Tsjuder / Eastern Front / Necro Ritual

The Garage, London on Sat 14th Feb 2015

What better way to celebrate Valentine's Day in London than witnessing Norwegian black metallers Tsjuder's debut UK show? Formed in 1993 and with a four year hiatus from 2006 – 2010, it seems surprising that these Scandinavians never made their way to this rain-drenched island beforeso this concert is long overdue, particularly since they have managed to capture slots at larger metal festivals including the Maryland Death Fest and Hellfest.

London's own black metallers Necro Ritual were formed in 2003 and have just two albums to their name. Their black metal is very orthodox with a sizeable chunk of their music encompassing a standard helping of tremolo riffing and blastbeats. There are slowerand more menacing moments aired to the audience but these are somewhat unmemorable. This is nothing within the music that black metal fans would find unfamiliar and as the set soldiers on, the audience appear less enthused by Necro Ritual.

An omnipresent band in the UK metal scene is belligerent black metallers Eastern Frontfrom Ipswich. Last year saw the release of sophomore effort 'Descent into Genocide' picking up where their debut left of. Caustic double-bass drumming is coupled with tremolo picking but generate an atmosphere tinged with misery more than straight-forward rage as would be expected. Guitar leads also dabble with the melodic and a range of tempos infusing the black metal with variety and another dimension – necessary when a range of their songs clock in at excess of seven minutes. The rasped vocals of Nagant are pained and mirror the adverse events that transpired in the Second World War, the theme that their lyrics fixate on. With selections from both albums and an austere stage presence, Eastern Front receive solid acclaim from the audience and prove a worthy support for the headliners.

Despite the potentially ambitious size of the venue (the Underworld would have presumably been more appropriate), it is safe to say that headliners Tsjuder have no problem filling it out. The trio are greeted with adoration as soon as they take the stage before launching into their cold Norwegian black metal. Despite possessing just three band members, the corpsepainted Scandinavians muster a severe stage presence that seems to dwarf the Garage's stage.There is ample going on in their discography for the crowd to headbang to. Fan favourite album 'Desert Norwegian Hell' receives an abundance of attention, with the riffs that border on black 'n' roll in 'Ghoul', the punchy 'Mouth of Madness' losing no steam after its eight minutes and the sheer blasting visceral nature of 'Beyond the Grave'. The audience response is understandably dramatic during these songs and the abundance of headbanging and moshing is testament to this.

Other choice cuts from the setlist include 'Beyond the Grave (The King's Reign)', 'Slakt' and a cover of the unbeatable Bathory classic 'Sacrifice' storms the venue mercilessly although it appears that many of the attendees are unfamiliar with the song and as such, it does not receive the reception it deserves. Before too long, the set ostensibly wraps up and Tsjuder leave the stage behind them. The audience's cheers are solid and there is a moment of hesitation from the crowd as to whether they are going to receive an encore or not. Just then, the lights dim and Tsjuder return with a scathing cover of fellow countrymen Mayhem's reckless 'Deathcrush' that rallies up the crowd's appetite again for one final frenzied assault.

Tsjuder's debut UK outbreak can be described as nothing short of a success and the promoters should be praised for engineering this exclusive appearance. The strong turnout is hopefully enough to promise Tsjuder will return on their next European trek.

article by: Elena Francis

published: 17/02/2015 14:27


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