Date: 2nd October 2016
Review by Torbjørn ‘Toby’ Jørstad
With a multinational lineup bringing metal from Greece, Canada, Belgium, and Spain all on one stage, The Underworld in Camden was the place to be for London metalheads last Sunday. Supporting their new album Division of Blood, Greek thrash metallers Suicidal Angels couldn’t have picked a better set of bands joining them for this night of thrash metal mania in the capital. With a balanced mix of older metalheads and the younger hordes coming together for one evening, there was certainly not a lack of battlevests and leather jackets, and it is probably safe to say that most left the venue with a slight ringing in their ears.
Kicking off the madness were Spanish thrashers Crisix, who released their third record From Blue to Black earlier in March this year. It was definitely a worthy start to a loud evening packed with all things metal, as the Spaniards delivered a high energy set on their first ever London show.
A fun little game of pop-the-balloons during the song “Bring ‘Em To The Pit”and a guitar player leaving the stage to engage with the crowd set the standard high for the rest of the evening.
Next up was Evil Invaders, a band really trying to bring metal back to its glorious golden era during the 80s. Their high intensity speed metal was good fun, but also slightly sabotaged by a sound mix leaving the drums really drowning out the guitars and vocals throughout most the show.
A shame really, as the band displayed Maiden-esque guitar harmonies and a vocalist doing high-pitched screams worthy of Bobby Ellsworth himself (while also rocking sideburns worthy of… Abe Lincoln?)
Skull Fist from Canada served a healthy dose of traditional metal, with clean vocals, and a sing along segment with the crowd shouting their lungs out already on the first song.
The song “Get Fisted” is appropriately enough dedicated to “the Queen herself”… Still waiting for the official comment from the Monarchy’s spokesperson on that one. Their set is finished with the song “Sign of the Warrior”, leaving the crowd wondering whether they’ve accidentally stumbled into a Manowar concert.
Taking the stage a little later than planned, the night’s headliners make their entrance a little before 10, frontman Nick Melissourgos proclaiming; “London… tonight you are the capital of war!”, before tearing into the opening track of the new album with the same name.
The band instantly rips through three killer tracks off Division of Blood, with the fast paced “Image of the Serpent” seemingly pleasing the crowd if one is to judge by the intensity of the pit. The band seem to be having fun on stage, despite the constant flow of stage divers invading the stage.
They are able to keep the high energy throughout the whole show, while also avoiding sounding boring, arguably a hard thing to do when playing a genre where most innovation has already taken place years ago.
“Seed of Evil” from 2014’s Divide and Conquer with its hard-hitting opening segment and memorable chorus is the personal highlight of the evening. Whereas most metalheads typically prefer bands to play their older stuff live, Suicidal Angels really count as an exception to that rule when their newest record is as strong as it is, with more than half the songs in the set coming off Division of Blood.
Their live staple “Moshing Crew” has the crowd making a good attempt at a wall of death on the limited space that there are in the Underworld. During the final song, “Apokathilosis”, the band invites to crowd to one final, massive mosh pit, and with that, a long night of intense riffing, screeching vocals, pounding blast beats and anti-establishment lyrics ends.
Tired, sweaty, and with most likely a slight case of whiplash, the metalheads flood into the streets of Camden and disappear into the night.
1. Capitol of War
2. Division of Blood
3. Image of the Serpent
5. Bleeding Holocaust
6. Seed of Evil
7. Set the Cities on Fire
8. Front Gate
9. Eternally to Suffer
10. Moshing Crew