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ABBATH / PRIMORDIAL / THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER / BENIGHTED

Live Review

Venue: The Forum, London

Black metal’s prodigal son goes awry in London

Tonight’s lineup might seem an odd alliance of unceremonial upstarts and weathered souls, but it makes for a mixed and up-for-it crowd.

BENIGHTED [7] have the floor bouncing around to the rapidly shifting tempos and alternating death and ‘bree’ grunts, all unleashed with a modern sheen that feels like being interrogated by a host of piledrivers. THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER’s [7] carnival-esque if streamlined death metal instigates a frenzied succession of circlepits. It’s more Halloween on a sugar-high than arcane incantation, but Trevor Strnad’s genial, unimposing presence is an indicator of how easy the band are to assimilate, and how challenge-free. Somewhat more solemn yet ultimately a rousing, emotional journey – not least due to a hooded, chalked-up Alan Nemtheanga, whose role as fiery preacher get more intense with every gig – PRIMORDIAL [9] convert a host of new followers as Where Greater Men Have Fallen’s determined dragging of chains turns them into a wielded weapon. If the PA lacks any punch, those aerated surges of guitar become forged into an electric, immersive atmosphere, a rapt crowd losing their shit as Abbath wanders onstage during an incendiary As Rome Burns, getting a fraternal ‘Cheers, cunt’ from Alan in reply. 

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