Besides serving as a vehicle to promote their recent
“Scapegoat” EP, the ‘Vengeful Scapegoat’ tour was an excellent opportunity for
Incantation to revisit Europe after a long absence from the continent. Divine
Eve joined the ride, seeking to consolidate their active return to the scene.
Despite this band having been formed back in 1992, they have yet to release one
single full-length and even their live activity had been relatively sparse. The
presence of label mates Hate in the bill gave the tour a welcome sense of
musical diversity. Likewise, with Noctem also aboard, the project seemed to be
all the more sinister. Nerve, from Italy, had the unenviable task of opening the
gigs on most of the dates.
Interesting mix of bands, therefore. To be totally honest it
was only the music of Incantation that I was really familiar with. So it was
with both an eager anticipation as well as an incipient curiosity that I braved
the cold to make my way towards the ‘Elektrowerkz’, in central London.
Without doubt, the members of Nerve are able musicians who
know how to write good songs. Their music is aggressive but I’d hesitate to call
it Death Metal. An apparent reticence to stick with one style got me reminiscing
about their co-nationals Sadist. All this was reflected in tonight’s
performance. On the other hand, I didn’t really dig their style of singing and
at times I felt their guitar sounded a bit too hollow.
Meanwhile there was no denying that theirs was a tight set
and one that was hard to fault on a technical level. Within their set were
numbers such as: ‘The Threat’, ‘Black Fades’ and ‘My Inferno’.
My Rating: 76/100
Visually speaking, Noctem put on a striking show – coloured
contact-lenses, tooth appendages, costumes, masks, make-up…the band certainly
made sure they would be noticed. In a performance, the visual aspect of a band
is important and this is something that many otherwise great bands are
reticent to admit. Having said that, in the case of Noctem I couldn’t help
feeling that should the imagery have been stripped away, the performance would
have come across as unremarkable. In any case, their set-list included: ‘Atlas
Death’, ‘Under Seas Of Silence’ and ‘Religious Plagues’, the latter closing
One other thing - if anyone wonders why there are no photos
of Incantation and only a couple of Hate pics, credit must go to Noctem’s
vocalist who, during the band’s last number, decided it would be really cool to
throw fake blood at the audience…and my camera. That he didn’t earn my
admiration for that is a mild understatement.
Divine Eve are what one might refer to as a cult band and it
was only in the days preceding tonight’s gig that I became familiar with their
music. However, after bearing witness to their show it became obvious to me that
this is a band with copious amounts of talent and professionalism. And it wasn’t
just because Incantation’s Kyle Severn was standing in as their drummer.
The music of Divine Eve mixes Doom Metal with furious Death
Metal….a bit like Incantation but with a more even-handed focus on these two
genres. Any way you look at it, the band was convincing and it was striking how
their sound remained the same and yet hovered brilliantly between the
aforementioned two genres. The set-list was also very strong – in particular I
thought ‘As The Angels Weep’ was a great song that sounded even more convincing
than its recorded version. The show of Divine Eve was far from perfect and
occasionally their tightness experienced a few hiccups. There’s no doubt
however, that if this band comes to a venue near you, I strongly recommend that
you, the reader, go and check them out.
The Polish Metal community of London are always very
supportive when bands from their country of origin come over to play in their
adopted homeland and you have to admire them for that. Tonight, of course, is no
exception. Donning corpsepaint and costumes not very different in concept from
compatriots Behemoth, Hate gave a performance that was met with a widely
consensual approval from the audience. Their Death/Black Metal sounded raw and
intense but, despite that, I found myself struggling to warm to them.
The set-list was as varied as practically possible when
selecting tracks from an already extensive repertoire. All in all, I thought
they were definitely convincing albeit not ‘brilliant’.
My Rating: 77/100
Incantation provided a template for brutal Death Metal that
persists in being a valid pool of inspiration for many bands. Sure enough, after
having seen the band perform, I understood that this is from where many great
bands, such as Beheaded and Dying Fetus, laid the foundations of their own
sound. The distinctive riffing of guitarists John McEntee (also the band’s
vocalist and founding member) and Alex Bouks (of Goreaphobia fame) was nothing
short of impressive. It had been ages since the band performed with 2 guitarists
and this really seemed to have made a positive difference.
No matter what release Incantation was revisiting in their
show, the band was relentless and tight, without foregoing any of the songs’
brutality and rough edge. The spirit of Death Metal has never appeared stronger
My Rating: 94/100