A Friday the 13th in Camden was duly given the heavy metal delivering it deserved as five exciting new bands put on a great show at The Crowndale Club last night.
We headed down to see Defences, our New Band of the Week from a couple of weeks ago, and found another female-fronted band that have to join them as one of the most exciting we’ve discovered yet in As Everything Unfolds.
The evening began in loud fashion with London duo Death Goals, of whom the only thing I’d seen prior to the gig was a post on Facebook by guitarist / vocalist Harry Bailey’s mother: “Why must you make that screaming sound when your guitarist has a decent voice? #mummylikesapropersong.”
I arrived a few minutes into their set to a barrage of screamed vocals supported by booming drums. They played a 30-second screamalong called Stacey Let Me See Your Stegasaurus, which raised a few sniggers in the crowd, then a really good track called If A Fish Blinks It’s A Lion, with big low-tuned guitars countered by fast mini-riffs in between screams.
On the final track Harry jumped into the crowd and asked someone to hold the microphone as he ran around the audience rocking out – you certainly get maximum entertainment from these guys.
Next up was Romford metalcore act, the brilliantly named Culling The Pantheon. One of their guitarists was unusually playing an eight-string guitar, presumably to cover their current lack of a bassist, and their guitars sounded absolutely huge.
Vocalist Danny Langdon jumped down from the stage to play the first song they ever released, Nemesis, which combined screamed vocals and flying guitar riffs with a more melodic chorus. That was followed by Sailor’s Memory, at which point Danny asked the crowd to create a circle around him. I want to describe this as a ‘metal ballad’ as the screams continued but with a singalong section halfway through including the vocals “Everything I’ve done, was all for you.”
Next up Danny told the crowd “It’s tradition where we cover a song, and this remains a favourite” and they endeavoured to play an excellent, super-heavy cover of Bring Me The Horizon’s Sempiternal. They closed on a high with Snakebite, which sounded like their best song and was more metalcore than their previous tracks. The building section beginning “Have you ever had your heart broken by someone that you’d die for? It’s like everything you had meant nothing and leaves you broken like never before” developed brilliantly and ended in a huge scream.
Next up, Reading rockers Elasea brought the metal levels down a notch but were just as entertaining with their trademark. Bassist Liv Jones provides backing vocals on their recorded tracks, but didn’t last night, but the frontman stepped up as they opened with an awesome riff then huge guitar shredding through a heavy chorus.
Next was the excellent On My Own, which began with a huge guitar intro that fed into a choppy opening verse then increased in heaviness led by some awesome lead vocals that fleeted between big screams and singalong choruses.
Time Stops began with high-pitched guitars and cymbal-heavy driving drums, then dropped into a vocal-led verse followed by high-pitched guitars diving into low-tuned smashing riffs.
Then Conscience (I think?) began heavy then dropped down into an acoustic chillout before the big guitar kicked back in and flew into a big high solo. They closed with I Can’t Sleep (again, I think), which began with high-pitched guitars and huge choruses following chilled verses, then dropped down to just drums and vocals and built towards a final smash-out to end.
The fourth band on was Hertfordshire’s Defences and they began in impressive fashion with the excellent Let You In. A powerful guitar riff opens up then gruff screams – from what I think is a potential new bassist – are countered by clean vocals from frontwoman Cherry Duesbury, who excels in the awesome singalong chorus: “This is not an unfamiliar force but, It hit me harder than ever before and, All I want is to take care of you, Promise that you’ll take care of me too.” More screams follow then a brief pause before another huge smash up.
That was followed by another huge track in the hard-hitting Grow, then my personal favourite Two Steps Back – which Cherry tells the audience is all about facing adversity. Her vocals are really powerful countered by huge screams
There was an awesome intro to Scared, with both guitarists grabbing a drum and smashing along in time to Kyle Parke’s excellent driving drums, then Cherry jumped down into the crowd and remained there.
They closed the set in style with Beneath The Surface, with Cherry asking the crowd “Do you feel like shouting?” then smashing into a massive intro of awesome guitars and Kyle’s huge drum support. They got the crowd involved by telling us to shout “Break through” then “Stop me” in time with the bassist’s screams, then ended with a really heavy smash-up.
The final act of the evening was something pretty special as High Wycombe six-piece As Everything Unfolds took to the stage fronted by the incredible vocals of Charlie Rolfe.
The band fused huge breakdowns and smashing riffs in support of the powerful, yet delicate vocals – which at times take you aback when she launches into her massive, impressive screams.
A particular highlight was a song with the lead guitarist doing an incredible tapped solo standing on a big raised box on the far right of the stage, with Rolfe’s huge vocals cutting through it, then launching into a massive guitar solo.
They played some older tracks, an excellent rendition of Sleep Alone from this year’s EP Collide, then their new single Centuries, in which the guitarist jumped into the crowd for the opening rock-out. Rolfe jumped between low crazed screamed vocals and high-pitched smashes and nailed both with consummate ease – her voice is genuinely incredible.
That was followed by a brand new track that they only finished two weeks ago, with more huge vocals that just got better and better. They closed out the set impressively with Bright Lights, beginning with a synth intro and loads of cymbals then high-pitched vocals hanging over booming guitar riffs. That then descended into low-tuned guitars and ridiculously good screamed vocals, before a singalong vocals of This is a chapter in a whole new story, Turning pages time and time again, I’ve finally found my hope and glory, Don’t take this away from me.”
As Everything Unfolds were a superb ending to a great night of new metal bands from in and around London – yet another reminder of some of the great acts on the scene.
You can follow As Everything Unfolds on Facebook and Twitter and check out their music on Bandcamp and Spotify, follow Defences on Facebook and Twitter and get hold of their debut album With Might And Main on their website and Spotify, follow Elasea on Facebook and Twitter and check out their music on Spotify, follow Culling The Pantheon on Facebook and Twitter and check out their music on Spotify, and follow Death Goals on Facebook and check out their music on Bandcamp.