Happy Birthday Metal Recusants! Yes, our beloved website is five years old. We’ve done so much in such a short time, but yet there is still so much more to do. There are more albums to review, bands to interview and gigs to cover. However, now is not the time to reflect, it is time to party with some of the country’s best underground metal bands.
Up first was Cambridge’s Terra, an atmospheric black metal three piece who were just simply excellent. They performed ‘II’ from their untitled debut and new song ‘Nadir’ from their upcoming new album. They set the atmospheric tone for the evening and delivered a memorable set with the stunning stained glass backdrop providing a stark reminder as to how far black metal has come. For the short thirty minutes they had to grace the stage, they had the undivided attention of everyone in the venue. Even though not everyone was aware of the band, many walked away as fans.
Two months ago The King is Blind performed one of their best shows to date supporting Sylosis and Decapitated at the Arts Centre. It was clear that many people there were back for more judging by the mass of people that were wearing shirts of the band. Performing tracks from their latest album Our Father; The King is Blind were once again just excellent. One of the band’s obvious strengths is their relationship with the audience. Frontman Steve Tovey really connected with the crowd, demanding the audience get involved with the festivities. This was the third time I had seen The King is Blind live this year and honestly I can’t see myself getting sick of them. They are such a great band, so well in sync and well-rehearsed with a great on-stage relationship.
What else is important is that audiences love them, every show I’ve been to has seen head banging, chanting, fist-pumping and jumping up and down to the band’s tunes. Winterfylleth vocalist Christopher Naughton joined them on stage for set closer ‘…For All The Daemons Are Here’, to add some demonic screams to the finale.
Steve Tovey told us in an interview this month that it was “a personal ambition to play to a full Arts Centre as a headliner, with the backdrop down and the full stained glass lit up behind us. And film it. Whether that one will be realized ever, only time will tell as it’s a bit ahead of where we are, in all honesty.” At this point though I can see them doing it in a few years down the line with a few more classic albums under their belt. Make sure to catch them at Download and Bloodstock, you won’t regret it.
Fragility Becomes Wrath
…For All The Daemons Are Here
In complete contrast to The King is Blind, Fen embodied the spirit of metal and were simply magical. Recalling early Alcest at parts, Fen’s set was just sublime and as the only band on the night I had not seen before, were beautiful. Fen were one of those bands that knew how to create an atmosphere, it was powerful, grandiose and at points it overwhelmed the senses. Fen performed how black metal should be performed, with an undeniable sense of darkness in air while showcasing undeniable talent. A mixture of beauty and primordial savagery. It was my first time seeing Fen but it won’t be the last.
Fen Set List:
Of Wilderness and Ruin
The Gales Scream of Loss
Now it was time for the headline act, a band that is considered as one of the best black metal bands in the country, the mighty Winterfylleth. It was their third time playing at the Arts Centre and judging by the responses from the crowd it wouldn’t be their last. The audience loved it and were clearly fully warmed up by the previous bands as within the first few notes a mosh pit had ignited. I couldn’t take my eyes off Winterfylleth, I was drawn in by the ferocious guitar sound which created an unmistakable air; aided by the beautiful stained glass window backdrop. Simon Lucas‘ drumming too must be commended along with Christopher Naughton‘s crowd-leading abilities. The band played a new song ‘The Dark Hereafter’ and fan favourite ‘A Valley Thick With Oaks’ back to back which could have ended the set perfectly there. But the band played two more songs, ending on a triumphant note. Winterfylleth were simply a great end to a great night and they proved why they are one of the best black metal bands in the country.
So we wrapped up the Metal Recusants 5th birthday party, same time next year, lads?
The Wayfarer Part 1 and 2
The Swart Raven
Forsaken in Stone
The Dark Hereafter
A Valley Thick With Oaks
Whisper of the Elements
Mam Tor (The Shivering Mountain)
All live photography by Duncan Sweeney.
Purchase our limited edition 5th Anniversary T-Shirt here.