Live Review: Impericon Never Say Die Tour @ Camden Electric Ballroom!
A new day, a new dawn, another live show. Today’s final destination is Camden Electric Ballroom for the London stop of this years incarnation of the Impericon Never Say Die Tour. A full half day event with seven bands taking to the stage, each one taking it in turns to test the foundations of the venue and attempt to reduce it to rubble with their sonic oblivion. Impericon have picked the bands on merit, each one bringing something different to the table with no bias in terms of country or label. As ever when it comes to these shows, it’s nice to see a few familiar faces with members of To Obey A Tyrant getting involved in mosh pit activities…
Breaking the shackles of the US for their first run of overseas shows, signed to a new label in Periphery’s 3DOT Recordings and with a fresh and very well received new album in “Burying Brightness” appearing last month and everything looks pretty damn sweet if you’re Boundaries [9/10]. This afternoon their open up the show like a Molotov cocktail with breakdown after Metallic Hardcore breakdown to set it off. Wasting little time between the cuts, other than to bait the crowd to show a little more energy and get up off the floor, they piledrive their way through cuts “Heaven’s Broken Heart“, “Kill Me Patiently” and “My Body Is a Cage” like a battering ram at full speed. Kudos to their drummer Kevin Stevens for his clean backing vocals because only God knows how you can get your breathing right to do both.
Originally set to join Humanity’s Last Breath back in April, Cabal [8/10] ignite London with a furious set that finds them joined by Ben Mason from Bound In Fear and Pintglass for a vocal cameo as they smash their way through five turbulently violent cuts including “Violent Ends” and “Death March“. We last saw the Copenhagen Denmark natives in August on a stage a tenth of this size at Radar Festival where they decimated the weak and tonight they prove that the venue size has no impact on their destructive powers. Brutal, atmospheric and inspired, they are at the height of their game and quite clearly love every second.
American Progressive Metalcore act Invent Animate [8/10] might have seemed like the odd ones out on this line up but tonight they bring out their heaviest game and prove the naysayers wrong. They offer up a collection of hard hitting tracks like “Elysium” and “Cloud Cascade” with clean and unclean vocals from Marcus Vik intertwining to bring the house down and get a great crowd reaction. Underestimated? Perhaps but not from now on although they need to sort out a permanent drummer with both Brody Taylor Smith of Satyr fame and Lukas Vitullo having graced the stool over the past twelve months.
It’s hard to be believe that like Boundaries before them, this is the first overseas endeavour of Californian Deathcore act Spite [10/10] but they sure as hell make it one to remember with an incendiary set including the brutal renditions of “Lord Of The Upside Down” and the Molotov cocktail that is “IED“. To say the crowd go wild for them is the understatement of the year because it’s more like feral as vocalist Darius Tehrani has them in the palm of his hand with the band behind him at their abrasive finest and absolutely no one is standing still. Four of the seven they have time for are from this summers “Dedication To Flesh” which comes as little surprise although the absence of a single cut from 2019’s huge “The Root Of All Evil” is. Limited set times? Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Take the stage with a brutal rendition of “Into Despair” that hasn’t sounded so vocally perfect as it does tonight are Currents [8/10]. The band are a quartet tonight missing a guitarist but they perform ably, bringing us a collection of cuts that get the crowd singing a long and waving their hands as Brian Wille bleeds on stage, with a little less intricacy and a little more blunt force. The end of August saw them release “The Death We Seek” which gets and airing but it’s “Apnea” from 2017’s “The Place I Feel Safest” that is the surprise inclusion, especially in the absence of the brilliance that is “Poverty Of Self“. There maybe an obvious question hanging in the air but it seems like Currents will continue in the absence of Chris Wiseman if the success of Shadow Of Intent means he can not commit to both bands as tonight they show they can function perfectly well as a four.
We’ve waited an awful long time to see After The Burial [8/10] as during the tour for their colossal 2019 album “Evergreen” the global pandemic broke out meaning the eight sting merchants were summoned home with closing borders before they reached our shores. They suffer a few technical issues before they can really get going but vocalist Anthony Notarmaso has a couple of stories to fill the time including one about their merch guy falling asleep taking a s*** at a truck stop which is an absolute classic. When they do get going again we’re given both barrels from the eight strings of Trent Hafdahl with 2016’s “Dig Deep” revisited for “Lost in the Static” and and “Mire” following a particularly passionate rendition of the crushing “Behold The Crown“. It won’t be long before a 20th Anniversary tour but the Minneapolis DJent Deathcore crew aren’t holding anything back tonight.
After a night that has give us hip-hop between sets to keep us sedated we get treated to “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen which is a huge audience sing-a-long ahead of nights set from Suicide Silence [9/10]. Another band with a new album on the way, having a shorter set sees them having to make some tough choices as to what to play. The atmosphere around the Riverside Californian Deathcore brutes still feels like one of recovery following their ill received 2017 self titled album, so it should be little surprised that they stick to their first three albums for the lion share, including just one from the 2020’s “Become the Hunter” in fan favourite “Love Me to Death“. Aside from rousing renditions of bludgeoning classics from the Mitch Lucker era like “Unanswered“, “Wake Up” and the scalding set closer “No Pity For A Coward” we are treated to a pair of new tracks in singles “Capable Of Violence” and “You Must Die“, both delivered with that trademark ferocity from Eddie Hermida and five percent more incendiary energy from the band. That brings the curtain down on an incredible night of violence, the crowd a sweaty mess by the end, leaving the venue a mess as circle pits have gone off like tornadoes and mosh pits will result in a few aches and pains once sobriety returns in the morning…