Suicidal Angels – Camden Underworld. 2.10.16

  

So while I’m waiting for my car to be done in the garage and trying to kill time during the student infested lunch time rush let’s try my hand a reviewing again. Here’s a quick review of the thrash metal shindig in London last night. 

When this tour was announced I jumped on it straight away and ended up with tickets number 1 and 2. Once announced I knew I wouldn’t be in the room by the time Greece’s finest purveyors of thrash metal hit the stage thanks to the last train home leaving London at 9:25pm and a carriage shared with British NFL fans on their way home from Wembley. 

Just like the last appearance on a UK stage I also missed Suicidal Angels due to transport restrictions. But when you have bands of the quality of tonight’s supports, and the previous touring partners, it still turned into a decent few hours in the capital. 

Before my train arrived to take me south I was messaged and informed that the headliners were now going on at 10:20, it looks like a missed ferry was the cause. Great, I knew I was missing them from the get go, but I had hoped to avoid a rush and see three of the four bands on offer. 

Doors still opened up at 6 o’clock and opening band Crisix were only 15 minutes later than advertised. These Spanish thrashers were playing the UK for the first time and they surely left an indelible mark on people’s brains. Not exactly a household name, I remarked to my friend how good a band they are. Opening up with Conspiranoia and after half an hour of pummelling thrash metal as the closing strains of Ultra Thrash were left drifting into the venues ceiling, I turned to my friend and just said “I told you” which was met with a nod of appreciation. 

  

Things were pushed back slightly and 45 minutes later hyperactive Belgians Evil Invaders bounded onto the tiny stage. If all the bands were wearing Fitbits on this tour I think these guys would slightly clock up more kilometres than Crisix over their half hour set – only just though! I don’t know if it was because our viewing position changed, my ear plugs, the briefest sound check ever or if it’s just the classic turn it up to 11 mentality, but Jöe’s vocals were a bit lost in the mix, especially the cleaner sung parts. The crowd had increased by this time and everyone had fun. The set was closed with Jöe dropping his guitar and diving onto the fanatics amassed front and centre of the stage. 

  

For me Skull Fist were a bit of an oddity on this package. I tried listening to some of their stuff in the lead up to the gig, even though they are highly proficient and displayed that in the 20 minutes I saw, for me, they didn’t sit easily on the bill. These Canadians are a proper heavy metal retro throwback band, and I wouldn’t have been at all surprised if they popped up with an early 80’s Iron Maiden cover at some point. The assembled throng of fans – the biggest so far – indicated their popularity, out of the opening acts they’ve had more exposure to British gig goers, but for how technically good they are it was a case of wrong time, wrong place. I’d go see them again, but on a much more accommodating line up. 

Leaving bang on 9pm for the train, I was in bed 170 miles north before the witching hour was upon us. In conclusion Crisix absolutely stole the show from the bands I saw. Invariably with early starts and multi band packages the openers always seem to be playing to the smallest crowd, but those who bothered to leave Camden Towns ale establishments early enough were treated to something special and a band deserving of bigger and better things. 
   

  

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Bad For Good

  

Its looking like the main support act for the majority of the Suicidal Angel’s tour are Toronto metallers Skull Fist and the band from the four perfirming on Sunday that I have no knowledge of. 

I’m a bit fussy when it comes to the power metal and speed metal genres – I much prefer heads down and balls out thrash. 

As I’m seeing them in two days I though I’d better give them ago to see if I’ve missed out on a hidden gem. Pressing play on the first track I came across on YouTube  (Bad For Good) I thought the track had been labelled up wrong with its almost Bon Jovi esque drum crashing intro. Musically it straddles the early heavy metal sound, and the NWOBHM era in particular, but almost bleeds into the heavier end of the hair metal scene of the 80’s. The vocals remind me of someone but I just can’t think who, and the cowboy boots nearly shove it into the hair metal arena. 

Viewing a few more videos they definitely  do have a heavier edge to their sound than the first one I viewed. The falsetto vocals are going to drive a wedge between those that like and dislike, but these Canuks certainly can play their instruments. In a time when retro sounds are all the rage a few of these songs wouldn’t sound out of place on a 7″ piece of  black vinyl with a logo from Neat, Heavy Metal Records or Rave-On emblazoned on the cover, but with a much more polished and precise sound.  

Tomorrow I’ll see if I have time to procure their two albums and give them a proper listen. Failing that I will approach their set with mild trepidation and an open mind. If nothing else musically shines through for me it looks like it should be a lot of fun in the Underworld.