Primitive Graven Image, Ninkharsag, Wode, & Cryptlurker, The Lomax, 29th March 2013 Review
Words and Photos by Rich Price
Owing to a flat tyre I arrived at this gig just in time to hear the very last chord of Crypt Lurker’s set. Walking into a fifty strong crowd who were obviously well satisfied with the set they had just seen. After speaking to several it seemed that Crypt Lurker had just pulled off their best set to date. I’m genuinely gutted to have missed it.
Crypt lurker can be found on facebook here.
Next up and the first act playing were Manchester based Wode. They were according to their tumblr site formed in 2010 and play Atmospheric Black metal/crust. I’d not heard of them before so Wode were an unknown commodity and when they first took to the stage there were a few confused looks and phrases such as ‘the least black metal looking band I’ve ever seen’ were heard muttered in the crowd.
However any doubts were very quickly set aside as Wode proved to the crowd that their music was far FAR more important than conforming to some stereotype. Playing some really no nonsense and bleak black metal, the first thing I thought was ‘how have I not heard of these already’.
The end of the first song was met with huge cheers from all around the venue indicated I was not alone in this almost instant conversion, every subsequent song met with even louder and enthusiastic cheers from the increasingly attentive crowd. Wode won themselves some fans tonight, myself included.
Their demo can be downloaded for free here, and is highly recommended.
There’s also a soundcloud here.
Ninkharsag are one of those bands that seem to go out of their way to make life extra hard on us poor photographers, the small venue bathed entirely in blue light and smoke, sampled ambient loops, and band members barely visible except as silhouettes creating a grim and freezing cold atmosphere quite appropriate to the similarly cold temperatures outside.
I was aware of Ninkharsag from several of their members other projects, I was really looking forward to seeing this band tonight. They didn’t disappoint, even down half a member (the bass player playing with a broken ankle, now that’s commitment) there set was blistering and again was rewarded with huge cheers from the crowd.
No messing about and no nonsense, Ninkharsag delivered tonight, some good ‘true’ black metal, harking back to early Gorgoroth or Emperor. Moments of jaw droppingly heavy riffs, mixed with some sublime almost classical guitar work, these are some incredibly well-crafted black metal songs. This is quality stuff.
Their Facebook page is here:
You can stream their soon to be released album here courtesy of raw nerve.
PRIMITIVE GRAVEN IMAGE –
Finally on stage were Chesham’s Primitive Graven Image, considering the previous two bands they had some rather high standards to beat. Founded in 2006 in Chesham they released their third album ‘Psychedelic episodes’ on envenomation last year. Sadly by this point the crowd had noticeably dwindled, which in all honesty is their loss.
Although a bit less traditional Black metal than the previous bands PGI are earning a well-deserved reputation for solid live performances: Tonight was no exception. Playing in corpse paint (surprisingly the first of the night) and with a flair for the theatrics, it’s evident that PGI have a real love of performing, and are capable of performing to high standards.
Their style was more melodic than the previous act’s although certainly not lacking in cutting riffs and some excellent blasting mixed with melodic elements and some excellent clean vocals in places, yet delivered with just the right balance of enthusiasm and talent.
Notably in contrast to the previous act’s they actually regularly interacted with the crowd, and despite the lesser numbers managed to get the crowd worked up well. Especially when they closed with a rather sterling cover of Mayhems ‘Freezing Moon’ which sent the remaining crowd into a miniature frenzy. Excellent.
Check out slave to the mannequin on youtube here.
Their facebook page is here.