THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER / INGESTED / KARYBDIS - The Underworld, London 11.04.19

WILL HORSMAN

As we’re forcibly moved from side to side, front to back, desperately trying to stand our ground, like fish caught in a net, I look up. From what had started off as a bright, sunny day in the nation's capital, we were suddenly engulfed in the torrid darkness of an abysmal humidity. Through the thick, wet smog of sweat, beer and fruity vapes, I can make out a man in the distance. He approaches us, long soaking wet hair, limbs wildly flailing around with glasses reflecting the purple and green flashing lights all out around us. Unable to make out much else, save for hundreds of dark entities. The air becoming tainted and putrid, we struggle to breathe as he pulls something up from his waist. Then, all of a sudden, standing on ceremony, the room erupts - bright lights fill the room, illuminating every drop of vapour in the air and the deafening cry of the hundreds almost drown out that of the mysterious man - “Screaming as we’re both eaten alive!”

 

Cut to a few hours earlier when the aforementioned sunshine was a nice surprise for early April and the queue for Camden’s fan favourite venue The Underworld stretched around the corner and down the road...

 

Getting things underway tonight are London melo-death metallers KARYBDIS who have gone from strength to strength over the course of the last few years, honing their pummelling blend of death metal and sinister guitar harmonies - making them the perfect band to open tonight’s proceedings! Their experience of the underground circuit is evident from the get-go, everything is so tight and Rich O'Donnell's vocals are not only brilliant, it looks effortless to him. As the set goes on, the floor starts to fill out and everyone gets sucked in to the infectious riffs and melodies. By the time set closer ‘Abyssal’ comes around, there doesn’t seem to be anyone who’s not completely entranced, subconsciously nodding along. 

 

Karybdis are:

Rich O’Donnell - Vocals

Matt Lowry - Guitar

Jay Gladwin - Bass

Mitch McGugan - Drums

Pete Rogers - Guitar

 

You can find them at:

https://m.facebook.com/Karybdis.band/

 

Up next are your self-proclaimed “friendly neighbourhood slam kings from Slamchester”, INGESTED. Probably the hardest working Slam metal band in the UK at the moment, INGESTED have spent the whole of the last two years relentlessly touring supporting some big names from here and over the Atlantic spreading the good word of Slam. All of that time seems to have been incredibly well spent, I know a warm-up band is supposed to get the crowd going before the headliners come out but INGESTED take the energy to a whole new level, almost instantly the crowd erupts with limbs casually flailing around. By the time the breakdown in ‘Sovereign’ hits, vocalist Jay Evans screams “London, if you don’t know what to do - you’re at the wrong fucking show!” And, of course, he’s right. That seems to be one thing that elevates INGESTED tonight, yes they’re one of the tightest bands I’ve seen in ages but Jay Evans’ crowd interaction is a cut above. There’s no rest for the wicked, if he’s not commanding circle pits around the infamous column on the dance floor for ‘Better off Dead’, he wants you screaming or throwing your fists in the air, or banging your head until it falls off - “This is your fucking show, no standing still!” The crowd are well and truly in the palm of his hand, especially during new song ‘Mouth of the Abyss’ - usually when a band play a new song it elicits a fairly muted, not quite sure what to do, response from the audience but not this, the band are so polished you’d be forgiven for thinking this was an old song and the crowd give it just as much energy as their favourite song. There’s always a worry when a band has toured as extensively and been signed to as big a labels as INGESTED have, that they just don’t know have ‘it’, but to play a new song and have the entire crowd banging their heads, throwing themselves around the venue in a trance like that is testament to the fact that not only do INGESTED very much have it, they may well be about to Slam us all into oblivion in the near future.

 

Ingested are:

Jay Evans - Vocals

Sean Hynes - guitar/Vocals

Sam Yates - Guitar/Vocals

Brad Fuller - Bass

Lyn Jeffs - Drums

 

You can find them at:

https://www.facebook.com/ingesteduk/

 

THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER needs no introduction. 18 years and 8 albums since they first got together, they’ve seen more highs and lows than most bands and lived to tell the tale. 2017 album ‘Nightbringers’ was widely regarded as a triumphant return to the heights of success they experienced earlier in their career which was promoted over here with a tour playing main support to label mates CANNIBAL CORPSE. Tonight the headline duties are theirs and this is their chance to prove that they are one of the absolute best at what they do right now. 

 

As they tear into set opener ‘Widowmaker’ it’s hard to believe this song is only 2 years old, they play it with the prowess and vigour of a set mainstay and that’s something that doesn’t lack throughout the entire set. Pummelling through songs old and new with the crowd whipped up into a frenzy in the pit which slowly seems to engulf the entire standing area as the set goes on. “Who was alive in 2005?!” shouts guitarist Brian Eschbach as they drop into one of the first songs that aided the bands rise to prominence in the form of ‘Miasma’ followed by ‘Statutory Ape’. His microphone japes continue with “if you don’t have ADHD and made it all the way to the end of our ‘Nocturnal’ album you’ll know this song is called ‘Warborn!’”

 

Jay Evans of INGESTED joins the band onstage for vocal duties during ‘What A Horrible Night to Have a Curse’ after which he launches himself into the crowd and we’re brought to the beginning of tonight’s review as the band shred their way through ‘Catacomb Hecatomb’ which has to be one of the stronger tracks on the new album and a definite sign that the band are still going from strength to strength. As mentioned earlier, the crowd are going so mental on the floor this is easily the most humid and almost uncomfortable I’ve seen this venue in a while so Brian Eschbach is probably only half joking when he says “we’re not playing an encore tonight because there’s oxygen up there” as he points to the ceiling.

 

2001 really doesn’t feel like that long ago but given the brevity of so many death metal bands careers, especially those who started after the 90s, the fact that THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER are not only still going, they’re writing more killer music and following it up with complete and stellar live performances is something to be revered and celebrated.

 

The Black Dahlia Murder are:

Trevor Strnad - Vocals

Brian Eschbach - Guitar

Max Lavelle - Bass

Alan Cassidy - Drums

Brandon Ellis - Guitar

 

You can find them at:

https://www.facebook.com/theblackdahliamurderofficial/