All photos courtesy of katiefrostphotography.com.
I’ve been following Persefone for a couple of years now. Ever since I heard the album, Spiritual Mitigation, I’ve been a fan of their style of metal. When I heard that they were playing in London I was suitably excited given that the band doesn’t tour Europe very often. After the wallet took a dent, I made my way down to London to watch what proved to be an incredible concert.
Up first on the stage was, One Hour Hell from Sweden. Playing a mixture of death and thrash metal, the band decimated the place within 10 seconds of their first song playing. Despite there being only about 20 people there, the band were giving it their all with frontman, Joakim, commanding the stage. Pretty much everyone in the crowd was nodding along with about a third of them, myself included, head banging along to the music. Playing a set consisting of songs across their back catalogue of albums along with a brand new one, the band delivered a cracking set despite there being only a handful of people there. It’s safe to say that they earned a few new fans that night and I will checking out more of their material soon.
Up next on stage was Loch Vostok. Having only listened to a few of their tracks, I was curious as to how Loch Vostok would sound live. I was suitably impressed with their interesting range of music across their various tracks. Going from “balls to walls” furious thrashing death metal to calm and reflective within 2 seconds flat was at first a little jarring. However, as their set went on, I gradually warmed to the idea and by the end of their set I was quite enjoying them. Having some technical difficulties didn’t stop them either, with the drummer deciding to play an impressive solo followed by an equally impressive guitar solo. The bassist sadly didn’t do a bass solo despite the crowd shouting a few times for a bass solo. In short, they delivered a superb set and I will be checking out more of their material as well.
It was then time for the crazy Andorrans to take to the stage. Having had a chat with them earlier, they mentioned that they would be playing songs from their critically acclaimed album Spiritual Mitigation and Shin-Ken. Opening with the song “Flying Sea Dragons” leading into “Mind as Universe”, the venue exploded with cheers and had multiple members of the crowd signing along with nearly everyone nodding or head banging along to the music.
It’s worth noting that the music these guys play is quite technical and I was worried that one part in “Mind as Universe” might have been sequenced. I’m happy to report that it isn’t and sounds epic live. Fast furious riffing technical guitars, epic clean and harsh vocals, superb instrumental sections, impressive guitar solos, it’s all found in Persefone.
I particularly enjoyed their Star wars medley consisting of “The main theme”, ‘Imperial Death March”, “Return of the Jedi”, “Cantina band” and “Duel of the fates”. They had most of the venue either smiling or laughing and I couldn’t keep the smile off my face the whole time they played it. I was slightly disappointed that they didn’t play “Upward Explosion” but they did play “The Great Reality” which more than made up for it.
Carlos (Guitars) did play a little bit of the opening riff jokingly after I shouted for it. I know it’s probably said in a lot of reviews and I’ve probably said it a few times as well, but honestly they are the best band I’ve had the pleasure of seeing live. Better than Cannibal Corpse, better than Ensiferum and better than Sabaton. Honestly, the band are amazing and deserve so much more recognition than they currently have.
There’s no real easy way of summing this up other than simply saying the following. If any of these bands, in particular Persefone and Loch Vostok, are paying near you, go and see them. You will not be disappointed.