Pentagram / The Order Of Israfel / Mower @ Sound Control, Manchester 15/11/2015
In doom, few bands deserve the undiluted respect of Pentagram. Having got themselves back on track for a few years now and with a new album to promote in the form of Curious Volume, it was up to the American legends to prove their new material holds it worth amongst their classic tracks.
Having missed Mower due to the unfortunate circumstances of putting a gig on the day no person really gets ‘the day of rest,’ it was up to Swedish traditional doomsters The Order Of Israfel to demonstrate their tried and tested take on the sub genre.
The band’s largest pulling power was being the latest project of mainman Tom Sutton who has played with Church Of Misery and Horisont amongst others. Tom’s love for Cathedral is well documented and The Order Of Israfel owe more than a little bit of their sound to Lee Dorrian and co.
Their doom, as you’d expect, was drawn out and melancholic and had moments which drew in the modest crowd. However, these moments were few and far between and it was blatant that this was a band still finding their feet that were perhaps still too early in their career to be supporting a band with a legacy like Pentagram.
By the time the night’s main spectacle took to the stage the crowd was heaving and made the venue absolutely sweltering compared to the freezing temperatures outside.
The focal parts of the band, vocalist Bobby Liebling and guitar legend Victor Griffin, were in fine form and the night gave even more evidence to the fact that Bobby is an immortal being. The energy between the two musicians made the monstrous All Your Sins and other classics all the more enjoyable and gave no hesitation as to why they have such a strong reputation as a live act.
Several new songs got an airing and Close The Casket in particular showed that the band still have what it takes in the song writing arena as well as the live one. Of course, it was the older numbers that got the biggest reaction and the none more heavy Forever My Queen got the crowd in the most frenzied state seen at a doom gig since they last played Manchester.
It was the band’s encore that made the night truely special with both Last Days Here and Be Forewarned both getting airings at a refreshing time and sounding just as otherworldly as the first time they are played on record.
Pentagram‘s most recent trip was testimony as to why they are still unrivaled in the doom scene and will continue to influence bands for years to come.
The Order Of Israfel
Scribed by: Alex Varley
Photos by: Lee Edwards