IMPIETY + SETHERIAL
Korvus is the one-man black metal manifestation of Sam Korvus, based in Essex. Employing live members for the show, Korvus’ brand of metal descends on to a very under-attended audience with only a couple of heads banging. However, given the far-removed state of the band and their disinterest in acknowledging the audience, this was of little concern. Each of the members appear isolated in their own domains, with no interaction, not a word of stage banter (not even from the smartly attired Korvus himself) or genuine sense of any variety of fulfilment in what they do. If they wanted to retain a particularly misanthropic black metal image, surely they would be better off not playing live at all? Conversely, their music is quite accessible in terms of black metal, containing melancholic and melodic overtones over straight-forward instances of standard black metal. Fans of symphonic and melodic black metal would probably appreciate Korvus but most Impiety fans cannot appreciate symphonic or melodic black metal, which could be the reason for the lack of punters.
Monday 26th April 2010
Purple Turtle in London, UK
Unsurprisingly, the volume of attendees increases dramatically when Setherial come on stage, although this could have been provoked due to the typical use of corpsepaint and the attraction it can harbour over extreme metal fans. Formed in 1993, Setherial are a legitimate ‘old’ black metal band, retaining obscure points considering they are overlooked, probably in favour for fellow countrymen Dark Funeral and Marduk. With six albums to their frost-stained name, it seems reasonable that they should be co-headlining the gig with Impiety. Their brand of black metal is typically Swedish; they are another interpretation of blastbeat driven black metal, like the aforementioned Swedish artists. The vicious energy of the wall of brutality is digested readily by the hordes but the overdose of forced blastbeats quickly renders the music vapid and uncreative. The icy guitar leads are not different and leave plenty more to be desired, especially the Dissection-esque melodic flourishes. Such an idea has been abused wildly, not to mention the countless bands that can work it better. The live show is an orthodox affair of headbanging and looking as grim as possible. Their set crawls by without leaving a memorable impression and it is obvious why this band will never reach the ranks one might consider a black metal band that formed in early ‘90s Scandinavia to secure. But having said that, the audience were vigorously enjoying Setherial’s stage time.
Reviews by Elena Francis
All the way from Singapore, Impiety are back in London and receive a rightfully warm welcome before they play a single note. Never a band to retain a solid line-up, they embody a three-piece now, with mainman Shyaithan and his two brand new recruits of this year preparing to unleash hell all over the seemingly inappropriately named Purple Turtle. Opening with a frenzied rendition of ‘Atomic Angel Assault’ from 2009’s outstanding ‘Terrorreign (Apocalyptic Armageddon Command)’, the battalion of extremity is cheated by poor sound with the drums absolutely dominating all. This is remedied before long and the rest of the set sounds, somewhat perversely, heavenly. Although the title track of ‘Terroreign’ is crafted perfectly for live chaos, it is not in the set tonight but an aural assault of ‘Goatfather’, ‘The Black Fuck’ and ‘As Judea Burns’ ensure a great slab of the too-brief studio effort is performed. Delighting in performing such sweet blasphemies, Shyaithan certifies that the audience will be in for a spectacular performance. The unholy melange of black, thrash and death metal shines malevolently live, applying the relentless energy of thrash to the hatred spawned by black metal, all with the bludgeoning attitude of death metal. Some call it a racket, others term it ungodly. With just two members standing and Shyaithan restrained to the microphone stand via vocal and axe duties, even the miniscule stage of the Purple Turtle feels empty and stagnant, especially compared to the enthusiasts at the front. The staples of ‘Carbonized’, ‘Anal Madonna’ and the sumptuous (and brilliantly titled) ‘Christfucking Christ’ have heads banging and fists pumping, yet the absence of the blackened thrash anthem ‘Torment in Fire’ is slightly vexing, especially considering the powerful reaction it received from the band’s last venture to London. ‘Bestial to the Bone’ provides the audience with a similar anthemic vocal opportunity that haemorrhages out admiration anyhow, so Impiety can be forgiven. An even more unexpected surprise is the cover of the old Bathory classic ‘Equimathorn’, seeing Shyaithan literally barking out the vocals over such nasty and sharp riffs. The set concludes with this homage and the show feels too concise, particularly compared to Setherial’s. Fans plead with the band for more musical mayhem but the members can only decline politely. It is a shame that more hellish performances do not occur as often in London. Impiety’s gigs are always memorable and leave everyone buzzing into the night.