Tsjuder + Eastern Front + Necro Ritual + Premature Birth @ The Garage, London

Date: 14th of February 2015
Review by Oliver Manso

After almost 20 years of career, Tsjuder could finally do a show in the UK for the first time ever on Saint Valentine’s Day. For that kind of day, I would have expected the promoters to organise a gig for glam metal or melodic speed metal bands but it wasn’t the case. Instead of that, they decided to gather four belligerent black metal acts for a night of unholy blasphemies in London. It was the first time I went to the Garage. The venue itself is large, very nice but the spotlights were bad for all hordes except for Eastern Front. Indeed, we got almost constant red lights during the three other bands’ sets. That was annoying, especially if you wanted to take photos.

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To the great satisfaction of their fans, a signing session was scheduled for Tsjuder just prior to the beginning of that concert which was a very good idea in my opinion. After so many years of waiting, their English maniacs could finally get their CDs, vinyls autographed and I think this is something that should occur more in metal gigs. That was a great initiative from Aeon Promotions to do so. Due to a long face to face interview with Eastern Front, I missed this signing session but I’ve been told everybody really enjoyed it. As I’m not a die-hard fan of them, it wasn’t a problem for me to be honest.

Fortunately, I didn’t miss Premature Birth’s live performance (3.5/5) as it was a very interesting discovery. When you look at their name at first glance, you would think they’re probably a death metal or grindcore act but they’re not. Formed in 2011, this London legion has released one demo and one EP (both self-produced) so far and is still unsigned.

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They clearly deserve to find a label quickly as they offered us a beautiful set of black metal symphonies that night. The eerie keyboards brought all the melodies to each of their song and were definitely the strong point of their music. It’s a pity we couldn’t hear them enough as they have been pushed into the background comparing to the other instruments that we could hear very well.

Premature Birth Premature Birth

I don’t know if it was intended or caused by a sound issue but I hope they will be more emphasized next time. At the end of their set, they played a cover of Satyricon’s cult classic “Mother North” which was well performed.

Premature Birth Premature Birth

Those young musicians are very promising and I’m impatient to see how they sound in studio. Premature Birth remind me a bit all this fantastic wave of symphonic/atmospheric black metal hordes that used attractive female keyboardists and achieved both commercial and critical success in the 90’s. Let’s hope they will release their first full-length opus very soon.

With Necro Ritual (3/5), the level of that gig decreased a bit here. Like their predecessors, this diabolic legion played at home and received positive acclaim from the audience. However, their style is the opposite as they delivered some tracks of hateful raw black metal.

Necro Ritual Necro Ritual

If you like the so-called “True Black Metal” art (with raw sound, corpse paint, satanic imagery, no synths and so on), you will probably appreciate them but don’t expect anything original or exceptional from their side. Despite being well constructed, their compositions still lack of personality which is something common for that kind of bands unfortunately.

Necro Ritual Necro Ritual

Since their creation in 2003, they’ve released two albums through some obscure labels and are still struggling in spreading their name in the underground scene. Necro Ritual’s show was nice in general but they gave the impression they were just one more black metal act that will never bring anything interesting to the scene.

Necro Ritual Necro Ritual

There was also one funny point to highlight. Right after their first song, the guitarist threw a plastic glass full of beer to the crowd (I don’t know the reason to be honest) and then, someone from the audience responded immediately by throwing that empty plastic glass to the vocalist who expressly made evil faces towards the crowd thereafter. At least, that’s what makes their charm!

Then, all the lights became dark blue. Suddenly, we could hear an old dusty music coming directly from a radio made in the 40s, accompanied by some military aircraft noise and a bombardment in the end. That was the great short intro of “Retribution Sky”. At this moment, I knew this performance would be the best of that concert by far.

Eastern Front Eastern Front

As always, the supreme commanders of the Eastern Front (4.5/5) devastated everything in their path and didn’t take any prisoners! Hailing from Ipswich, they’re one of the most talented and promising UK black metal hordes without any doubt. I’m using the word “promising” because they’re still young and I’m sure the best is yet to come for them.

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Both released by Candlelight Records, “Blood on Snow” and “Descent into Genocide” are the ideal soundtracks to represent the destruction and atrocities committed during the Second World War (especially at the Eastern front). Their inspired compositions are shrouded in a cold martial ambiance and they become so atmospheric at a point where they’re like tanks running over thousands of snow-covered soldiers’ cadavers.

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Each instrument contributes to turn each of their songs into a steamroller. Their black metal artillery is raw, icy, powerful and melodic at the same time, a combination hardly achievable nowadays for this genre. As well as being charismatic, Nagant’s hateful vocals were really impressive on stage due to his great ability in alternating high-pitched screams and deep growls efficiently.

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I also appreciated a lot the way he stared at his loyal troops, exteriorizing all his suffering and insanity with frenzy. It was the third time I saw them after their brilliant shows at the Colchester Arts Centre church and at the Candlefest last year.

Eastern Front Eastern Front

I absolutely didn’t get bored of seeing them once again and I even wanted more songs as a set of only four tracks was not enough although they performed their most epic ones such as “Descent into Genocide” and “Blood on Snow” (around 9 minutes long each). They would deserve to headline more gigs in the future with additional World War II ambiances hopefully.

Tsjuder (3.5/5) was of course the legion that everybody was waiting for and received a better acclaim from the crowd than their predecessors, although it wasn’t deserved.

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They used to be a great band during their early years with legendary French label Drakkar Productions, without whom they would be nothing today. But let’s be clear here: since they signed at Season of Mist, they sadly lost all their creativity and inspiration.

 

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As a consequence, their last two assaults “Desert Northern Hell” and “Legion Helvete” are really terrible comparing to what they did in the past such as the cult unholy masterpiece “Kill For Satan” released in 2000 for example.

Tsjuder Tsjuder

Their brutal black metal ceremony itself was good. This evil trio is experienced and have nothing to learn on stage. For instance, AntiChristian is still a highly technical drummer and the most talented musician of the horde for sure.

Tsjuder Tsjuder

The problem remained in the setlist in which we could only find four demonic prayers taken from their glorious past (“Kill for Satan”, “Sodomizing the Lamb”, “Beyond the Grave”, “Eriphion Epistates”) and these were not the best unfortunately. Indeed, we didn’t have the chance to hear “Necromancy” and “The Daemon Gate”, which are undoubtedly their finest infamies to date.

Tsjuder Tsjuder

The Norwegian preferred to focus on their recent Season of Mist period which was a pity. To close this blasphemous black mass, they played an interesting cover of Mayhem’s cult classic “Deathcrush” to our great satisfaction. Tsjuder is still solid on stage but they definitely offered the wrong set that night.

For more complete video songs of Eastern Front’s live performance in London, please check the following link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9xr7tapUUvL5dM9tEtZeTQ

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