Enslaved, Winterfylleth, Ancient Ascendant
The Underworld, London
With the weather refusing to jump into Spring, we continue to brace ourselves for a Nordic winter evening and once again, Scandinvian sounds prove as the perfect soundtrack. After supporting Dimmu Borgir back in 2010 and doing a few shows along the way in the UK, tonight sees a sold out show for Enslaved, allowing both crowd and band to embrace a headline set.
Ancient Ascendant’s origin may not be as Viking-esque as they look and sound, but the Reading death metallers do their influences proud with an energetic onslaught of melody-riddled brutality with smatterings of black and thrash for extra kicks. The youngsters choose to play latest EP ‘Into The Dark’ in its entirety despite releasing a full length in 2011 but the tunes on show tonight prove the deathly developments made. The band grab the heart strings of the crowd with a cover of Bathory’s ‘Flash Of The Silver Hammer’ and an ideal scene is set for the rest of the night.
Winterfylleth have grown to become one of Britian’s most loved exports and with last year’s ‘Threnody of Triumph’ being so, ahem, triumphant in the annual album charts, the anticipation is buzzing this evening. This is only further increased thanks to a few technical difficulties when starting but as soon as the intro tape kicks in on the second time round, the ‘Fylleth four are all guns blazing/ Known for their adoration of the homeland and its natural beauty, the Northerners black metal streams with an organic effortlessness, as frontman Chris Naughton smiles and gnarls through tracks such as ‘The Swart Raven’ and ‘The Fields of Reckoning’ with pure enjoyment. Despite a predominantly fast tempo, the band slows down for fist pumping patriotism and closer ‘Defending The Realm’ from debut ‘The Ghosts of Heritage’ is a prime example of pride, as it creates an epic intimacy between fans and band.
If you want prove of a band that refuses to stick to their regional stereotype, look no further than Enslaved. After bursting from the second wave of black metal cocoon that Norway produced, their roots laid deep within the nature and history of their surroundings, in a similar vein to Winterfylleth now. After a Viking-fuelled few albums, the band’s experimenting into more progressive realms continued to grow and tonight’s set is dominated by the evolution of Enslaved. With last year’s dark yet pristine release ‘RIITIIR’ showcased through tracks such as ‘Roots of the Moutain’ and ‘Thoughts Like Hammers’, the progressive pummelling sounds even more monolithic than on record, which seemed impossible prior to tonight.
Albums ‘Ruun’ and ‘Axioma Ethica Odini’ are visited briefly and are presented with style, whilst the band banters between itself in a manner that is not very “krieg” at all, yet it causes the crowd to adore them further. There are likely to be a few in attendance this evening who are disappointed by the lack of true, raw black metal Enslaved used to conjure, however they are extremely outnumbered by the looks of the sweaty and eclectic crowd that are lapping up a Led Zepplin cover of ‘Immigrant Song’ as the night draws to a close.
Review by Lily Randall
Published at http://www.Metal-Rules.com