Review by Jarod Lawley
Photography by Jo Blackened
At their first headlining London show since their appearance at the 2011 Live Evil festival, Sweden’s IN SOLITUDE are ready to bring their dark rock music to the people of England.
Opening as a replacement for the short-notice pull-outs Obnoxious Youth, DANIEL BAY (3/5) has the tricky task of performing acoustically to a club full of metallers and death rockers.
From In Solitude’s own hometown of Uppsala, the guitarist and singer frontman presents a thoughtful collection of chords, mid-range vocals and frictional stage presence.
Loose and unstructured, his music sounds more like an audial sketchpad, with bittersweet minor strums, syncopated rhythms and a gentle voice on the top.
Although his performance is solid and his material enjoyable, there is no doubt that the man is out of place on the stage. Slightly confused faces are widespread across the crowd, whilst others simply enjoy Daniel Bay for what he is – a talented singer-songwriter doing his thing.
With his passionate and soulful delivery, he is well received. However, there are no doubts that a slightly more drunken/rowdy crowd would have given this odd replacement a slightly harder time on the stage. A solid yet uncanny performance.
Next, the crowd rushes to the front like civilians rushing to the fallout shelters as BEASTMILK (4/5) take to the stage.
Opening with the chilling, “The Wind Blows through Their Skulls” an explosion and eerie noise and rock ‘n’ roll groove lights up the Camden Underworld like an exploding Little Boy.
Formed in Finland in 2010, this five-piece play a unique brand of what they dub “apocalyptic post-punk”, taking inspiration from a paranoia-wired version of Bauhaus, a nuclear-age Misfits and a much more angry version of Morrissey.
With electric energy tonight, the band’s punk roots and violent explosiveness really shines through tonight, as the sing-a-long quality to all their tracks really help create a rousing-atmosphere in amongst the active crowd.
Unfortunately, vocalist Kvohst suffers from a slightly shaky melodic performance towards the beginning of the set, but this gradually subsides as the band delves further into the material of their excellent 2013 debut, Climax.
Tracks such as “Ghosts Out of Focus” and “Children of the Atom Bomb” give the band a great advantage over most of their live contemporaries- their set has waves, ups and downs, and peaks of energy and peaks of gloom. With Goths, indie kids and full on beardy-metallers present in the audience, there is no doubting the band’s widespread appeal and loyal fan base.
Closing track “Love in a Cold World” proves to be a highlight, with bursts of dramatic energy and innovative guitar riffs being rewarded with ecstatic crowd noise. Certainly an excellent choice to share the stage with In Solitude.
With eerie sounds of Sister Irene O’Connor’s “Fire of God’s Love” being played, it can only mean one thing- it is time to celebrate the glory of one of Sweden’s best kept secrets IN SOLITUDE (5/5).
As the band walk proudly onto the stage, they burst into the heartfelt, “Death Knows Where”. Decorated by white lilies, unique artwork and a blur of incense smoke, the band appear visually captivating, refreshing and magnetic, as the crowd stretch out to grab a closer touch of vocalist Pelle Ahman as he flings himself around the stage as if in a self-cast trance.
Despite the astounding critical success of Sister, the five-piece pay homage to their NWOBHM infused roots, as they boldly display “Witches Sabbath” from their debut record, which is returned with an electrifying vocal response from the audience and shaking rafters inside.
With die-hards head banging relentlessly on the front row, singer Ahman flailing around helplessly and bassist Gottfrid dominating sections of the crowd, there is no mistaking that the venue has not seen such energy and atmosphere for a long time, despite the not even being sold out to capacity.
Obscure samples between songs are certainly statements that In Solitude are no ordinary band. Their artistic, dark and entrancing sound is magnificently captured in the epic seven-minute long “A Buried Sun”.
Other tracks such as “Lavender” and “Horses in the Ground” also display a soulful performance, with their unconventional six-string approaches that take the audience on a journey of unique soundscapes and previously unfelt emotions.
Closing with the farewell track “He Comes”, In Solitude’s exit is as heartfelt and pure as can be, ending in a burst of lilies and a fall to the knees from vocalist Pelle.
Death Knows Where
A Buried Sun
Jesus I betong (Cortex cover)
To Her Darkness
Horses in the Ground
Read Interview with Pelle Here:
Full set of photos Here: