The Devil’s Blood.
Camden Underworld, Friday 25th November 2011
Words and photos by Antony Roberts
Search on the internet, or in past magazines for gig reviews for The Devil’s Blood, and you will find write ups of the few shows they have played, hailing them as one of the shows of a lifetime. I’m one of those souls that have stumbled on the band late, very late. Reading all the furore about past shows I thought it about high time I go see this band in the flesh.
The Underworld was certainly busy, but not as packed as i’ve seen other shows, which surprised me greatly with the utterly fanatic reviews their live shows have received. The print press has been pouring over them recently with large interviews in Zero Tolerance and Terrorizer in the last month or two. To be fair Monster Magnet were also in town, and there is definitely crossover between not all, but some of their fans. Had it not been for this I imagine the Underworld would have been bursting.
Tonight’s show was also a record release night for their new album The Thousandfold Epicentre. Despite the volume’s of various special editions, gatefold book CD’s, Gatefold vinyl it was the quietest i’ve seen a merchandise stand, as all bodies were in the main stage room awaiting the arrival of tonight’s ritual. Ritual is definitely the correct world for tonight’s affair, the stage was set with a makeshift altar, skulls a plenty, filled with joss sticks, and candles. As the band took to the stage bathed head to chest in pig’s blood further adding to the ritualistic atmosphere, the crowd surged forward. Trying to shoot was proving difficult with horns raised high from the audience, every time a chance to shoot came, along came someone’s arm straight into the shot. As I was battling to actually get a shot I suddenly stopped myself and looked around. Here I was barely paying attention to the music, concentrating through the viewfinder getting frustrating at those around me, trying to get some decent shots. As I caught my moment of contemplation I started to actually pay attention to what was unfolding before me on stage. The sound was perfect, with three guitarists and the underworld P.A. they were so much heavier than on record. The vocalist known only as The Mouth Of Satan stood like some buxomness temptress commanding her minions, her searing powerful vocals, entwined with the 70’s rock background to absolute perfection.
Everyone around me was hanging on every note and i’d been missing it for what? No editor, no deadline, just the urge to try and capture something for my little website, and here I was missing one of the (as promised) performances of the year. Camera down I spent the rest of the set just watching and listening, soon as captivated as the rest of the entire audience. There was no talking between songs, every second was used to showcase the sheer brilliance of their new album in a live environment. Like every exceptional gig it seemed it was over before it started and after they exited the stage it took some time for the audience to head out from their almost trance like state.
If you’re a fan of the original 70’s rock bands such as Jefferson Airplane, or a fan of modern day bands like Sabbath Assembly or Ghost then go and see this band live, this was not so much a gig, but a hedonistic performance of truly moving occult rock.