A cold Winter’s night in Albion and London’s finest venue were a perfect coupling to showcase some of the best heavy music the UK has to offer; one old (and underappreciated) favourite and two fresh upstarts regaled the punters’ ears on a Frosty Sunday at the Black Heart. First up, Liverpool’s Crypt Lurker played at the sort of volume you’d get from an exploding tank, and sounded pretty much as you’d expect a machine of war in its death throes to sound like (provided you’re playing it backwards at 16rpm). Excellent funereal doom with the sort of oppressive atmosphere that made the sole Thorr’s Hammer LP so good. In their current form, the band’s songs do somewhat outstay their welcome, but they’ve only been around since 2012, and I suspect that Crypt Lurker will evolve into something really special in years to come – one to watch!
Fellow Northerners Coltsblood have been around a few years longer, and it shows – with a sound lodged halfway between “Apocalyptic Raids” and latter-day Unearthly Trance (or the first Moss record), they utterly floored us with a barrage of riffs and the best drumming of the night. So loud it was painful (bass player/vocalist John used to play in Conan…), the band has the riffs to merit their backline. Playing loud does not equal heavy – good riffs are at the base of all heaviness, regardless of what you’re playing, and Jem’s leads are more reminiscent of latter-day Bathory than Black Sabbath – epic as fuck when combined with the refreshingly “bellowed” vocals. Already a sight to behold, I can’t recommend their début recording “Beyond The Lake Of Madness” enough, and urge promoters far and wide to book them!
Contrary to what you might think, the UK is still producing a fair amount of world-class death metal – the likes of Grave Miasma and Cruciamentum have enjoyed international success and have shared bills as far afield as America with bands like Necros Christos & Dead Congregation. Others have been less fortunate, and it is frustrating that bands as good as Bonesaw and Indesinence seem condemned to languish in the relative obscurity of the underground. It is a mystery to me why Ilia Rodriguez’s superlative and unique brand of epic death/doom isn’t better appreciated or winning the band bookings at major festivals.
The performance they gave on this night (though marred by a few technical mishaps and initially muddy sound) was as good a testament as any to the brilliance of Indesinence. A spellbinding hour of relentlessly heavy, well-played death metal in the vein of Disembowelment, (early) Anathema and (again, early!) My Dying Bride. Perhaps it’s their insistence on playing this relatively unfashionable brand of mournful, introspective death metal* (that flourished on Peaceville in the early Nineties) which has led to them being something of a well-kept open secret. The small crowd that was gathered in Camden were clearly a devoted bunch, as Indesinence tore through tracks old and new, including the frankly sublime closing track of their 2012 masterpiece “Vessels Of Light And Decay” – “Dusk Towering Forth” (I think that was it? Well, it was one of the songs off ‘Noctambulism’…) was another total highlight.
A triumvirate of death that bodes well for the future as well as confirming the ongoing merits of the past…
*See also the even more under-appreciated Volition
Scribed by: Saúl Do Caixão
Photos by: Antony Roberts (www.metalgigs.co.uk)