Despite the chilly night outside, who would have thought that tonight would have been perhaps the strongest concert the Camden Underworld has seen for some time. This was the last date on the UK part of the "King" tour for Fleshgod Apocalypse and suffice to say they played the role of the 'King' tonight. For such a big band, a small venue did not hold them back from unleashing carnage, sure the 500 capacity venue was jam-packed, sure moshpits and stage diving happened for most of the night, sure Xerath and Hades Lab supported FA extremely well, but all in all this night belonged to one band.... Fleshgod Apocalypse. HAIL TO THE KING OF CLASSICAL DEATH METAL.
The horde from Perugia now take their Easter break before beginning their Russia, Estonia and Latvia tour. Then comes their festival shows, then as Tommaso indicated in our interview with him (click here), there may well be another America tour at the back end of 2016. But let's just recap last night shall we?
Having been on the scene for quite some time, dealing with various line-up changes and quiet periods of little activity, Hades Lab did their utmost to kick tonight off with a bang. Despite all of their attempts to ignite a crowd who were seemingly still chilled out from the cold outside, Hades Lab just could not get out of 3rd gear quick enough to leave a lasting impact. Although they performed some rather tight Black / Death / Grind Metal, the overall feeling was that they felt slightly uneasy performing, sure the crowd wasn't completely plenty and their mood was one of being expressionless, but that shouldn't hamper a band's performance right?
There was some glimmer of hope though as some songs did manage to get a response from the crowd, namely some ad-hoc headbanging but with some to most gigs, most people just hang around for the headliner which some would argue is disrespectful to those supporting, but anyway.... the fact that Hades Lab had the honesty (if you can call it that) to admit that their new song might not be perfect, could suggest a level of uncertainty resided within the band - if uncertain why try playing it at such a top notch gig, why not save it for a lesser riskier gig?
Again the goblins magic was at work because their playing at times was not in sync, that is they were slightly out of time with each other albeit the first which ironically was tight and played to perfection. Overall Hades Lab lacked that killer instinct, that notion that a band can whip out song after song like an endless machine gun firing away with no signs of slowing down or stopping.
Xerath bring their own brand of Orchestral Metal (with added doses of Groove Metal) to the fore, soon the crowd were into party mood as the band blasted them with a wall of sound (although Fleshgod would later on have the final say), initiating fans to clamber on stage by means of crowdsurfing and stage diving; some were so close to going wrong. Xerath here proved that they are no means finished, with their impending 10th year anniversary just around the corner.
As time flew by, some thought that Xerath deserved a longer set but in all truth the set flew by. Having been buzzing around the London metal scene, they were no stranger to big occasions having already played Bloodstock. Of course Xerath knew how to pull tonight's crowd up as they sussed out what this crowd needed, something to headbang endlessly to!
Cue the crowdsurfing and stage diving, during this performance there were at least 4, maybe 5 times were two people stage dived and whilst the moshpit opened up - some thought it wasn't small enough already haha (some said this), Xerath dealt the deeds through their infectiously groovy sermons of sci-fi faculty.
If this was a preview of what Xerath are going to unleash in shows to come, then they surely deserve greater appreciation and recognition than at present, because to tour and support one of Italy's finest and arguably successful metal exports (and to survive it) takes a lot of oomph and gusto. Xerath are underrated, after tonight they will have shed off that completely. Simply sensational.
HAIL TO THE KING.
HAIL THE KINGS OF 'CLASSICAL DEATH METAL'.
Check out below two videos we filmed:- "The Violent" in all of it's full glory and "The Fool" in part.
Apologies for some shaky camera moments, the moshpits and crowdsurfing was that extreme.
Tommaso bringing the Italian Renaissance to London.
We would love to know if Tommaso was actually drinking red wine in that photo, sure Fleshgod Apocalypse have released their own branded wine to promote the new album "King" (you can buy it online at their store - linked at the bottom of the page), but by bringing the Italian Renaissance visage to the fore meant only one thing. The purveyors of 'Classical Death Metal' were primed, poised and ready to unleash what could arguably be their best performance on British soil.
The videos we posted don't deal justice for their entire performance, sure it gives an idea but only let's say a third of it. Opening up with a selection of tracks from the new album "King", then whipping in the very first track from their very first album "Oracles" which is 'In Honour Of Reason' and closing up their set with the rather romantic number 'The Forsaking' (taken from their album "Agony"), Fleshgod Apocalypse are destined to become the new face of Italian music, let alone metal.
Backed by their honourable live musician and friend, Veronica Bordacchini, her soprano vocals injected the dramatics expected from a truly operatic, orchestral and theatrical performance. Make no mistake about it, the Italians of the Renaissance period would certainly look down at this band and nod with extreme approval. Hell this performance was equally as strong as their Bloodstock performance, meaning that they not only are consistent but do a f*cking good job of keeping their musical vision in sight without deviating down the wrong path.
Inciting the crowd at every moments chance, they know what it takes to deliver a stellar performance and then some, more importantly was the fact that they once again created an atmosphere that mimicked the same atmosphere one would experience at a ballet or theatrical play
Simply put Fleshgod Apocalypse are like the Leonardo Da Vinci of the art world, both dabbled in various areas - the former in Symphonic Metal, Death Metal and classical music, the latter in music history, inventions, etc. However attention cannot be deterred from the eccentricity of their stage uniforms, unique and perfected to detail, the quintet adorn themselves in uniform drawn upon from the Italian Renaissance period. Additionally Veronica does the same but also holds a caduceus of which in Roman mythology belongs to the god Mercury; the caduceus was uniquely used as a form of signature by the Italian Renaissance artist Jacopo de' Barbari.
Referring back the gig (or concert if you wish), it was clear that Fleshgod Apocalypse had left a lasting impression on those attending, rampaging on at the very last songs before being subject to the closing song 'The Forsaking' and an explosion of confetti being sprayed across the stage, band and crowd - what a majestic finale and what a way to end the night.
Now having done Bloodstock, the UK numerous times and travelled across the world, it would really be ace to see them at an edition of the Eurovision Song Contest - shame it wasn't this year as it would be 10 years since Lordi won it, so if they can enter and win then why can't Fleshgod Apocalypse? Fleshgod Apocalypse are 10 years old next year, so this would be a great party to devise and attend.
Hail to the King.
 RHYS STEVENSON
So on a rather cold night in London, well to be more precise at the Camden Underworld. Three bands amassed all the forces of darkness to splurge out a hellish display of chilly atmospherics, ferocious walls of sound and above all an experience that left the crowd bedazzled as to that they just witnessed.
Carpathian Forest of course have been knocking around for yonks and are no strangers to the Norwegian Black Metal scene having effectively become a part of what was known as the 'second wave'. Naturally headlining a gig would always be second nature to them as they've seen it, done it and sold many t-shirts.
Supporting them was East Anglian troopers Eastern Front and London's very own The Rotted. Eastern Front specialize in singing about the conflict of the same name which took place in the second world war between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union at the steps of Stalingrad. The Rotted on the other hand are a Death Metal / Grind unit of whom were previously known as Gorerotted (1997-2008) but subsqeutnly changed their name and had released two well-received albums since then.
Let the mayhem begin.
With the crowd already amassing to bear witness to the onslaught that was about to unfold them, some punters were already questioning why The Rotted were chosen to play owing to the fact that Eastern Front and Carpathian Forest are both Black Metal bands. But surely that need not matter, and it didn't because as soon as the band let out the first riff, an emphatic moshpit emerged as a result, crushing anyone who questioned the band selection in the process.
With beer and other drinks seemingly unable to stay in the cups, it was clear that the band had certainly got the crowd moving, obviously this was going to be a rather epic night. Despite the efforts of the crowd to arouse the band further, it seemed as if they were stuck in third gear for best part of their set and as a result let themselves down (well they won't think that right?).
In fact, there were times where the crowd was unresponsive to the gritty onslaught laid bare by The Rotted, who themselves by 2/3 of the way through their set looked slightly weary - never drink before playing a set... - but for sure they gave it a good old go and despite said effort, they walked away looking slightly demoralized. This certainly was not a performance to remember, even if they offered glimpses of what they're capable of, this simply was not The Rotted whatsoever.
Soon enough it was time for them to give way to the 'War-Torn' Black Metal horde Eastern Front, who by largely got a greater cheer than The Rotted did...
Eastern Front never put a foot wrong and they didn't tonight either, fully amassing their cold and bitter style of Black Metal and slamming it head-first into the unsuspecting crowd, Eastern Front had the crowd up by their balls and boobs... literally. If there was any artillery that could match the sheer power these lads gave tonight, I'd love to know, because the Black Metal delivered was easily greater than a platoon or armada of ships.
With their theatrical aesthetics in tow, that is the powder-covered uniforms, white-painted faces and banners supporting their latest album 'Descent Into Genocide', few would have thought about drawing comparisons between the band and the Norwegian horror film 'Dead Snow' as both are very grim indeed. As For Eastern Front, they summoned their rallying troops in front to mosh and create havoc as the band tore into the darkness with their ear-piercing explosive form of Black Metal. Who'd have thought that this album would be their strongest to date, despite them actually including some songs from their debut album 'Blood On Snow'; one of the songs being the title track.
Rampaging on and with their use of strobe lights to create the am-dram as it were, Eastern Front once again proved themselves capable of joining the very elite within the British Black Metal scene. Soon enough though it was time for them to disembark the stage, pack away their rifles and switch off their ferocious Panzer-attitude for the Norwegians were soon to invade the stage... but not to burn it of course, but to set the motherf*cker alight!
25 years down the line and still going strong, the headliners were primed and prepared to unleash a torrent of Nordic hell. Carpathian Forest ascending the stage, dressed in traditional Black Metal garb, including an inverted cross which Nattefrost gleefully waved about, as if he was conjuring some sort of dark magic or just simply 'christening' the audience.
This is what the punters were duly waiting for and whilst the crowd incessantly moshed, headbanged, downed beers and tried singing to the band, Nattefrost did the unexpected, he leant backwards and fell over only to be showing his bum to the audience; some nearby girls remarked that he had no pants on (well guess who was getting horny, ay ladies?). Despite mooning to the crowd, the real deal was the fact that the band showed no signs of slowing down or indeed stopping.
For a band who has been around for two and half decades, they certainly know what it takes to play on a sensational performance and they did exactly that tonight, there was not one moment where the crowd decided enough was enough, no, instead the moshpits were becoming so uncontrollably violent that at least two punters came out with bloodied heads - kvlt to some, scary to others.
But as the beer was still flowing and the band still playing, song after song the crowd showed no signs of tiring out despite the time clocking on. By the time of the last song, the amount of beer that was consumed probably outdone the amount of beer that was made during the entire gig, it was a tremendous amount. But like most good things, it has to come to an end and as Carpathian Forest disembarked the stage and curfew drew closer, the feeling that the crowd had been to what could be seen as the best gig of the year, was certainly on the table.
[8.5] RHYS STEVENSON
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