For some reason when I reached East Croydon train station on my way into London, I thought “Hey, I’ll get this train to Victoria”. This proved to be a bad choice since it made me late and, subsequently, I missed Krakow. Note to self: go via London Bridge next time.
So, this meant that the first band for me was Secrets of the Moon. Now, it’s no… er… secret that I’m a SOTM fan and I’ve been looking forward to seeing them live for years (the last time I planned to see them it turned out to be the day that I was travelling up to Bloodstock). Captivating, mesmerising, hypnotic, enthralling, compelling – these are all words that sum up SOTM’s set. It was a particular treat to hear “Lucifer Speaks” – a song that played no small part in helping me to choose a name for this website. Secrets of the Moon’s albums have always had an ‘empowering’ effect on me and I’m pleased to say that the songs held onto that powerful and majestic quality when played live.
Next up were Kampfar – another band I’ve been wanting to see for years (this gig was a bit of a double whammy for me!) and I just knew as soon as they took to the stage that I was about to witness something amazing. There was an impressive amount of Kampfar t-shirts in the crowd (I was wearing one of them) and the band seemed to be genuinely humbled by this and it appeared to really spur them on. Dolk is a superb frontman – it was difficult for me to take my eyes off him and look at the other band members as I was afraid I might miss something. It’s an overused phrase, but he really knows how to work a crowd. Dolk’s showmanship and the full on professionalism from the whole band made Kampfar my band of the night. They were jaw-droppingly good. And I got goosebumps when they played “Ravenheart”.
I have to say that I found Vreid to be a little bit lacklustre in comparision. They were good and they did what I expected them to do, but – for me – they never got out of the shadow left by Kampfar’s set. I’d love to see them again and get a clearer idea of what they’re like live (as on album they’re excellent).
I have a few Kampfar photos for you to check out below… enjoy!
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Day Two of my epic gigtastic weekend (er… yes, I did just say that… and you can read about Day One right here) took me to The Underworld in Camden for an evening of Death Metally goodness, provided by the lovely folks at Arcane Promotions!
The first band up were Neuroma – although I didn’t realise who they were at the time. All I knew was that I found their set to be rather enjoyable. If these guys aren’t incredibly well-known in Extreme-Metal circles fairly soon, then there is something hugely wrong with the world. They played through a set of Brutal Death Metal (with, perhaps, a nod or two towards Grindcore)… and some of their song titles made me giggle (although, typically, I can’t remember any of them at the moment).
Next up were Diachronia and I found these guys to be slightly out of place on the line up. While the other bands playing on Sunday night’s bill leant very much towards the Death Metal side of things, these guys were (in my opinion) more Blackened Death Metal. They reminded me a lot of bands like Abused Majesty in places (which is good… I love Abused Majesty) and their song structures were interesting and (at times) chaotic (and that’s “chaotic” in a good way!). There’s certainly never a dull moment with Diachronia around. I remember one of my gig buddies mentioned that they sounded a little disjointed, but I couldn’t really see (or hear) that myself. Perhaps it’s just a matter of taste… perhaps I’m just a bit disjointed myself! Anyway, I’ll definitely be making a note to check this band out further in the future.
Then it was time for BTK… er, I mean Basement Torture Killings – I found out while interviewing them that I wasn’t really supposed to be calling them BTK… so I’ll stop that now . Basement Torture Killings are very different to pretty much everything else out there. When these guys hit the stage, they are 100% in character. There’s no in between songs banter and no calls for people to visit the merch stand. Nope, once these guys are onstage, they become evil, nasty serial killers… and this works fantastically well! Tarquin (guitar / some vocals) blasted through the set like a man possessed – the stocking on his head making his facial features look suitably grotesque, Bertrand (vocals / guitar) was equally energetic and stared out into the crowd at many points… possibly searching out his next victim. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good look at the drummer, The Fourth Killer, during the gig… However, the scariest and creepiest out of this whole little gang was the bass player, Professor Kennith. He didn’t go for shock tactics. He didn’t really go for anything. He just stood there – looking calm and collected. Much like I’d expect serial killers to be when they’re deciding upon which knife to use. Musically, the band hit you hard and fast with Brutal Death Metal that you cannot fault. It’s not overly complicated stuff and this really helps them to drive the point home. An interview with these guys will be added to Loucifer Speaks very soon, along with some footage from the gig – so keep an eye out for it! Oh, and Sunday night was their album launch… so make sure you add that little beauty to your “To Buy” Lists… (Hopefully the album will be made available through the Loucifer Speaks Shop quite soon.)
Malevolent Creation took to the stage shortly afterwards and tore The Underworld apart! Even though they were a member down (Phil Fasciana had to fly home as his father had just passed away. My thoughts are with him and his family), Malevolent Creation still managed to put on the kind of show that most bands can only dream about. The pit was absolutely mental and the stage divers were insane. The band played excellently and “Blood Brothers” went down especially well. Oh, and the stuff from the new album sounded SUPERB!
Throughout their set, the crowd were like putty in Bret Hoffmann’s hands. This man really knows how to take command of a situation! I was also especially impressed by guitarist Gio Geraca. He is simply fantastic!
In conclusion, it was a BRILLIANT night! It’s hard to pick a ‘Band of the Night’ since each band really gave it as much as they could. However, with that said, I am going to award the title to Malevolent Creation.
Arcane Promotions proudly present Infernal Damnation Fest VIII – a co headlining show featuring:
ALCEST – myspace.com/alcestmusic
DORNENREICH – myspace.com/mehralsdasein
Wodensthrone – myspace.com/wodensthrone
Eastern Front – myspace.com/easternfrontuk
De Profundis – myspace.com/deprofundisuk
Primitive Graven Image – myspace.com/primitivegravenimage
Crom Dubh – myspace.com/cromdubhmetal
Old Corpse Road – myspace.com/oldcorpseroad
At Camden Underworld, London
Tickets £16.00 adv available from:
Tickets will also be available from The World’s End Pub (above Camden Underworld) and Resurrection Records, but please note these are not available yet. Ticketweb however is on sale NOW!
Facebook event page: facebook.com/event.php?eid=178574248820177