It's always a blessing when a band from a country so far away comes over to play in the UK, it's even more majestic when it's their second and consequential time(s). But for Scarab (previously known as Hate Suffocation), this was another step in their quest to place their beloved Egypt on the metal map. Having pummelled out their second album 'Serpents of the Nile' last year (released via ViciSolum Productions), it was clear that Scarab are to become eminent within the MENA region alongside fellow bands Myrath (Tunisia), Nervecell (UAE), Acrassicauda (Iraq), Orphaned Land (Israel) and to a newer extent Blaakyum (The Lebanon).
However fixating complete attention onto Scarab and you begin to realize this is a band breaking boundaries, opposing Governmental oppression and above all us standing up for a form of music they feel has a powerful presence and message within. This was evident at their London show, performing in front of a mere 50/60 people, it was almost as if they were born to play music; come on they've already got Bloodstock pedigree.
As the crowd began to increase and doors were well open, Atvm were the first band to set the mood for the evening.
Having only been beating around the bush for four years, you would have thought that Atvm would have had a near-perfect craft to showcase, sadly this was not the case. Despite the best efforts from Harry (vocals) and Luke (bass), the atmosphere did not ignite and the rest of the band seemed to lack confidence in their stage presence. Sure the stage width-wise was not the largest, but to compensate you can easily think of something to get the crowd going; some seem perplexed as to what to make of Atvm, with the occasional arousing cheer making itself known.
Musically they seem ok, a bit sloppy here and there and at times trying to make their set more artificial than natural. If they're to gain a name for themselves further afield, then they need to redesign their blueprints because this effort has very little to appraise for (unless being sarcastic, then it's the case of turning up...).
As soon as Atvm wrapped up their 'could-have-gone-better' set, the Egyptian horde known as Scarab were donning their make-up in traditional Pharaoh-style, setting up their stage layout and even managing to set the mood with some incense candles... the sandwalkers have arrived.
Scarab, the more beautiful sister to Nile, are no strangers to these shores. Having played Bloodstock a few years ago to a relatively-packed Sophie Stage tent, they were once again gracing us with their 'True Egyptian Death Metal' sound. Rallying out with epics such as 'Blinding The Masses', 'Valley Of The Sandwalkers' and 'Serpents Of The Nile' among others, they wasted no time in correcting the atmosphere left unbalanced by Atvm.
Tight, precise, brutal, you could probably whip out a thesaurus and find better words to describe their performance but truth be told, these are guys who know their craft, know how to put on a damn good show and above all are showing to the world that metal is global, and that it's about bloody time the Western metalheads acknowledge this.
Having had a line-up change since their first outing on British soil, with bassist Bombest, drummer Hatem El Akkad and guitarist Tarek Amr being replaced by Omar Assem, Michel Khater and Stephen Moss respectively, their sound remains unchanged... it's as if Ra spared the death of the previous incantation. Slamming away through their set like a desert storm blasting Cairo with such intensity, the sandwalkers are on the path to international recognition and a sharp contender to challenging the metal band elite.
With moshpits, the expected headbanging and sweat emerging all around, it was too clear that the crowd love this band as much as Scarab loves their fans, they will be welcomed back to British soils and indeed London anytime. As the desert storm calmed down and Horus signalling that the Egyptians are finishing their set, it was time for De Profundis to limber up, pay respect to their brothers and co-headliners in Scarab and wrap up this interesting evening.
Four albums in and eleven years of activity, not bad for a band who by far deserve more attention than they currently have. Bloodstock 2017? Why the f**k not! De Profundis came prepared for this, by unleashing a barrage of Progressive Black / Death Metal to the statically-charged crowd; after being immersed by the energy Scarab spewed out, De Profundis knew that they had a challenge on their hands and one that they achieved in style.
Here is a band who should be gracing the European shores on an annual basis, with their performance this evening leaving the crowd gasping for air or maybe thirsty for more, De Profundis show that they're no pushovers. Intricately balanced and finely tuned, these London chaps know how to leave a scar in their backyard scene, savage yet epically sound, De Profundis are a sight to behold.
Of course there is much more this band can deliver, time will come for sure as they continue the path to success, for now they're decent enough to earn themselves a slot at Bloodstock next year (Scarab in tow of course). What makes the De Profundis unit a force to be reckoned with is they're craft, perfecting it over years and mastering a sound that can be identified as their own, something that seems to lack with some bands these days.
De Profundis, Scarab and Atvm have collectively proven one thing, metal is not dead. Metal is a thriving, breathing animal that has a lot of love, passion and life coursing through it and as the night came to a close, there was indeed the feeling of ultimate satisfaction radiating from the punters. Not even the nicest smile went amiss, the crowd were left totally content.
Atvm , Scarab , De Profundis 
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