Bat Sabbath & God Damn at Islington Academy, London - live review
Venue: Islington Academy, London
Sheffield ragers rip it up at ground zero
It says a lot that on the hottest night of the year the Academy is rammed for what is essentially a covers band. But before that, GOD DAMN  show that the headliners won’t have the monopoly on riffs, although the Wolves-based trio owe much more to Sub Pop, Bleach-era Nirvana than pure metal. The addition of a keyboard player and some brilliant new tracks from last year’s Everything Ever shows a band continuing to grow into one of British rock’s best. But, just on the strength of their setlist, no one is upstaging BAT SABBATH  tonight. The members of one of the best hardcore bands around bring a nihilistic, punk roughness to those classic Iommi riffs. Liam Cormier doesn’t even bother with trying to capture Ozzy’s melodies, instead screaming his way through Children Of The Grave, Supernaut and N.I.B. and addressing the crowd like a deranged preacher extolling us all to worship at the altar of “The almighty SABBATH!” His band areplayful with the base material, too, Scott Middleton adding plenty of Zakk Wylde-esque pinch harmonics in the gaps where Iommi lets his riffs breathe. If that wasn’t enough, an encore of Cancer Bats ragers Hail Destroyer, Road Sick, Lucifer’s Rocking Chair and Bricks And Mortar are even more wildly received than material from Paranoid. Bat Sabbath might just be the best cover band of all time.