Darkness descends – 13th Moon, Lunar Mantra, Deitus and Obscure Lupine Quietus @ Ivory Blacks, GLASGOW (11th Febr 2017)

The Spanish death-black horde 13th Moon left their homeland to play outside of Spain for the first time. An occasion like this always counts as a milestone in any band’s history and also a must see gig for the most dedicated followers. Unfortunately it was the last gig (at least for a while, hopefully) organized by the local promoter under the banner of Gigs in Glasgow and if all of their previous shows were as remarkable as this one, then we definitely lost something with their departure. These guys brought several bands to Scotland since 2014. They always tried to put on rare and various shows that was never seen before or just long time ago.

Also I should mention that the event was co-organized with a Scottish record label called Ascetic Visions. They are focusing mostly on ‘music of a more esoteric nature, including but not limited to black metal, death metal, ambient, noise, folk, experimental and the psychedelic.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere in the room instantly made us forget about our everyday life and the grey world outside, once we were allowed to enter the venue. The strong and penetrating smell of frankincense filled the air and several candles were already lightened and displayed on stage. This setting gave us the impression of a shrine  and created a distinctive mood however the lack of proper lighting made it almost impossible to take a few good shots for the article. I know from the aspect of performances and the crowd’s point of view it’s absolutely irrelevant.

The first performer of the night was the local Obscure Lupine Quietus. Although they are around since 2010. somehow they missed my attention or it’s just me who lived in a cage so far. The four piece horde settled down on stage quite fast and they kicked off with the opening ceremony. The value of their complex, well composed music and the effort they’ve put into the performance can not be questioned but unfortunately the sound doesn’t helped us to receive their works perfectly. However I really enjoyed to watch their show, the sound reminded me when I listened to Darkspace in my old Corsa when I tried to reach 70 mph on a motorway. Chaotic white noise. That’s the downside of playing in clubs with small PA.

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The second band called Deitus was confirmed technically in the last minute as the German Shrine of Insanabilis were replaced by them due the low ticket sales. Well, it wasn’t a bad idea at all as in my opinion Deitus‘ did a very good job with their latest album titled  Acta Non Verba (Ulthar Revords 2016) so I was 100% sure they will deliver high quality in live too. In fact in this environment Deitus could unfold their music more as their compositions weren’t over detailed so it was much more enjoyable. Hence the term: less is sometimes more but don’t let the simple guitar-bass-drums line up to deceive you. Deitus are wolves in sheep’s clothes.

One of the most interesting performance was Lunar Mantra‘s gig. The band perfectly combined spiritualism with destructive aggression however black metal was always close to the spiritual world and occultism but usually it’s mostly conspicuous in the lyrics. Lunar Mantra don’t just ‘sing’ about these abstract and otherworldly subjects but also in their music we can meet with meditative almost shamanic mantras. They made the performance even more unique with the shaman drum that the singer picked up and played for awhile. No doubt he tried to re-tune our mindset and put us in trans. It might worked for some people but even if the show was pretty much loaded with transcendental elements, still during their roughly 40 minutes long set nothing else but merciless black metal was the dominant. Hopefully they will treat us with a new material soon.

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If the first three bands weren’t evil and dark enough then 13th Moon definitely dragged us into the deepest hell. Certainly they played almost in pitch black dark, only a few candles made them visible on stage which atmosphere perfectly matched with the band’s concept. They knew how to make their show impressive. A more stylish performance would have been an illegal gig at the lower temple of Glasgow cathedral but unfortunately something is just not possible. Proper underground.

As was expected the sound was thick and heavy from the first riff plus the vast amount of reverb and echo made the vocal even more demonic and dead. The cold temperature of the venue has added a bit of extra chill to the already cryptic atmosphere. All these factors accompanied with 13th Moon‘s ominous music created a real near-death experience. Two of their most savage tracks titled ‘The Rite as Sinister as Old‘ (see video below) and ‘Breathing the Putrefaction of their Grace‘ led us down to the imaginary chambers of death. Unfortunately their set wasn’t really long and their repertoire doesn’t include dozens of tracks but I hope they will keep playing their live rituals and 13th Moon will return to the UK.

Thank you people from Gigs in Glasgow and Ascetic Visions for the incredible line up and unforgettable musical horror. Hopefully it wasn’t the end.

For the full gallery please click here.
For more info, news and updates please head to the official sites of:
Gigs in Glasgow R.I.P.
Ascetic Visions
Obscure Lupine Quietus
Deitus
Lunar Mantra
13th Moon
Video source: Seehash

A live review by LGH – MMXVII.

 

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Norwegian British dark alliance – Djevelkult (NOR) @ Black Heart, LONDON – 3rd December 2016.

This was the first time I had attended an event organized by Eradication Booking Agency so I was a bit curious. Even though the line-up was enough to convince me I found myself excited as to what the night would bring as I believe each promoter and booking agency has their own loyal hardcore fan base that usually plays a major part of determining the atmosphere of the night.
Eradication took the opportunity to book Djevelkult from Norway to play their debut show in the UK. For this special occasion they confirmed three other strong bands from the English scene, namely Heathen Deity from Derbyshire, Reign of Erebus from Farnborough and Ethereal from Liverpool. There is no need to even mention the whole event was organized under the banner of black metal. Let see how it went.

After twelve years of absence, the first horde that made an effort to raise some destructive vibes was Heathen Deity. It was obvious after their first song they are not meant to reinvent the wheel of black metal but  to keep the attitude that the pioneers of the genre worked out many years ago. Usually I’m not favoring the slow and monotone parts during a black metal performance but strangely in the case of Heathen Deity I pretty much enjoyed the several minutes long hypnotizing section in the middle of the set. They even paid a tribute to the Norwegian scene and the dark past as they performed Deathcrush from Mayhem. This was a nice surprise and to be honest, I feel they did a great job with that cover.

Heathen Deity @ Black Heart, LONDON 2016.

Reign of Erebus literally exploded as a nuclear missile and kept the raging fire alive throughout their short but intense set. The singer didn’t spare his power to pour some anger into the crowd’s heart, surprisingly the audience (including me) stood still and acted like a bunch of ruminant livestock. To pay at door is one thing but from the band’s point of view, a frantic mosh and a sea of banging heads is the best reward in return for their effort to play. I can’t wait to see Reign of Erebus on a proper sized stage that they really deserve.

Reign of Erebus @ Black Heart, LONDON 2016.

Since Ethereal released their debut album titled Opus Aethereum (Candlelight Records 2015.) the band is literally unstoppable. No wonder. They are always reliable to deliver a killer set and to give 110% on stage, however the symphonic sub genre may not be everyone’s cup of tea but in my opinion the orchestrated bits made the event even more colorful. If you ask me Ethereal is the living example of what can be done if you are persistent enough, and to not give up even if it takes a decade to write an album, which is one of the best of its kind.  Due to personal reasons the bass player couldn’t make it tonight hence they had to perform with only one guitarist. I found this didn’t weaken their performance at all, and yet tonight they’ve earned another trophy for a bloody great performance. And finally the crowd turned mad, the atmosphere intensified as Ethereal played one of their strongest opus called Unholy Ungodly.

Djevelkult @ Black Heart, LONDON 2016.

After a short break the guest blasphemers from Norway were ready to desecrate the stage. Djevelkult as I expected pretty much follows the old Scandinavian path but for me the three British support bands were way more powerful. Apparently the crowd doesn’t seem to care a lot about the actual level of the Norwegians’ performance. Probably the appearance of a Scandinavian band still count as an exclusive event, consequently it doesn’t matter how interesting and unique they actually are, the audience will love it anyway. No offence but I disagree as I saw really good bands playing for literally nobody and I also saw not very remarkable bands playing for a frantic mass. Hands up who understands this?
Anyway…despite Djevelkult’s cliched musical approach they did the best they could: they played a quite long set for us and and at the end they also managed to create a pretty good atmosphere. Not just the band but even those who just stood quietly at the back were exhausted after the last track. To sum it up even though they weren’t the most original band on tonight’s bill Djevelkult still doing a great job. Cultivating an old and dying sub-genre called ‘True Norwegian Black Metal’ is not an easy task and this is something that we all have to be very grateful for.
+ HAIL DJEVELKULT +

Please follow Eradication Booking Agency for more exciting gigs and festivals in the future.
Contact of the bands: Djevelkult, Ethereal, Reign of Erebus, Heathen Deity

For the full gallery please click here.

A live review by LGH – MMXVII.

Unconquered Darkness Festival, DUBLIN – Pt 2. (1st May 2016)

After the first day, a sleepless night in a not really comfy hostel in the near and a morning spent with discovering Dublin’s crypts and dungeons, the gate of Voodoo Lounge opened. Once again it provided us a shelter to hide from the cruel daylight and let us descend into the depths of the underground musical world. Let’s see.

Not long after doors Malokarpatan (SK) got prepared to kick off the day. These guys surprised me to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, they were very talented and well skilled musicians, also the show they performed perfectly fitted to the festival’s atmosphere but if I meet these guys in a non-live-metal situation I wouldn’t expect to hear aggressive music from them at all. Extremely regular but cool guys from Slovakia didn’t look too extreme but they enjoyed playing as much as we enjoyed their drunken barbaric rock ‘n roll ritual. It was a very remarkable start of the second day. I need to highlight the vocalist’s performance. His commanding-typed voice was confident, furious and mournful at the same time, even if his presence on stage didn’t reflect the same confidence.

Lucifericon from the Netherlands slowly but surely brought back the previous days’ whirlwind pace. Lucifericon is a pretty promising new formation with only two EPs under their belt but both releases are forceful enough and contain plenty of aggression for a proper gig. The latest 7” EP titled ‘Brimstone Altar‘ came out right on the date of the festival thus it was freshly available from first hand, straight from the band. Not just the mentioned two mini albums were performed but they also played the track ‘Omega Therion‘ from the  rare ‘Vestibule of Hell‘ compilation LP, so we have to nail it down they were well prepared with a damn good track selection.

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The ‘Total Vacuum’ (also the title of their demo) that Antiversum (CH) created drew our soul out and let it drift away into the nothingness. I’ve known this (anti)material since it came out last year. According to their deep and heavy concept and musical approach I was surprised how early they were scheduled to play, nonetheless the experience they gave was the same I expected. We all know it now, the sound of Antiversum is incredibly thick, loud, distorted and powerful. Around the middle of their set I felt like it’s better if I step back a bit and try to enjoy it from a safe distance where it doesn’t hurt that much. The members remained faceless as they rejected to use front lighting but in their case it’s perfectly understandable. I assume the original concept was to let the audience focus more on the music rather than those who performed it, as the music itself is way more important. True, isn’t it?

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Comparing them to the previous performers, Sheol from London gave a short and slower set so we could breathe again a bit. Although Sheol doesn’t belong to Dark Descent Records nor to Invictus Promotions it doesn’t mean they were off-topic in any way. Not in the least. Down tuned guitars with massive sound and hammering blasts accompanied their gig. Previously we posted a report about one of their show in Hungary so it can be stated; despite their not so long discography Sheol is already a well demanded band with a good reputation. They presented us their otherworldly musical spawn and we have to admit it is hostile and restless. Just like a never ending nightmare haunted by our own demons, that’s how I can describe their music. Hopefully their first album will come out soon.

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Just like many other bands over the weekend, the guys from Lantern (FIN) found the nearly perfect balance between each instruments. There were no guitar or bass that would ruled the whole show. Each string and note was clearly audible and no members tried to take over each other. The band’s first album titled ‘Below’ came out three years ago with an infernal, dirty and raw sound, which could describe their show tonight as well. Chaotic themes and solos were separated sometimes with short, more melodic sessions. They wasted no time to express their fury and aggressive intentions to destroy the world. I can only recommend it to everyone who prefers the modern-old school scene. With Lantern’s deep dark performance we arrived to the section of today’s headliners, however I would still keep my previous statement; there were no real lead performers during this weekend as most of the bands represented the same high level of skills, abilities and talent. Interestingly the closure section of today consisted of  three bands (including Lantern) from Finland.

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As putrid stench of death ascends from rotten soil, that’s how Krypts (FIN) built up piece-by-piece, their sepulchral concept on the stage. Proper eerie atmosphere straight from hell was raised. To put their music in a nutshell: incredibly heavy death metal narrated by the screams of the dead, accompanied with drums that sounded like if the deceased were knocking the lid of their coffins. This type of performance surely sends a slowly-crawling chill down on your spine, that’s exactly what you can expect when you listen to the music of Krypts, especially in a live situation. They gave a monumental sight in the imprenetable blue haze that filled the entire venue reinforced and made the whole experience even more mysterious and deadly. Pretty amazing gig that was!

The last performer of the weekend was Corpsessed (FIN) and they had the honor to make the exhausted crowd move one more time. Of course they were successful with this task. The Finnish horde absolutely ruled the place as they kicked off with sinister guitar themes which was followed by raging drum beats and tearing guitar riffs. The bold vocalist’s low pitch roars and threatening behavior matched perfectly to the music. Despite the tiredness, during the fast parts no one could resist to take the advantage and enjoy the show properly. Why won’t you crush some more skulls if you know this is your last chance for quite awhile? Those who missed their gig, just give a spin to their album titled ‘Abysmal Thresholds’. It pretty much reflects the lunatic attitude they represented on stage but it is always better to witness a miracle with your own eyes and not just hear about it.

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Corpsessed gave a gig that was a proper closure and left everyone behind with impatient lust for a future festival with similar atmosphere. Here or somewhere else, it doesn’t matter as the most important factor is the music anyway. Huge hail goes to Darragh from Invictus Productions and Matt from Dark Descent records for putting together the Unconquered Darkness festival. It was well-organized and had a familiar atmosphere during the whole weekend, although there were some moments when I felt the fest could have been a bit more diverse in terms of genres. Most of the bands played under the banner of death metal and sometimes I missed the atmosphere that only a proper good black metal act can deliver, even if the lines between the two extreme underground genres are often faded these days.

For news and updates please head to the bands official sites: Malokarpatan, Lucifericon, Antiversum, Ellorsith (the fourth band of today – not mentioned in the review), Sheol, Lantern, Krypts, Corpsessed

For the full photo gallery for the second part head here.

A live report by LGH – MMXVI.

SVPPORT THE VNDERGROVND!!!

Unconquered Darkness Festival, DUBLIN – Pt 1. (29th, 30th April 2016)

For the first time in Dublin‘s history the local promoter Invictus Production and an American label called Dark Descent Records joined their forces and organized a weekend long concert series for their most favoured bands. In the heart of Ireland‘s capital where the air is filled with the smell of Guinness and the streets are always packed with tourists, you can find an underground shelter called Voodoo Lounge where the bands had the opportunity to increase their reputation. I’m not telling a secret; all the performers represented the most extreme forms of metal. Constant brutal atmosphere reigned the venue for longer than two days and it had a significant effect on body and soul. Let’s see what happened within those dark walls.

The event started Friday afternoon with Apostate Viaticum. They made a dynamic but still a bit slow paced opening of the weekend. The members seemed to work well together as they played in a close to perfect sync. It was literally good to watch them perform. However it is difficult and sometimes takes long to set the right mood and turn the crowd on, they did their best. Vircolac (IRL) had to deal with some technical issues but after they could force the bass to sound, the local metal-beast gave a forecast of what could be expected during the weekend. Their performance was fast and evil and also the sound was already thick. The front man ruled the stage and the whole band was pretty much stage-compatible so to say.

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To be a bit different, Craven Idol (UK) has a bit of rock ‘n roll feeling in their otherwise aggressive, furious and chaotic show. Unfortunately close to the stage the sound was just an incredibly loud cacophony; the bass clattered as hell and the front-guy’s solos remained mute but they still managed to convince me. Definitely worth hunting them down again and give them another chance. As the last  (but definitely not least) performer of the warm up day Undergang (DK) dazzled us with a beautiful concert, as long as you can call a psychopath gore-grind show beautiful. It wasn’t meant to be offensive but their primitive and cruel musical approach gave us some good moments and brought smiles on many faces. There wasn’t much that you had to understand in their music; just like a good soap series; no need to think on it just bang your head. I would say the amount of bands and metal was more than enough to evoke the barbaric spirit that dwells within us and we could unleash it during the next two days.

The first full day kicked off full steam by Obscure Burial. The Finnish horde provided a  furious carnage that put us back on track again. Unmeasurable amount of negative energy was directed upon us as we were watching them desecrate the stage and venue, although it is always a pleasure to see a band to play with such a passion. Such a shame Obscure Burial came without any available material. Mandatory to the fans of KTHRSS. The performance of Head of the Demon (SWE) was interesting and also unusual within this environment and scene, so to say. The way they played and performed reminded me a nice flowing jamming session performed by ‘good old friends’ instead of a frantic rage. Nice tunes kneaded into depressive lullabies but still their intention to pull us down and their roots that reach deep down in their dark influences can not be questioned.

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After the slowing down we were lead back to hell by Qrixkuor. The London based relatively fresh death metal formation have been marching on their path with confidence since they came to exist (2011) and they have already built a strong reputation within the UK underground scene. They managed to create the heaviest sound of today so far and gave us a massive set that literally hurt right in front of the stage but from a bit of distance they had a great effect on the audience. Hopefully their discography will grow fat.
Apparently the fast/slow alternation could have been the original idea of the organizers when they set up today’s lineup. Anguish (SWE) from Uppsala made once again slow the riff-flows down a bit. Not a hurricane fast performance but relaxing to listen them right there and then. I bet many of us who were there would agree with me. Once and for all Zom (IRL) dragged us back from our deep ‘zen phase’ and put the day into the right and final pace. Their set was a fine mixture of different genres such as intemperate punk and sadistic grindcore. In addition to these, the reverberated vocal made their show even more special. To sum it up what I saw, Zom played the background music for apocalyptic mosh pits.

Later on when we finally stepped over the imaginary frontier between warm up acts and headliners, Possession (B) was the first band that entirely won my attention and didn’t let me go before their show ended. The old school atmosphere always has the same effect on me. They had a huge potential in their unworldly death metal and absolute competence how they acted on stage, but their first full album is still on its way. Hopefully we don’t have to wait too long. Possession’s gig ended quite suddenly as their drummer literally exploded out from behind his gear and disappeared before his drumstick dropped onto the floor. What happened to him?

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One of the highlight of the evening was the Canadian Adversarial’s appearance on European soil (if I’m correct it was the first time). Incredible is not even the right word to describe their performance but those who are familiar with high leveled, extremely dark and complex music will have a clue what I’m talking about. After that what we received from them, we must grade all three members’ performance with the highest rate, especially the way how the bassist played was the most remarkable for me. I was honestly amazed how focused he was while he was playing on his instrument. Despite the aggressive nature of their music, from the first note to the last he reflected infinite self-control and absolute calmness. Adversarial is one perfect example why we travel hundreds of miles to attend a gig. Not long after Adversarial abandoned the stage that they just ruined completely, Lvcifyre (UK) provided a perfect follow-up to their fellow Canadian destroyers. Since the first time when I encountered them at last year’s Brutal Assault in Czech, I promised myself I will watch them every single time when I can.
We can easily consider Lvcifyre’s latest full album titled ‘Svn Eater’ as an unprecedented release of the next generation of extreme death metal. I hope they realised what they did with the genre and how high they raised the bar. In my opinion the strongest element of their massive sound is the way the drums sounds. Lvcifyre once again raised the hell and with the album titled song ‘Svn Eater’ they rummed the audience deep into the ground.

With an appropriate amplification, the combined power of this lethal union of Adversarial and Lvcifyre would even sway mountains and cause earthquake. With these thoughts I called it a night and let my soul rest before next day’s rampage.

Info and contact: Invictus Production, Dark Descent Records.

For news and updates please head to the bands official sites: Apostate ViaticumVircolac, Craven Idol, Undergang, Obscure Burial, Head of the Demon, Qrixkuor, Anguish, ZOM, Possession, Adversarial, Lvcifyre, Morpheus Descends (last performer on the first day – not mentioned in the review).

Stay tuned for the second part of the report!

For the full photo gallery for the first part head here.

A live report by LGH – MMXVI.

SVPPORT THE VNDERGROVND!!!

Middle Eastern curse: Nile w/ Melechesh and Embryo @ The Dome, LONDON (8th April 2016)

Nile continued their What Should Not Be Unearthed Tour as Part II. They already treated us last September with a well-executed set here in London, however it never hurts to see the masters of death metal play twice, especially when they are supported by another fine act, Melechesh, who have recently released their latest album Enki.

The night was opened by the Italian Embryo. Having already three full-lengths under their belts (Chaotic Age, No God Slave and the latest, Embryo) they have a lot to offer. The crowd seemed to like them and considering they were the opening act, quite a lot of people wanted to see them and headbanged approvingly but somehow I had the feeling Embryo doesn’t really fitted in the lineup.

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As Melechesh took the stage slowly the scent of incense sticks started to fill up the room and supposedly bringing back the long lost ancient times. So much so that the band in fact is of Assyrian origin. The band was formed in Jerusalem, Israel but a few years later, for different (and obvious) reasons, they moved their base to Amsterdam. Coming from a place that has a very turbulent history and especially nowadays when no day passes by without seeing and hearing from a war, crisis or revolution in the Middle East. All our respect is theirs. So there is quite a lot they can tell us about the ancient times as they have been doing it since 1993. Their latest piece, Enki (their sixth album in a row) came out last year and Melechesh still tours it so it is not surprising that tonight’s set was built around that. Ashmedi, lead vocalist and guitarist knew how to work the crowd. Blasting off with Temper Tempest Enlil. It was insane how quickly a moshpit formed and fans didn’t really stop till the end. The hypnotic rhythm grabbed everyone out of calmness, twisted our souls out and dropped on the dirty floor after their gig ended. Absolutely stunning performance!

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On the other side, as tonight’s headliner proves it beautifully, you don’t have to be born in the Middle East to be deeply inspired by times long gone. Nile are considered to be masters of their trade when it comes to death metal. Nile is probably the only death metal band whose shows have the most people with big smiles on their faces. And that includes the band itself. Their set was obviously about promoting their new album What Should Not Be Unearthed but fortunately older tracks found their way into the setlist. Sacrifice Unto Sebek was a great start and the carnage didn’t stop afterwards. Just before setting off the killer riffs of Unas Slayer of the Gods, Karl Sanders said the following: “When you’re old and grey and your grand kids ask you, grandma, grandpa, what was death metal like? You can answer that you witnessed Nile in London performing Unas Slayer of the Gods.” Although he might have been exaggerating a little bit but one thing is for sure, tonight’s set sounded as it should and it was as insane as it should be. The vocal (and also their guitar) skills of the two members at the front cannot be questioned. Both guys growl, shout, scream and mumble alternately meanwhile they tortured their guitars in an extreme but artistic way. Another painful smash in the face what we received from them was the Black Seeds Of Vengence.

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Nile belongs to the camp of those band’s which plays on a level that really hard to follow with your eyes and hard to comprehend with your brain. I would say they have reached the point of perfection and raised the bar so high for themselves, too.  This level is impossible or at least difficult to exceed. We will see what the future brings but one is for sure. Nile will always be a guarantee for quality and extremely complex metal.

Head here for the full gallery.

For more info and news about the bands please click to the following links: Embryo, Melechesh and Nile

Live review by VV and LGH – MMXVI