all in their stride and blast out the metal with effortless proficiency. They throw the rockstar shapes onstage, but there’s an air of vague pointlessness to it all: they switch up the tempo to some of their thrashier back-catalogue mid-way to a good response but still cut their set short and nobody is offended. Some drunken cajoling brings them cheerfully back onstage after ‘All or Nothing’ and they belt out an encore before the crowd disappears entirely. Guitarist Mr. I. Chains shrugs it off good-naturedly: he reveals that their next stop is Eindhoven, the start of their 5-week European tour. Similarly, Mr J. Decay is unfazed by the turnout: “You guys came out though, eh?” he grins. That’s what it’s all about.

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Rumple

Nazgul Fest – Gig Review

Posted in Black Metal, Folk Metal, Gig, Prog, Thrash with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2012 by Badass and Grim

T’was a grim & frostbitten night in Exeter and I was drunk enough to objectively review some bands. Despite being named like a Lord of the Rings swinger’s party, Nazgul Fest promised to bring together some of the best bands of the South West, topped off with a Brummie garnish in the form of the mighty Anaal Nathrakh headlining. If I’m honest, I would have paid the ticket price to see them alone, but the chance to see some other bands of varying quality while drinking cheap lager was an attractive prospect that could not be passed upon.

If anything, the evening became an exercise in managing my expectations as that old enabler, The Internet, had led me to expect things that simply weren’t true. Cornish opening act Morgawr were a prime example of this, being described as folk/prog/black metal. Consequently, I was expecting some kind of musical shit-pasty filled with pennywhistles, half-arsed paganism and morris dancing. What we actually got was a many-headed metal beast that had taken the best bits of a multitude of genres and then blended them with frozen chords like an orthodox black metal frappucino. While they may seek to achieve too much with their bizarre combination of thrashing/chugging/grinding/tapping and sweep-picking, the band were clearly ecstatic to be playing somewhere outside of the Mighty Kingdom of Cornwall, and their enthusiasm carried their performance. Morgawr have their sights firmly set on the UKBM trail currently being set ablaze by the likes of Winterfylleth & Wodensthrone, and I see no reason why they won’t get there. Closing with their namesake track ‘Morgawr’, they somehow blended grim iciness with the crushing maritime weight and depth of Mastodon’s ‘Leviathan’. Oddly compelling stuff.

With all drinks in the house replenished, Cryostorm took the stage and immediately filled it with flailing hair and synchronised windmilling. As can be inferred from their name, they are techy, shreddy deathy young men, and the guy down the front with the Amorphis back patch loved them. As soon as they did the ‘over the top of the fretboard’ playing thing I wanted to dislike them intensely but goddamn it, I just couldn’t. Frontman James threw himself into the performance with the passion & enthusiasm of a skinny Andrew WK, and the whole band was visibly delirious with excitement to be supporting Anaal Nathrakh. As soon as they started throwing toy penguins out into the crowd as bribery for participation I was won over: Cryostorm do fist-pumping, headbanging, fretboard-melting metal. And make no apologies for it. Just add beer.

Cryostorm

Cryostorm

Monolithian were the first band of the night I was gleefully anticipating. Once again, I hadn’t heard much of them before but with their lineup consisting simply of 1x drummer & 1x bassist, Mr. Internet had led me to believe this would be a doom drenched riff fest at the pace of a crippled snail meandering through feedback. And it was until that first blast-beat kicked in…and then it was sublime. At their slowest, Monolithian are Electric Wizard on a bad acid trip, at their fastest they touch on Black Breath with utter bleak minimalism hailing Darkthrone. It’s aggressive, heavier than a bodybuilding elephant and at times it gave the headliners a run for their money in terms of sheer unbridled ferocity, especially when frontman Simon decided microphones are for losers and thrashed around howling into empty space. There’s something crushingly beautiful about the tone of one bass run through twin amps, and it’s a definite finger up to some of the other bands of the night who were dicking around with 7 and 8-string guitars to sound heavy. Meanwhile, drummer Shannon mercilessly battered her kit as if she had to destroy it to claim a new one on insurance by the end of the set. Astonishingly, the rage was kicked up a gear for their final song when they were joined onstage by a guest vocalist in the form of a drunk crust-punk gentleman who flailed around as if covered in invisible ants that were also on fire. I have no idea who he was, but after that set I was only just sure of who I was. Highly recommended, go and see them.

Monolithian

Monolithian

One more trip to the bar, and I needed it because Saturnian were on next. At this point, I want to make it clear that I bear them no ill-will and did not go in there prejudiced. You may be aware that Mr. Necrowulf has already reviewed them live for this blog and was not overly impressed: I wished to give them the benefit of the doubt and watch them with an open mind. After all, it seems they have been touring constantly since the summer, and I therefore respect them for their determination & work-ethic. Hell, even though symphonic black metal ain’t my bag, I still have the odd Dimmu album kicking around next to all my expensive leather-bound books. And just because I don’t appreciate something personally doesn’t mean it’s bad, I mean I enjoy Steam Rallies and Bargain Hunt for god’s sake.

However, that’s where my good will ran out. Seeing a bunch of corpse-painted chaps on stage blasting out symphonic black metal while a lovely young lady at the back belted out soprano operatic vocals, I couldn’t help thinking that Cradle of Filth were doing this ten years ago. Almost everything I saw, from the stage costumes & armour to the Nergal signature 7-string guitars, were things I had seen before being done by different people at different times. They’re tight live, they’re determined to get where they’re going and I wish them the best of luck, but they need to do something new and drastic to pull more people in.

Saturnian

Saturnian

After a few stretches & preservation prayers to my heathen gods, it was time for Anaal Nathrakh. There are few bands in the world that can pull off outright fury with such consistency and as predicted I had my ass handed to me. The final curveball of the night however, was that they opened with ‘In the Constellation of the Black Widow’ rather than any of the devastating new tracks from ‘Vanitas’. This seemed an odd choice, and threw a lot of the crowd who were too confused to try and throw each other through the walls/floor/ceiling outright. It was a bit like poking a sleeping tramp with a stick to see what he’ll do before setting him on fire, rather than just dowsing him in petrol and getting on with the BBQ. ‘The Blood Dimmed Tide’ followed immediately after and chaos duly erupted, extorted by the everything-deprecating banter of Mr. Dave Hunt. ‘I would discuss the inspiration behind the music for this next one, but you don’t care about that, do you?’ he lamented half bitterly, ‘You just want to get drunk and punch each other.’

‘Nathrakh may be unfortunate in that they’re caught in a neverending brutality spiral: how do you top the unrestrained aggression of each evening’s performance? They weren’t coasting in Exeter because they care deeply about their music and delivering it to self-imposed high standards, but this wasn’t a festival set in a new continent where they had to raise their game for a new crowd. This was a basement filled with 150 drunks on a rainy Sunday night. It was savage and met expectations, but christ knows where they go from there. If anything, the gig allowed Mr. Hunt to mess with the crowd to some extent, revealing that they were ‘going to play a fast one’ or that they were going to ‘mix things up a bit by playing a song about the failures of the human condition, because we never do that.’ ‘Pandemonic Hyperblast’ was missing from the set, but that’s probably for the best as it meant I didn’t have to go home via the hospital, which was nice. Anyway, for reasonable reasons explained in detail there was no encore and the set thundered to a cataclysmic conclusion, leaving shambling punters stumbling listlessly searching for missing teeth & fingernails before staggering off into the cold wet winter night. A quick chat on the offchance with Mistress stalwart Drunk revealed no plans for any upcoming Fukpig gigs, but watch this space. Nazgul Fest complete.

Playafastone

“Play a fast one”

Rumple

B and G Podcast – Post Damnation

Posted in Badass and Grimness Podcast, Black Metal, Death Metal, Doom, Gig, Grindcore, Psychedelic, Sludge, Stoner, Thrash with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 29, 2012 by Badass and Grim

In this Post Damnation episode we discuss last months Damnation Festival in Leeds.

Featuring: Electric Wizard, Winterfylleth, Wodens Throne, Witch Sorrow, Vried and more.

Apologies for the audio quality at points.

Cheers

Murderdeth

Dark Fortress – Gig Review

Posted in Black Metal, Gig with tags , on November 18, 2012 by Badass and Grim

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The night was perfect, dark, dank and gloomy – the perfect setting for a black metal gig. Due to lady commitments i arrived to the gig late unfortunately missing out the opening act of Bloodguard. Their MyFace describes them as “Darkly melodic, deceptively progressive, heavier than the gates of hell… ” and given as i heard none of them i can only agreed whole heartedly that that’s exactly what they sounded like.

Firstly let me just put something about the venue, it is what you’d call unique. Imagine your dads local, pub carpet and all, now put a brick shed on the back and let extreme metal pump out from there. The dichotomy between the generic pub setting with Come Dine With Me on the bar TV with blast beats and corpse paint genuinely tickled me. Anyway’s pint now in hand the first band began, Ethereal from Liverpool. Billed as blackened death metal i struggled to exactly get what kind of sound they were going for, glimmers of Anaal Nathrakh & Satyricon punctuated their 30 minute set but overall i was left wanting. There was no bottom end at all, the bass twanging like broken spaghetti throughout and whilst vocalist Diesektor’s rasping growls had flickers of a more Northern Tomas Lindberg it just didn’t gel for me.

After a quick giggle at an Orange Goblin photo circa 1992 and grabbing another pint i stepped into the Necroshed for the next band, Saturnian, hailing from all parts of the UK apparently. Extreme symphonic metal was promised and they didn’t fail to deliver. Imagine Dimmu, circa Puritanical Euphoric Misanthropia era, mashed up with Primordial whilst verging on Fleshgod Apocalypse in the more extreme phases, all delightfully delivered by a very bald Wilson on vocals. Personally i found some passages a bit dull, some of the lead work was a bit too power metal for me but the crowd were enjoying another quality UK symphonic metal band.

The time id been waiting for was fastly approaching, the black metal demons, Dark Fortress. Bizarrely due to the tiny size of the venue id watched Dark Fortress do their make up through the open dressing room door, like some filthy black metal voyeur, and then watch them lug their equipment onto the stage, spare guitars laying in the corridor to the toilets. Not only was the venue comfortable the stage was definitely going to be for the 6 Germans.

After the shortest of intros, the opening riff of Osiris blasted out, all worries regarding sound quality shattered, and thankfully so. There’s no denying the venue was odd, the crowd small (given there were 4 bands playing plus hangers on there could have only been 10+ paying customers) but Dark Fortress were tight. Promptly following on from the crushing Osiris was Hirudineans, slower and more sombre in its nature but the crowd still windmilled like dervishes throughout. The thing that struck me the most was vocalist, Morean, measured almost dirge like vocals that drag you under like a riptide and drown you in his icy utterings. Their hour set flew by with Catawomb & Ylem providing some grade A slabs of black metal for the willing crowd to get stuck into, all culminating in with Baphomet, everyones arm now raised, horns thrown to the crammed stage.

I hadn’t seen Dark Fortress before but they’ve left a lasting impression and given the intimate nature of the venue i got a fantastic show at a bargain price. Even the walk home was grim, yet more gloom leading to an empty cold bed but i didnt care fur Dark Fortress ist krieg!

Necrowulf