31st May 2019
Review & Videos by Demitri Levantis
A sell-out show is something all music venues aim to achieve, and from tonight’s serving of death metal, slam and deathcore, it was impressive to see such a live and energetic following still alive in the capital.
The Underworld in Camden played host to a series of death metal bands from around the globe, both home-grown and from down under. Fit For An Autopsy, all the way from New Jersey, were headlining, and the opening act came all the way from Sydney, Australia.
Justice For The Damned took to the stage with a healthy crowd of quite young fanatics swelling before them. Having been on the metal scene for over a decade and with death metal being one of my first genres of interest, I was happy to know it hasn’t lost its popularity.
Although I was then reminded of why I distanced myself a little bit from the said scene, as Justice For The Damned began playing some chugging and quite gut-wrenching breakdowns – and I do not mean that in a good way.
Deathcore and the slower kinds of brutal death metal have never appealed to me and my prejudice set in as the Aussies progressed their tunes, though I will give them credit for hyping up the crowd and getting some of the younger fans slam-dancing – something I haven’t seen in a long time.
Overall, Justice For The Damned had some fairly good riffs and impressive blast beats, but I personally cannot stomach deathcore for a long time. They pleased the crowd, had lots of applause, and it was pleasant knowing the Australian scene is still alive and producing new acts.
Second on the bill were another overseas act, this time from South Africa. Death metal is an international phenomenon and having Vulvodynia play The Underworld solidified the genre’s strength as something that will be enjoyed the world over.
I was very impressed to see a band from that nation with a mixed-race line-up, showing that metal is for everyone and anyone – particularly those who love songs about brutality, sexual violence, gore and anything bodily related.
Vulvodynia had more of a classic flow to their songs which pleased my classic DM loving palate, but there were enough brutal chugs and breaks to get the crowd happy and angry, for now, the Underworld was packed and the party was in full swing.
This was a more enjoyable band than the opening act and I feel they have potential to go far, as this performance was strong and tight, meaning these boys had worked hard to bring their brutality out of their homeland and into the metal-loving streets of London.
Now it was time for the band I’d been waiting for all evening, and it was excellent to see a keen appreciation from the whole crowd who now packed out the entire venue.
Venom prison, a band from South Wales who have spent the last five years changing the face and sound of death metal, only to be named the ‘new face’ of the genre by some of the biggest outlets.
That new face is one where women prove to be as capable as men in making the most extreme music ever and they did not disappoint at all.
There was nothing short of intense about Venom Prison’s set, for the moment vocalist Larissa Stupar walked on stage I knew they meant business – the kind where a band play the most ferocious and well-crafted brand of music to tell the world there are things going wrong and that we need to do something about it.
Rants and growls about alienation and women’s suffrage and general anger at society belted into the crowd and Venom Prison proved to have not mellowed one iota in how they tore up the stage.
I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about this band’s performance which was beautifully received from the audience and I could tell they were having an amazing time.
Finally, on the bill – greeted by a packed-out venue full of kids slam-dancing and older fans of death metal wanting to praise the highest-flying bands of the current scene – was a band all the way from New Jersey.
Fit For An Autopsy – a group who took the weird and wonderful realms of deathcore and added elements to it in order to qualify in some circles as ‘post deathcore’.
I do admit that I am no fan of deathcore but Fit For An Autopsy turned out to be a bit of an exception. There was as much energy coming from these guys as the veterans of the DM genre who come from the same part of the USA as these boys.
A crowd-pleaser was certainly the best label for this band as the crowd went nuts the moment they began, and I will say Fit For An Autopsy is a band aware of their genre’s roots as I could hear plenty of decent guitar riffs and a fun bass line accompanied by some decent blast beats.
Whilst there were lots of breakdowns to suit anyone who digs that kind of metal, I felt this was a band who lived up higher than the prejudiced standards I hold.
I don’t think Fit For An Autopsy’s work pleased me but it definitely had the crowd on their side and everyone left the gig in good spirits, so I thank them for bringing a fun end to a fun night.