Verdelet @ The Unicorn, Camden

6 January 2017

Review by Demitri Levantis

Domitorem1

They say the best things in life are free. That’s a phrase I cannot express full support for, especially with the cost of living going up every single day and the anxiety inducing fears of what our governments might do next; but in some rare cases, you can find the finest forms of entertainment without spending a penny.

By that I am referring to the free shows put on by valuable venues like the Unicorn in Camden Town. Who this very month played host to a fresh showcase of UK based extreme metal. One such act playing their debut show.

angmaer Angmaer

First up on the bill were Angmaer, the most promising band to come out of Wolverhampton in recent times. Having transitioned from a one-man project (Oscar Taylor) to a live performing four-piece, I’d say this band have gone from strength to strength in the last two years delivering nothing short of incredible satanic black metal at a blistering tempo and a tone that has both anger and sorrow yet pays homage to the recent flux of atmospheric and epic black metal.

Angmaer took to the stage to give a delightful rendition of the band’s discography and I definitely felt fired up enough by the precision drumming of Arjun Gupta and the jagged and tremolo laden guitars of Archie Farrer and Mark Cross. One very good lineup to start off the evening delivering something I certainly won’t forget in a hurry.

You’re really going places Angmaer, keep up the good work.

diabolusincarnate

If Wolverhampton felt like far away, you’ve seen nothing yet. Next for our listening and viewing pleasure were a band whose origins lie in the far away city of Johannesburg. Diabolus Incarnate, now stationed in the English capital city were in town to leave a nice mark on the UKBM circuit.

South Africa is a country I’ve found quite interesting over the years with its very twisted and shocking history, which I can’t but help thinking influenced this band’s output as they screamed and bashed their way through track after track about death and annihilation. The horrors of what it must have been like to grow up in such a place in recent years would be a big influence on these musicians and I think they personified the anger coming with it very well.

Even if said origins hold no influence on this band I certainly felt they had a horrific output which gave me an insight into a world of suffering and death played in the best musical achievement heavy metal has made in the last 30 years. This was symphonic black metal at its finest, telling me the ways of said genre are still alive and kicking today as they were in Norway around the time this critic was born.

praesepe Praesepe

And now we were back in Europe again for now it was the turn of several Poles who’d found their way into the UK capital, bringing with them some Progressive Death Metal. Having released five studio albums over a course of 15 years, Praesepe came forth onto the stage to give things an extra shade of gloom.

Gloom is something I’d definitely use to describe this performance. Not that it was shaded in everything I’d expect from a depressive band but that the charisma I was hyped up to gain by the last two bands really didn’t seem to shine through. Praesepe got on with the job and I’ll give it to them they did the best they could, but for me my palate wasn’t quite wet by their take on the prog death genre.

I can’t recall much from their performance and would say they were the lowest ranking band of the night as their rendition of songs really didn’t have me as pleased and exhilarated as Angmaer and Diabolus Incarnate had created. Sorry guys, you just didn’t quite do it for me this time.

Domitorem Domitorem

But the night certainly did not go stale, for now was the time for something wholly new. Born from the ashes of the now defunct extreme metal outfit, Premature Birth, came the band Domitorem, composed of veterans of the London extreme metal scene and equipped with all the right instruments and musical arrangements to give what I can only recall as a fully loaded and eye-opening take on esoteric themed Black Metal.

Having transitioned into this new outfit last summer and the release of their debut single, Funeral, Domitorem pulled no punches whatsoever in wowing the crowd. In changing their image and themes, we knew immediately the talents and violent creativities of Premature Birth were still at work, giving the band a sound that was excellent for this such venue. For all the bands on this bill the sound engineering had been great and Domitorem made full use of that luck.

And the luck and pleasure was all theirs, for the band blasted on and on through their songs to make it seem like the performance blended nicely into a droning trance that only black metal music can create. That for me said this band is here to stay and will be a promising asset to the UK black metal scene in years to come. Welcome home Domitorem.

verdelet Verdelet

The climax of the night had been reached, now was the time for the headliners to round everything off to make the crowd know this was a very good night out in the city. Verdelet, the band whom I’ve seen go from strength to strength throughout their career came about, armed and ready to hype the crowd up once more with hard evidence that the world of metal is basking in creativity.

It’s been a few years since I last caught this band in concert, but I think the time away from them has been good for they refreshed my memory of great gigs. Not one single slip up on any track and the anger and nihilism I’ve come to associate this band with hasn’t gone away at all. Nothing has mellowed about their output nor their musicianship.

All I can say for Verdelet is they are professional on every single score. That for me meant the guys have replay value and staying power and will be on many a bill in coming years making shows like this nights to remember.

Great job all round guys. The metal scene of London is still exhaling a good breath of putrefying creativity from musicians both new and old.

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