Nasum, Dripback, Black Breath, @ The Underworld Camden

Review by Paul James
Photography by Andre Purvis
25th September 2012

It’s a cool autumn evening as I hustle over to the underworld for what promises to be a very special and fitting tribute to the end of grind core legends Nasum – the 51st stop of their “Grind Finale” tour before Nasum is put to rest for good.

It’s a packed line that snakes around the street when I arrive, Shane Embury is amongst the crowd and it’s a fair wager that he’ll be making a appearance later on considering the considerable influence Napalm Death have had on Nasum as a whole!
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As I was a little late due to some heavy tube traffic, I unfortunately missed Dripback but managed to grab a beer and find a good spot before Seattle based Hardcore/Thrash/Death/Crust Metallers Black Breath hit the stage with a glorious dose of filthy metal.

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I’ve heard pretty good things about their live performance and they are an often requested band in my Dj sets as of late – So I was quite interested to hear how their sound would hold up live, I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest! From the get go the room is packed for them and they take full advantage of a hungry crowd, numbers like “Endless Corpse” & “Feast Of The Damned” are absolutely brutal yet groove filled slabs of pure metal – special mention as well to “Sentenced To Life” which sounded utterly fantastic tonight.

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During a short break in between songs, we’re notified that drummer Jamie Byrum has somehow damaged his foot and after the show they’ll be going straight to the hospital to get it checked out! Obviously this affects the song choice as his double pedal is effectively useless, nonetheless the band soldier on and if I’m honest you couldn’t even notice!

(A later blog post by Anders Jakobson from Nasum tells that actually doctors could find nothing wrong with his foot and he was fine to play the next evening in Paris!)

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The band’s energy throughout is great and everything seems incredibly tight, if you’ve been on the road with Nasum for 50+ dates though, I imagine you’ve got a lot to live up to! “Home Of The Grave” from newest release “Sentenced To Life” brings the Entombed/Carcass worship to another level (Never a bad thing!) It’s catchy grooves setting off a sizable moshpit for the duration. Finishing up with combo punch of “Black Sin (Spit On The Cross)” & “Hewhocannotbenamed” you get a real taste of just how well crafted and heavy they really are, I can’t wait until their next Uk appearance!

It’s only a short while before everything is set up and ready to go for Nasum and the room is absolutely heaving, having a quick word with our photographer Andre who amusingly states “I’m not going in there, it’s going to get really violent.” He couldn’t be more right!

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As soon as the Mr & Mrs Gasmask intro tape kicks in, the anticipation in the room is reaching fever pitch – the band slam into the opening numbers “Mass Hypnosis” & “Scoop” quickly followed by “Bullshit” & “Relics” before taking a short stop – The band are on absolutely fantastic form and Anders Jakobson in particular looks incredibly energetic as he positively rages through every song!

Stepping in for vocals on this tour after the untimely death in 2004 of Mieszko Talarcyzk is Rotten Sound front man Keijo Niinimaa and he certainly brings his own sound to the table yet still pays an incredibly fitting tribute to the singer, very energetic on stage and always engaging the audience at every turn – including a leap into the crowd much later on during the titanic heavy-ness of “Inhale/Exhale”

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As I mentioned earlier, Shane Embury does indeed make an appearance, guesting on “The Masked Face” to huge applause from the London crowd (Anders later reveals that Shane guesting in London was one of many special appearances on the tour from former members) this of course leaves Jesper Liverd on vocal duties for the rest of the track, which he seems to quite enjoy!

It’s really difficult not to enjoy incredible grind tracks like “ Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scar” & the excellent “I Hate People” and it’s quite a broad selection of material from across the albums that is played tonight, a grand total of 26 tracks! Other highlights include “Fury” & “The Black Swarm” which the crowd happily laps up, and it’s pretty much impossible at this point to not have a procession of stage divers flying overhead at all times!

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However as we reach “Closer To The End” & “Inhale Exhale” it’s a with a certain sadness that if this really is the last Nasum tour ever – these are our last moments hearing one of the more unique grind bands to come out of the scene and with that – Keijo announces that these are the final four Nasum songs for the Uk ever, “The most appropriate way to put this beast to sleep” as they head into a stellar rendition of “The Final Sleep” and close out the set with “Den Svarta Fana” to huge applause from the lond crowd.

No Encore, no rockstar bullshit – just the pure heavy grind that you come to expect from Nasum and as the strains of The Doors “The End” play me out into the night I can only think – Mieszko would be proud! A fitting tribute to his legacy. If you weren’t there you certainly missed out!

Nasum Setlist:
Mass Hypnosis
Multinational Murderers Network
Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow
The Masked Face
I See Lies
Time To Act!
The Engine Of Death
Twinkle, Twinkle Little Scar
I Hate People
The Black Swarm
Circle Of Defeat
Closer To The End
The Final Sleep
The Idiot Parade
Den Svarta Fanan