Even by just looking at the line-up of the mammoth European tour “Sounds of Extreme”, fans of extreme music should not be disappointed: Krisiun, Malevolent Creation and Vital Remains co-headlining the tour. Added to that, in London at the legendary The Underworld, acts such as Karnak and Truth Corroded properly warmed up the audience.
The opening act, Septic Trauma, was the biggest drawback of this gig. As I’m a person who always gives bands a chance (or even a few chances), this act unfortunately totally disappointed me. Of course there were some headbanging moments and at times I thought that I was enjoying their music. However, I kept losing interest whenever there was a change in the theme – and that was done too often. I do appreciate “technical extreme metal” but this was just over done or rather: not-perfected. Added to that, the instruments were not synchronised and the guitar solos were a pain to listen to. Hopefully, next time I come across the band, they will sound better.
The second supporting band slot was filled by the Australian extreme thrashers Truth Corroded. I’ve been looking forward to seeing them on stage from the time I’ve listened to their newest studio output Worship the Bled (reviewed by Mark). Although the number of people in front of the stage portrayed that the band is not very well-known, most people seemed to headbang along and enjoy their music just after a few minutes into their performance. As stated above they play a type of “extreme thrash” with a touch of modernity but you can also pick up death metal influences. The band’s live performance was impressive; the guitar riffs and the vocals were catchy and the bass was clearly audible. For me, however, the drummer was the most remarkable. It was amazing how awesome drum beats and fills just came out of nowhere and greatly suited the structure of the tracks. The band performed tracks from the new album and from the previous output Upon the Warlords Crawl. Great show and especially when taken into account that this was the band’s first European tour!
The next band to hit the stage were Italian death metallers Karnak. I missed the show as I was interviewing Greg from Truth Corroded, so here’s Christian’s report:
“Karnak took the stage, with what was amongst a lot of the attendants and unknown name. It was a typical back-to-the-audience, with ambient music entrance at which you are thinking: “I’ve seen this before”. Karnak however struck any doubters with what was, in my opinion, the most brutal guitar sound of the night with a very old-school approach to Death metal. A band that would make you envisage what Karnak were all about is probably Cryptopsy (As very correctly spotted by a viewer on YouTube in the comments of one of their live clips from the night). This band is the epiphany of the word underground. The singer/guitarist was interacting with the Londoners to some extent and though his English wasn’t that good, the crowd got the message and showed their appreciation to Karnak’s cause! Blast beats into slower headbanging parts, a trip back to the mid 80s of death metal!!”
Out of the three headlining acts, Vital Remains was the one that I was looking forward to most and the one that impressed me the most. They kicked off with the amazing “Icons of Evil” right after the playback of the “Where is Your God Now” intro track. All instruments were perfectly audible and the band gave out a pure evil and dark death metal show. The growls of Scott Willy, which sound greatly “distorted”, added to the brutality of the show. It is also amazing that the band’s songs which most run for over 6 minutes can be such great live tracks. It is probably how they blend the different features of the band’s music: the brutality of the vocals and blast beats together with the melody and harmony of the guitars creates beautiful music (ehh… I mean death f^&*in metal!). Perfect music for headbanging, moshing and all that metal madness but also great to listen to without getting bored. Another aspect which I really loved about Vital Remains’ (and Malevoelent Creation’s) show was the relationship with the audience. Apart from the usual mosh orders from the vocalist; the fans were also encouraged to stage-dive. The artist-audience barrier simply disappeared and there was unity, there was no “artistic authority” – it was all about death metal! After the finale “Dechristianize”, I just wanted more Vital Remains… other tracks performed included: “Savior To None Failure for All” and “Devoured Elysium” from the album Dechristianize.
The intimacy mentioned above continued with Malevolent Creation’s show. Stage diving, moshing, headbanging; it was obviously all there. Tracks performed were from the very first two albums: The Ten Commandments and Retribution. The band hit off with “Eye of the Apocalypse” from the latter album while the most impressive tracks for me were “Remnants of Withered Decay” and “Malevolent Creation”. Just imagine yourself headbanging to the sounds those tracks: the rhythm changes, the crushing riffs and drum beats topped with Brett Hoffman’s beautifully brutal vocals. Those songs along with “Multiple Stab Wounds” made my night. “Slaughterhouse” from their newest album, Invidious Dominion, was also performed. The sound was perfect, the atmosphere was great and when you hear great death-thrash like riffs all you are able to do is headbang throughout their set; a really enjoyable death-thrash live act. No more words are needed; off to listen and headbang to some Malevolent Creation…
The third and final headliner Krisiun closed a great night of extreme metal. To be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to seeing this band. Their studio albums somehow bore me as they are very monotonous. Fortunately, the Brazilian death metallers are one of those bands which can change your opinion when attending their gigs. Yes, Krisiun, as most of the acts on this bill, is a great live band. The Brazilian “Southern Storm” arrived in Camden and demolished everything in its way. From the very first notes of the intro to the very last notes of the last track, the band was death metal thrashing mad. As they were promoting their newest release The Great Execution, we heard a few tracks from that album, as well as older brutality such as: “Black Force Domain”, “Hatred Inherit” and “Combustion Inferno”. Additionally, the band (as well as the previous bands) consistently thanked the road crew and the organizers (“Massive Music”) of the tour. The vocalist/bassist, Alex Camargo, thanked the “K*rwa Crew” and said in Polish “napierdalać!” to which the Polish people among the audience responded very positively.
Keep on supporting Extreme Metal!!!
Fan-filmed footage of the gig: