Live Review: Volumes w/Graphic Nature and InVisions at Camden Underworld!

Tonight the main event is a rare appearance from Volumes upon our shores, a one off club show ahead of their appearance at Radar Festival in Manchester and while a lot has changed for the the band in recent times, a lot remains the same. The fierce loyalty of their fans through thick, thin and controversy remains unwavering and the fact that they want to continue despite it all is testament to their strength. Tonight’s show is part of the end of a cycle that started in 2019 with the departure of vocalist Gus Farias before the  welcoming back of vocalist Michael Barr and the tragic death of former guitarist and producer Diego Farias. That period led to a string of singles before ultimately album “Happier?” landed in 2021. Very well received in these parts, it’s just one of many reasons why  this is as close to a sellout as you can get.

It ain’t always easy being the opening band playing to a filling venue but tonight Nu-Gloom Metal quintet Graphic Nature [8/10] make it look effortless. Cuts like “Chokehold” get a circle pit and headbanging from a crowd hungry for blood and riffs, the band supplying like a narcotics dealer. As with their performance at Tech-Fest, the band are wearing coats with hoods up, sweating their collective rocks off while building their own tension levels, something that translates into their ruthless output. “White Noise” is brutal and the strobe lighting that accompanies it is blinding so resistance is futile. They might not have translated as well on the main stage of Tech-Fest earlier in the summer, but in a sweaty club in perpetual darkness, their reign supreme. Talking about Mental Health has long been the message behind Graphic Nature and before “Into The Dark” we get a little speech from vocalist Harvey Freeman what unites the crowd. The track itself is a two steppers delight and gets one of the most emotive vocal performances of the night.

A band who have ascended to the European touring circuit since the first time we witnessed them live back in 2017, Leeds genre bending quartet InVisions [9/10] are one of the bands who don’t look how they sound. Deathcore rumblings underpin a Progressive Metalcore sound with an ocean of groove and plenty of DJent bounce and these dudes aren’t here to mess around. Hammering out their finest cuts, they turn the audience into a sweaty mess, even get a mini impromptu wall of death during one of their heavier moments. Frontman Ben Ville isn’t given the credit he deserves for some of his bowel clenching gutteral lows but tonight he’s on absolute fire. Camden Underworld is awash with light from mobile phones held up like cigarette lighters during the introduction to “Fall With Me“, a special moment of crowd participation after a couple of stage dives and circle pits earlier on. A song with a dark meloncholic undercurrent, it’s one that the band have made more anthemic in the live arena and goes down an absolute storm. “Parasite” was the song that changed everything, sending the band down the path they are on today and so a more fitting grand finale to their set there is not. The crowd turn feral during the Deathcore thunder of the huge breakdowns and by the end, it’s a masterclass on how to put on a show.

By the time Volumes [9/10] take to the stage, the crowd has been well warmed up with the well chosen support bands proving their worth. After a little false start the Californian’s kick off with “FBX“, which settles the nerves and proves (as if there was any doubt) that the material from this incarnation of the band holds up live as well as any of their older stuff. It’s then stage dives and high fives as “The Mixture” hits, as they go on to play a career spanning set with a huge drum rig generating those deep grooves that they’re known for. “Edge Of The Earth” becomes a big scream-a-long as the crowd turn into sweaty marionettes, swaying to the DJentlemens weighty tones, while “Feels Good” becomes the anthemic sing-a-long cut that the album version promised. It’s non-stop bounce on the floor with an electric energy in the sauna like sweatbox of a venue, Michael Barr mopping how brow with a hand towel before throwing it into the audience before the end. It’s Myke Terry’s 40th birthday today and the band have a cake to celebrate, the crowd singing happy birthday while the band tune up, another really special moment as the connection between the band and the fans is so strong. The title track of their current album “Happier?” is an obvious choice and keeps the flow hot before “Wormholes” brings the house down in devastating fashion. There are so many they could have chosen but an hour long set feels right as they leave it all onstage.

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