Sunday evening at The Underworld in Camden was a journey through world metal as Israeli folk-metal band Orphaned Land played the final date of their 25th anniversary tour, with support bands from Chile, Russia and China.
The Underworld seemed close to its 500-capacity as Orphaned Land took to the stage, bringing their unique blend of progressive/doom/death/folk metal to the heaving crowd. Support came from folk / metal foursome Chilean Crisálida who expressed their gratitude to the crowd for being so welcoming for what what their first ever tour of Europe.
The band praised the “All Is One” philosophy of the tour, (after Orphaned Land’s fifth album of the same name) which represented peace and unity between cultures through music.
Second on the bill for the evening were symphonic Russian folk-metal act Imperial Age, whose combination of operatic vocals and guitar solos went down well with the crowd.
For me the highlight of the evening, though, were VooDoo KungFu from China. From the moment the band entered the stage dressed in traditional costumes and with painted faces it was clear that they were intent on putting on a show, and when the sinister mask-clad singer entered the stage that show began.
The band fuse intensely dark and heavy metal with traditional Asian music and it really works. Initially the throat-singing and screams took me aback as it was nothing like any style of music I had seemed before, but by the end of their fake-blood-drenched set I was converted.
The evening was a true international medley, bringing together four bands with a musical style true to their own different cultures for a night of metal.
Photos by Katie Frost Photography