Stahlsarg + Necrosadistic Goat Torture + Vehement + Exquisite Ending @ The Unicorn, London

1st of February 2015
Review by Oliver Manso

When I heard that Necrosadistic Goat Torture will be playing at the Unicorn in London on a Sunday night, I promised that I wouldn’t miss that gig. Indeed, concerts of Drakkar bands are very rare nowadays due to the lack of support they’re suffering. I wish I had attended the infamous Drakkar Hell Fest occurring every year in the South-East of France in the 90s and beginning of the 2000s. Organised by cult French label Drakkar Productions, these festivals were so violent that the police had to interrupt them. Due to the fights and brutality ongoing during those live performances, the French authorities forced the label to put an end to this festival which was very sad as some cult underground black metal hordes like Decayed, Abigail and Celestia used to play there. Since then, there had been some gigs organised by the label but a few of them ended up being cancelled (such as the Arghoslent concert in Luynes in 2009 for example) because of those authorities. This of course didn’t motivate the label to do more shows and their bands have to manage themselves to offer some gigs since. Thus, concerts of Drakkar legions are becoming infrequent. That’s the reason why I was very glad to attend it and another reason for being happy is that it was free entry for everybody!

10382822_10154946971015346_8827311295680844536_n

It was the first time I went to the Unicorn. All of the shows occurring there are free entry and this nice venue offers a very good sound for underground bands which is a great opportunity for them to spread their name. Let’s start with Exquisite Ending (3.5/5), a young UK trio playing raw misanthropic black metal in the pure traditional way. Wearing corpse paint and bearing funny stage names (Cardinal Andra-Inanyus, General Marhtuk), they delivered a good set of inspired songs while an old small TV was showing some very disturbing footage. I already knew Exquisite Ending as it was the former band of Repktkor (Mørktår’s current vocalist). If you appreciate Mørktår, you will automatically like them as they’re both creating a depressive, suicidal atmosphere efficiently thanks to their raw riffs and hateful vocals. In order to strengthen this sickening ambiance, they had the great idea to install a dusty vintage TV in front of the stage, showing excerpts from snuff films, satanic imagery and other shocking mondo footage. Being an avid fan of horror and gory art, I really enjoyed watching it. It may sound funny to say that but I’ve even spent most of the time watching TV than seeing the band playing. I think it’s the best way to fully appreciate and understand their music. They’ve released one album, a split CD with UK black metallers Written in Torment and one EP so far through their own label Hibernacula Records. They‘re promising and I’m really looking forward to see how they sound in studio.

20150201_193117 - Copy

Formed in 2005 and also hailing from England, Vehement (3/5) offered us some interesting compositions of a black metal influenced by the recent period of Enslaved (their progressive era only). The addition of progressive elements was well done but there wasn’t any originality in their songs. They kept alternating fast and slow tempos efficiently but everything sounded so predictable. There was clearly a lack of personality here but their overall performance was still decent on stage. They’ve released two demos and one self-produced album until now. They’re preparing a new opus in 2015 and let’s hope it will mark a new beginning for this band.

20150201_202734 - Copy

Then came the furious horde I was waiting for: Necrosadistic Goat Torture (4.5/5). Formed in the UK (but each member coming from different European countries) in 2003, this legion of goat demons took no prisoners that night! Their live performance was a blasphemous massacre. They hammered the whole audience with eight devastating tracks of old-school blasting black/death metal. Inspired guitar solos, destructive riffs, impressive extreme vocal skills and good musicianship: they’re more experienced than the other acts present on the bill. Bearing some very funny stage names (GoatManiac, Goatmaster, Goatlord, GoatTerrorist, Goatrapist), they remind me musically and lyrically speaking, the entire Latin American/Brazilian black/death/thrash metal scene from the 80s and beginning of the 90s. This traditional South American touch is clearly recognizable in their compositions. GoatManiac’s blackened death metal vocals were absolutely insane. He kept headbanging and wandering like a zombie during their set and I don’t know how he managed to sing so well because he almost didn’t sleep the night prior to the gig. The crowd was very enthusiastic towards their performance with many people cheering and headbanging, which was not the case for the other bands. Since their creation, Necrosadistic Goat Torture have released two demos, two self-produced EPs and one great album “Armageddon Shall Come” through Drakkar Productions in 2012. I’m really impatient to hear their second unholy assault and I hope they will release it through them very soon, Drakkar being my favourite label.

Setlist:

1. The Day All Gods Die
2. Raven’s Call
3. Inner Daemon
4. Final Aeon
5. Armageddon Shall Come
6. Will to Power
7. Nemesis
8. Sermon for the Weak

The headliners Stahlsarg (4/5) concluded this concert with an excellent live performance. Formed in 2013 by two former members of Ipswich-based black metallers Eastern Front, this belligerent horde delivered a brilliant set of black/death metal with some nice World War II ambiances. It’s important to highlight that Krieg (guitars) and Destruction (bass) used to play on Eastern Front’s first great album “Blood on Snow” before leaving the band to create Stahlsarg. Of course, we can easily feel the EF influences in their music and lyrics/concept. Moreover, they wear corpse paint and military clothes like them. I would even be tempted to say that they’re just a clone of Eastern Front but in fact, they are not. The death metal elements are indeed strong enough to avoid any comparison. They also did a very good job regarding the melodies which are catchy and inspired. At the moment I’m writing this review, I’ve been informed that their vocalist Metzger left the band a few days ago. I hope it will not have a negative impact on their music as I’m very impatient to check their first studio album. I would also advise them to make sure they create a profile in the website Metal Archives as I’m very surprised to see they still don’t have any profile in this fundamental online database.

Setlist:

1. Black Valhalla
2. Frostbite division
3. Mein blüt fur Eisen und geröll
4. Comrades in death
5. The frozen flesh order
6. Steel coffin,
7. The partisan,
8. Damocles XIII
9. 900 days of solitude

I simply cannot understand why Necrosadistic Goat Torture didn’t headline this show as they’re the only act signed at a well-known label and the oldest one present on the bill. Putting Stahlsarg as headliners was a complete inconsistency even though they were excellent. Let’s hope the Unicorn will welcome such talented bands in the future!

For more complete video songs of Necrosadistic Goat Torture and Stahlsarg’s live performance in London, please check the following link:

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

Share
Copyright © The Independent Voice 2018