Live Review: Obscura w/Fallujah, Allegaeon, First Fragment @ O2 Academy, Islington

Germany Progressive Metal titans Obscura are no strangers to our shores. The venue may have changed twice from the O2 Academy to Camden Underworld and back, but that doesn’t put off an expectant crowd screaming for cuts from the bands new album “Diluvium” which is out now via Relapse Records.

French Canadian Technical Death Metallers First Fragment [7/10] bring a highly polished sound and are a fantastic watch. Thunderously impressive kit work from drummer Nicholas Wells is balanced out perfectly by the other members of the band who play everything at breakneck speed. Their bass player Forest is often playing what would be a guitar part on his 6 string and it’s a shame that they have to start playing just 15 minutes after doors open for an 18:00 show on a soaking wet Friday night.

Allegaeon [8/10] limber up with the “Love Me Do” by The Beatles playing over the PA. Finger stretches and sound checks completed they proceed to do the audience with Technical Death Metal at its finest. The guitarists alternate the solos while frontman Riley McShane loves every minute. Unlike First Fragment’s David AB, Allegeon’s vocalist is at home in the mix, feeling the groove and doing little dances, arm swipes and headbanging when not delivering throat shredding roars. New album “Apoptosis” will be released April 19th on Metal Blade Records and we’re treated to “Stellar Tidal Disruption” from it.

Fallujah [8/10] are out to impress with new vocalist Anthony Palermo also of Underling and debut some material from new album “Undying Light” out on 15th March. The only band of the night not to employ a 6 string bass, at first the new vocalist seems out to impress a little too much but quickly settles into his comfort zone with the likes of “Sapphire”. We’re treated to a pair of new cuts in recently released single “Ultra Violent” and “Last Light”, both of which will appear on the aforementioned new album. It’s actually on classic “Amber Days” that the new man impresses the most and a circle pit sets off like a whirlwind in the venue

Obscura [9/10] The last 4 albums from the German Masters have brought them to London. The quartet waste no time in producing the goods time after time and tonight is no different. Tapping sections, intricate solos, gutteral roars and even a bass solo section utilizing a loop pedal are all on show. The bands current offering “Diluvium” is a fine piece of work and showcases them remaining at the top of their game. Tonight is no different. It’s all smiles between headbanging and gurning from “Emergent Evolution” through “Akróasis” to “The Anticosmic Overload” it’s a master class in how it’s done.

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