As the weeks drag on in 2016, and it starts to get colder and darker more quickly, one thing does not change and that is the love for a great live show. Since moving to London my schedule for live music has been busier than ever, and I spent the first 6 months of this year in Australia. Last week, the latest gig on offer was one that at first glance, would be guaranteed to send shockwaves literally and figuratively through the capital’s core. Come this night, that’s exactly what happened.
Sending the first cracks in the ground was Oxford’s groove-technical machines A Trust Unclean, who I had been exposed to before at UK Tech Metal Festival a while ago. Now with new drummer Noah Plant and vocalist Kyle Lamb at the helm, ATU have a vigour and vitriol that is both newfound and destructive. Sending pulsating technical riffs and groove-filled rhythms throughout, the well-oiled machine that is ATU barely shows a scratch, and the vocal performance from Kyle is superbly executed. It may have taken some time to get fully acquainted into an established technical death metal project, and can never be considered easy, but this new ATU is very much destined for further great performances like this one. Be on the lookout for this band in 2017.
Up next were Belial who upon first listen (from memory, I seem to remember being in a particularly bad mood) I didn’t think much of. However, in a much more positive frame of mind tonight, having my body shaken suitably by the ruthlessness of ATU, Belial upped the ante to another level entirely and had me completely blown away. The unrivalled passion and energy from all of the band, playing their menacing, aggressive technical savagery in the finest example of precision I have seen in a while was something to admire. The monstrous sound from vocalist Jamie Harrison was also a noteworthy point, as he stood out amongst his bandmates, who played a plethora of mad guitar hooks and fills, with some tremendously supreme drum work to boot. This was simply excellent on all levels.
After a headline-worthy performance from Belial, things were only going to get more demonic with Hull’s Black Tongue about to emerge. If you knew exactly what this band were capable of, you knew fully well that there may not even be a venue left once Black Tongue finish. Well they came pretty damn close for sure. Unleashing the doom beast from the offset, the band permeate the Boston Music Rooms with more earth-shattering, lethargic riffs and an immense energetic boost from the drummer. Everything works perfectly, with song “Fauxhammer” being the most destructive, the most intense and the most malicious song of the entire evening. Black Tongue give a live show to be proud of, with their perfect blend of doom and metalcore sending trembling jolts through the walls and pulsating drops, that at times felt like turbulence.
Hands down one of the most enjoyable gigs that I have been to this year.