WITCHSORROW, SEA BASTARD, KING GOAT
Black Heart, Camden, London
October 26, 2013
King Goat stepped into the breach at the last minute, following the withdrawal of Rise Of The Simians. A relatively new and unheralded band, King Goat released their first EP, called ‘Atom’ – an epic/trad sledgehammer with proggy undertones – earlier this year.
Last night, they unleashed their thundering riffs with great skill and energy, but what was surprising was the delivery of frontman Trim. On ‘Atom’ the vocals are occasionally overwhelmed by the great guitar work, but here the band’s new singer was the dominant force. Enormously charismatic and engaging, Trim instantly connected with the crowd (sometimes literally as he climbed down from the stage), ensuring that the evening hit the ground running.
The Black Heart is a venue that knows how to please its doom-loving patrons. Playing some early Candlemass moments before King Goat appeared was a smart move, and Trim’s voice soared like a mini-Messiah Marcolin. He bears a passing resemblance to the great man, a feature he played on by launching into Messiah’s trademark doom dance halfway through the set.
Sea Bastard would have to deliver something excellent in order to avoid being overshadowed by their fellow Brighton band. Fortunately they managed to keep the standard high, adding their own brand of hypnotising ferocity. This is band whose songs are made for the live environment, and while their 2013 EP ‘Great Barrier Riff’ is an uncompromising slab of trollish doom (recorded live in the studio back in 2011) the slow, sludgy tunes and Monty McDoom’s wildly-swinging meat-cleaver vocals are best appreciated in person.
Headliners Witchsorrow are one of the UK’s most exciting Doom Metal bands, and here they performed a set of such rumbling excellence that the floor seemed to disappear beneath our feet, exposing us to the ecstatic red fires of Hell itself. Or maybe that was the beer.
In any case, Witchsorrow were unsurprisingly awesome. A little more energy from the crowd would not have gone amiss (although at one point there was a contender for the briefest-ever mosh pit when a small assemblage of teenagers got quite excited) but perhaps people were just standing in slack-jawed admiration.
The vocals of Necroskull (who also handles guitar duties masterfully) reached dizzy new heights not yet explored on the band’s recorded material, and when they lumbered into their faster-paced passages of misery, the front rows were a blur of freshly-shampooed happiness. Beautiful to behold.
Three great bands, all offering a unique and inspiring perspective on Doom Metal. A fantastic night’s work that suggests the future of British doom is in safe hands.