28th February 2015
Review by Ben Spencer
Tonight at the Unicorn, London Metal fans are given a heavy dose of Post Black and ambient Doom vibes from four formidable UK bands who are sound checking upon entry for tonight’s free concert.
First up, Jotnarr [3/5] take to the stage as the dim blue lights and unleash their blackened angst to the venues early attendees. The band barge through their set with little room for respite as the visceral shrieks and tight sounding drum work remains consistent with their style.
Onlookers begin congregating towards the front stage area as ‘Sunless’ proves to be the most memorable addition to their set. Opening with melodic guitars, the band’s solid song writing, are met with several members of the crowd nodding along in approval. Around half way, the band erupt into a destructive array of screams and hazy guitar riffs that see onlookers cheer back upon the track’s final moments.
Jotnarr prove to be a worthy opening act for the evening. Full of infectious riffs, complex drum work and a strong ability to get the crowd paying attention, these guys deliver a sound that is both refreshing and technically proficient. Great start to the night!
Sonance [4/5] follow up with their Neurosis inspired sound, that is also reinforced by a projector screen, displaying rippling images that are reminiscent of the Given to the Rising videos. Although it becomes quickly evident that these guys are a slower and more brooding beast, they are nothing short of exhilarating from the get go.
The sprawling ‘Belgium/ Black flower’ showcases the band’s potency, as the dense tones energetic stage presence gets heads turning, as fists raise to their mammoth sounding guitars.
Their set drifts into weighty guitar passages to dreamy soundscapes effortlessly, and this is where the band shine the most, providing the venue with trance-like melodies that will leave post rock fans lost for hours.
Tonight’s main support, Torpor [3.5/5] certainly have a high standard to live up too, given what has already come. The vocalist plunges into the catastrophic wake of ‘From This Time’, a track so heavy that it reinforces the laws of gravity.
The band’s energetic stage presence injects a strong dose of adrenaline. From the murky guitars to Nats Spada’s soaring vocals, the band tear through their set with an unyielding ferocity.
‘Abandon’, crashes down at full force with a heavy bass lines and visceral shrieks that see several onlookers head banging to their lethal sound. As the track progresses, the downbeat tempo remains intact, keeping the their shuddering nature sounding more vibrant than before.
Torpor not only put on a great performance, they also leave a yearning for more. Their performance represents a modern display of anarchic musicianship that wholly defines them as a band. For those looking for a modern dose of destructive doom, look no further, these guys may well be onto something here.
Caina [4/5] are a band who have simmering on the UK underground scene for a number of years, with a diverse, yet compelling discography to match. Tonight, the headliners are met with an eccentric gathering of loyalist fans.
The music itself represents the solo work of Andy Curtis-Brignell‘s black metal sensibilities and the hardcore punk edginess in equal measure.
The instrumentation wades further into ambient territory as well, offering up an abysmal array of bleak textures and tight sounding melodies. What works with his solo music is the fluidity of movement within tonight’s improvised set.
Andy also unleashes further creative flare through the recently accomplished ‘The Death of Cartography’. The impressive craftsmanship conjures up a hellish atmosphere that that that engages the crowd throughout.
Caina’s material lives up to expectations, with their experimental and seemingly binary influences standing harmoniously together. While this may not be to everyone’s standard, this is music that continually pushes boundaries and defies logic and on that merit alone they are a band who are at the top of their game. Keep an eye out for future shows.