about%20-%20jpg.jpg reviews%20-%20jpg.jpg interviews%20-%20jpg.jpg gigs%20-%20jpg.jpg nile_london_sept2013001002.jpg
Tuesday 10th September 2013
The Garage in London, UK
Reviews & Photography by Nicholas Dishington
The Garage is very slowly filling as Pestifer take the stage. Right from the start, we’re given aggression by the boatload although, as they make their way through their set, Pestifer feel very meat-and-potatoes death metal. Nothing wrong with meat or potatoes, I love a good stew as much as the next person, but nothing really stands out aside from the clearly high level of musicianship on offer. Each track feels like a structureless set of brutal riffs thrown together, and I'm not using brutal lightly. I don't know what their vocalist Jérôme Bernard is shouting about but he's obviously very angry about something and this vigour is shared across all members of the band. Pestifer are clearly great at what they're doing and play incredibly tightly, but hearing songs as complex as this for the first time doesn’t give an immediate payoff. Nonetheless, as they end their set, the growing crowd are clearly settling into their evening.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
I was hoping that, with Svart Crown, we might get a taste of something different and, in a way, we do. Things are a little more balanced with this affair. The key thing that stands out is the fact they’re not a total assault; occasionally, a little change in pace rears its head only to be blasted away again moments later. A song such as ‘Nahash the Temptator’ is a perfect example; they start slowly and, before you know it, things descend into madness. The maelstrom doesn’t stop there as proceeding track ‘Profane’, title track of their latest album, offers a perfect example of calm vs. chaos. The set closer comes in the form of ‘Revelatio: Down Here Stillborn’, a song that feels more like a stream of consciousness than a structured piece. Once again, the band are playing strongly but, this time, the music has a lot more depth, bringing an atmospheric edge to contrast against the brutality.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
Nile at The Garage, London, UK, 10th September 2013
Photograph copyright © 2013 Nicholas Dishington - www.metal-discovery.com
And now for something completely different. Following the previous two acts of completely gimmick-less, straight-faced noise come Ex Deo. Before they set foot on stage, banners with GEMINA XIII are set up, a sign that things could be getting a little more theatrical in the stifling hot, now quite nicely filled, Garage. Whilst still bringing the heavy, Ex Deo add more than a splash of epic to the evening. Set opener ‘Legio XIII’ immediately makes you feel like you’re in the movie ‘300’, but the real epic comes once the sample-filled ‘The Tiberius Cliff (Exile to Capri)’ hits. This huge sound fills the room in such a grand manner you can forgive the slightly goofy Roman inspired get-ups (which some members have clearly put a lot more effort into than the others). I’m always curious how singers deal with lengthy instrumental passages after witnessing James Labrie regularly leaving the stage while the rest of Dream Theater indulge themselves with their instruments. Vocalist Maurizio Iacono has formed a novel method by striking a statuesque pose with his back to the crowd and remaining still until his next opportunity to sing. This strangely adds to the mood and makes little of a potentially awkward moment. Halfway through the set, the stomping mid-tempo track ‘I, Caligvla’ serves as a great little breather whilst losing very little energy within the room. A couple of tracks later (‘Pollice Verso (Damnatio Al Bestia)’ and ‘Teutoburg (Ambush Of Varus)’) and they end their set with my personal favourite, and by the reaction of the crowd - many other people’s, ‘Romulus’.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
The pre-band anxiousness is a little different this time, at least within myself. Although founder Karl Sanders making a pre-set appearance to take photos of the crowd does settle the nerves (he does seem nice), when faced with a band as beastly as Nile it's only natural to call your mumsy to have a little cry, right? As I end the call, the obligatory ominous intro track arrives on time in the form of 'Dusk Falls Upon the Temple of the Serpent on the Mount of Sunrise' (this review's word count isn't going to fall short). The assault begins with 'Sacrifice Unto Sebek' and the fury doesn't let up from there, quickly leading into 'Defiling the Gates of Ishtar'. Before 'Enduring the Eternal Molestation of Flame', vocalist Dallas Toler-Wade requests the crowd to give him their best Death Metal growls... resulting in a rapturous roar that is both terrifying and hilarious in its absurdity. One personal disappointment is the lack of Egyptian-themed anything going on aside from Sanders' ankh necklace. Whilst Nile don't exactly need gimmickry it still strikes me as odd that a band devoted to something so visually interesting would choose to dress like they're waiting for a bus. That aside, the songs really do speak for themselves and, as we continue with the 'At The Gate of Sethu' theme, Nile storm through tracks such as 'The Inevitable Degradation of Flesh' and 'Supreme Humanism of Megalomania' which sit perfectly alongside older material like 'The Blessed Dead' and the pounding 'Smashing The Antiu'. Whilst it's become beyond stifling in The Garage by this point, the constant head banging from girls, and guys with girl's hair, provides a welcome breeze. The frenetic energy remains on a high, never really reaching any crescendo but holding your attention throughout, albeit leaving you exhausted. By close of play, finishing with 'Black Seeds of Vengeance', as great as it's been, it really does feel like I've had my fill of death metal for one evening.
Click on thumbnails for larger images:
pestifer_london2013_9_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_6_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_8_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_10_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_7_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_1_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_4_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_2_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_3_thumb.jpg pestifer_london2013_5_thumb.jpg svartcrown_london2013_4_thumb.jpg svartcrown_london2013_3_thumb.jpg svartcrown_london2013_1_thumb.jpg svartcrown_london2013_5_thumb.jpg svartcrown_london2013_2_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_7_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_8_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_4_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_3_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_9_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_2_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_6_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_1_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_5_thumb.jpg exdeo_london2013_10_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_3_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_8_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_7_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_2_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_9_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_15_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_5_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_1_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_10_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_13_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_6_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_11_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_12_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_4_thumb.jpg nile_london2013_14_thumb.jpg