By DJ Astrocreep
A long round trip to London was on the cards for me, as work prevents me getting to the more local leg of the Dopethrone and Gurt tour, so it’s time to prep myself for a 600+ mile round trip and ready myself for the inevitable whiplash. I find out that the first support have sadly had to pull out last minute, meaning we have just the two bands on the bill. Ah well, let the heaviness commence!
Gurt released their new album, ‘Bongs Of Praise’, just yesterday, and their set features plenty from it. There is at times an almost groove aspect to their wall of sludgy noise, as they pick up the pace a touch more, something that works quite well in conjunction with their slower material. Heads are nodding pretty much from the start in this rather compact venue and you can’t help but feel enveloped by the sheer sonic attack of the Londoners, something which lends even more credibility to their music when you consider the other support had pulled out, leaving no real time to find a replacement, so they have to switch their mindset from main support to only support. Fuzzed out guitar and bass, on top of the pounding drums and screeched vocals lend itself perfectly to their sound writing style, leaving all of us in the crowd happy bunnies indeed!
Dopethrone, as you would expect, continue the wave of menacing cacophony as they take to the stage. The room is pretty packed at this point and quickly becoming a sweatbox, while the floor, walls and furniture all reverberate with the elemental evil noise spilling out from the stage. The acoustics add further still to the feeling of forboding funneling out as they work into their set, with the swaying bodily masses around me seemingly hypnotised by the base bedlam in front of us, however willingly so. Deliberate feedback to prevent lack of noise between songs keeps things rolling, creating what seems like an unending tsunami of sonic attack upon our senses, the unrelenting noise rendering any attempt to resist headbanging along futile.
A mix of older and newer material spews out from the stage, with the 11 years as a band showing with the sheer fluency of each member’s performance. The likes of ‘Dark Foil’ is pretty much a given in any Dopethrone set and goes down well, as the loud cheers attest to, while the mix between older and newer material is overall about the right balance. The sight of some crust punk T-shirts around me is not a surprise, given the way Dopethrone seem to overspill into similar at times, though without going too far away from their roots. The sound is equal parts ominous and scathing, quite in your face and immensely pleasurable to us all as very few people are not evoking thoughts of shadowy tentacles in the barely lit room, providing an almost visual aspect seemingly unintentionally to their tales and wails of woe.
A terrific performance by both bands, epitomised by guitarist Vince going crowd surfing to play his last solo of the evening, them all showed little regard in ripping the venue apart with their maudlin musical measures, despite the last-minute support band loss.
- PHOTO CREDIT: Photos by the author.
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