Live Review: In Solitude, Beastmilk and Daniel Bay
Camden Underworld, London 15th October 2014
Words by John Muskett
For a line up consisting of two of the undergrounds’ most hyped bands, it’s a surprise to find a fairly lacklustre turn out for tonight’s In Solitude and Beastmilk double header. It might be a sign of autumnal apathy, but it means a huge number of people missing out on a real highlight of this year’s gig calendar.
Daniel Bay is the warm up act tonight, kicking the night off with a very different vibe from the two headliners. A native of In Solitude’s hometown Uppsala, he has been brought over specifically for tonight’s show. Daniel is an acoustic singer/songwriter who does a great job of writing memorable songs that marry major key chord progressions with a rich, complex and melancholic vocal. It’s a great juxtaposition and works very well live, even if Daniel’s nervousness at playing such a large room is a bit too obvious.
Beastmilk have been “The Band” on many people’s lips ever since breaking through with 2013’s debut “Climax”. Having been featured heavily across both the mainstream and metal press, they’ve proved surprisingly divisive outside of critical circles, with many fans complaining about their perceived lack of innovation. What absolutely can’t be denied is that as a live band, Beastmilk are exceptional, putting on an essential and energetic performance that leaves not a single foot untapped. The audience gets right into, dancing around like a pack of lunatics as front man Kvost radiates energy and pulls the underworld under his spell within seconds. Closing the night with the massive “Love in a Cold World”, this show is a triumph and here’s to hoping that it’s not long before Beastmilk grace a London stage again.
In Solitude have evolved massively over the last few years, with latter material moving quite far away from their original heavy metal roots. It’s a move that many fans are still undecided about, given the between set chat tonight. It’s known that the band are going to be playing a set heavy with songs from their latest and most divergent album “Sister”, and the general feeling is of subdued anticipation to see how the new material comes across live. “Sister” is a great piece of work, atmospheric, compelling and intricate, but it is far away from the more energetic feel that originally catapulted the band into the underground’s attention. Kicking off with “Death Knows Where”, the song sounds heavier and more “In Solitude” in some intangible way when performed live. The theme continues with tracks such as “Lavender” and the eponymous “Sister” sounding far more raw than on record. It’s a fantastic performance, punctuated by a couple of older tracks, of which a storming “To Her Darkness” wins the award for performance of the night. The band are great on stage, moving around all over the place with front man Pelle Ahman confronting the crowd like a man possessed. While it would have been nice to see a wider balance of new and old material, this is a captivating performance that goes to show why In Solitude are a band in the ascendant.
In Solitude on facebook.
Beastmilk on facebook.