25 May 2019
Review & Videos by Demitri Levantis
The Underworld, the most notorious gig venue in Camden, played host to a night of deathrock this evening where the founding fathers: Christian Death, headlining on their latest UK tour.
Having played this venue many times in the past, it was good to see a decent turnout that might not have packed out the venue but showed there is still a strong devotion to this Californian outfit after nearly 40 years of the group’s existence.
Opening the evening we had some homegrown talent with Spanish connections: The Creeping Terrors, a band whom I was more than happy to hear blasting stripped down, punkish tunes that had a real old school feel.
Vocalist Consuelo de la Muerte certainly knew what she was doing and reminded me a lot of remarkable frontwomen like Poly Styrene in her angry and confident posture as she cried and yelled through tune after tune about horror, dark stories and women’s rights.
Seeing as this was a band with no drummer, it was good to see a group with a drum machine at work. The only other band I have seen like this is Sisters of Mercy, so it was fun being reminded of another Gothic classic, but the best thing about this performance was the band’s interaction with the audience, especially with Consuelo jumping into the crowd for the final song.
A band keeping the old school alive and well is how I would describe The Creeping Terrors, so keep up the good work, guys and I hope to catch you again soon.
La Santa Muerte
Tengo Un Pasajero
Evil Witch Bitch
Secondly, it was the turn of some boys who’d come all the way from Brisbane, Australia for their first time in the UK.
Darkcell, a group who fuse industrial rock with numerous metal genres, came on stage and were welcoming in how they said they were pleased to finally come to London, and the crowd slowly began to swell up more now that the night was in full swing.
The Aussies then put the crowd right into the swing of things by playing some tunes that followed horrific and dark themes that anyone has encountered in life but isn’t always willing to confront or even revel in as these guys do.
Darkcell appealed much to the industrial lover in me who has spent many hours enjoying the likes of Nine Inch Nails, but as their songs went on, I couldn’t help feeling there were a few too many breakdowns that reminded me of many boring metalcore acts that have annoyed me time and again.
These boys weren’t annoying but they weren’t the most amazing act of the night. A good fusion of electronic music and simple alternative rock was afoot, so it was a fun experience overall. Next time Darkcell play, I will certainly check them out again.
Now it was time for the moment the whole crowd had been waiting for.
Whilst The Underworld wasn’t packed full of people, it was now in high spirits for the headline act: a band whom at one point existed in three different versions, all touring at the same time, and whilst the founding father of said organisation (Rozz Williams) has been at rest for over 20 years, it was still good to see the remaining members carry on with the deathrock they fashioned in Los Angeles long ago.
Christian Death, California’s finest Goth band, ascended to the stage. This is a band who have always appeared a bit outside-the-box for me, and they did baffle me and the crowd a little by arriving with a cover of Black Sabbath’s title track. Gothic rock and doom metal have a lot in common, but it was interesting seeing a band I’d never put on the same bill as Black Sabbath doing this.
Then the crowd welcomed Christian Death with open arms, which was met by Valor Kand greeting the audience and leading the band’s journey through a setlist of old and new tracks. This incarnation, featuring bassist and vocalist Maitri and drummer Mike 26, took us on an artistic journey into the melancholic and subversive, for Christian Death have always been on the performance art side of the Gothic and deathrock worlds, so it was fun to see them perform slow and avant-garde pieces.
Overall, I was impressed to see them still tight and bold as ever on stage and it’s great that the many years on tour has not affected their abilities to play. Whilst my personal bias kept saying it wasn’t Christian Death without Rozz Williams, I still feel happy having seen these guys live and I can’t see them retiring anytime soon. Valor Kand and Maitri know how to keep the crowd in the palms of their hands as I saw this night, so I look forward to their next visit to the UK.