Review by Susanne Sinmara
January is usually a month where nothing much happens gig-wise – so everyone was looking forward to this triumvirate of excellent bands playing The Underworld. Last time Inquisition were to play the Underworld, they didn’t turn up (entry problems into the UK….) and people were a bit apprehensive if they would turn up this time (spoiler alert: yes, they did this time).
There was already a rather long queue outside the venue an hour before it was supposed to start, but it was still a surprise to hear that it actually sold out – doesn’t happen very often with extreme metal gigs at The Underworld! My interview with Ritual Butcherer before the gig didn’t happen due to, err… communication problems. Will try to do an email interview instead.
Anyway, having heard from people before that Sweden’s ONDSKAPT weren’t exactly the best live band, I was positively surprised that their performance was great – they could have done a headline gig. Somehow a few people in the audience weren’t really the same opinion, and they heckled the band and threw a beer cup onto stage – which made the singer pretty pissed off, giving the finger and throwing the cup back into the audience with gusto. Their material is strong anyway, and going the ‘occult ritual’ route by wearing a robe and making suitable gestures made for an entertaining gig. The band played tight and solid – all in all, I would love to see them play a longer set.
Right, next up were Finnish ARCHGOAT – it was already packed at the Underworld, and since the usual photo pit was not accessible this time it was a bit tricky taking good pictures. The new Archgoat album The Apocalyptic Triumphator is their best material to date, and luckily they played a ton of songs off that album tonight. At first it appeared the band was rather bored and unenthusiastic, but after a few songs they started to liven up a bit – it probably helped that the crowd went wild. They played a nice long set, no fuss, no hoo-haa – just pounding drums, loads of gnarly growling and fierce guitar/bass playing. By the end both audience and band were sweaty – even the aircon was leaking.
By the time INQUISITION started, The Underworld was REALLY packed. I’ve seen them a few times before, they’re one of the bands that can be good live, but they can also suck. It doesn’t help that due to the fact it’s only two people in the band, movement is a bit restricted. Tonight, however, they were on good form. Singer Dagon actually managed to move around a few times, including headbanging. His voice is as ever the big draw of Inquisition, unique and making for a great atmosphere. Being on Season Of Mist gave the band a big push forwards, drawing in a new, younger audience, without losing the older audience that have followed the band since the beginning.
So, this year started off quite well on the London gig front – there are already a ton of great gigs lined up for the first half of the year.