Despite having missed the first day of this London Death metal festival, I immediately felt into my element once I arrived outside of Tufnell Park station. Groups of Death metallers were drinking and talking opposite the venue, screaming and shouting like at any outdoor metal festival, all in a friendly atmosphere. It seemed that everybody had come with a friend or knew someone, and even I who came by myself quickly found another person I knew. Once inside, I immediately noticed people wearing a shirt of the festival, proving that being a London event, many supported the festival like an event that was part of the local metal community. This was exactly the right kind of attitude and atmosphere I needed to appreciate an afternoon of Death and Black metal.
First off for me were Lvcifyre on the stage of the Dome. The London Death Black metal quartet burst from the stage with a blazing sound and a burning red light around them. Songs after songs the intensity didn’t let up, making the experience a bit blurry, but still enjoyable, as a slab of burning Black Metal. Foscor on the side were remarkably calmer with their mix of Prog rock and Death metal. Maybe it was because of the contrast with Lvcifyre but I was unable to enjoy anything apart from recognizing their musicianship.
Then came the first, and only problem of the festival: The scheduling. Bands on each stage were playing at the same time, creating a gap where nothing was happening instead of making the band overlap to give a chance for fans to see a bit of every set.
Time went by a bit slower than I would have liked but it was soon time for Origin. Full disclosure, I obtained a pass to see them and do a review of their show which should make immediately biased in their favor. However, no matter how hard I could have tried, I doubt I could have hated their show. Origin has become a master in the art of playing blistering shows. The level of the vocal could have been lower in the mix but the unrelenting attack of Jayson Keyser, as well as his entertaining stage banter, made the show powerful to listen and fun to watch. It was then up to the rest of the musician to blast their way through their inhuman brutal Death metal with the speed of a freight train powered by a hundred roadrunners. There was also a fun sense of community during their set thanks to the speeches of the Keyser towards the crowd to thank them for their participation and to invite them to crowd surf (despite the strict stance against the practice as advertised by the venue). However, nobody seemed to have been penalized for their behavior which contributed to the joyful atmosphere. With the confidence of headliners and the mastery of experts, Origin delivered a perfect set of high-speed modern Death metal with all the force and the precision you could expect from their albums.
Eastern Front was next but their take on Black metal reminded me of Mac Donald. Mac Donald provides the illusion of food, Eastern Front plays Black metal with none of the atmosphere or the emotion.
As expected, Immolation provided the exact opposite with their apocalyptic Death metal. The legendary band deserves its status and proved it once more, starting with some recent material from Kingdom of conspiracy, they quickly moved to classics such as Father, you’re not a father, World agony or Burn with Jesus, played for the birthday of a friend in the room. The band had been absent from the UK for more than five years according to the band and they made a point to please their fans while still playing some solid songs from their latest album. The duo of Ross Dolan and Robert Vigna is still the main appeal of the band with Vigna displaying as always his contagious enthusiasm while playing complex licks. The many faces he pulls and the ease with which he manipulates his instrument makes for an entertaining live experience even without talking about the quality of the songs. Another remarkable set from Immolation concluded with the promise of a new album before the end of the year and more touring next year.
Bloodshot Dawn at the Boston Music Room seemed quite tame after such an onslaught but the crowd seemed very happy to welcome them with their modern melodic Death metal.
Finally, Marduk took the stage and provided to fans of Black metal the kind of brutal and cold entertainment they needed. Nonetheless, despite being more apt to the game than Eastern Front, I can’t say I enjoyed anything from their music which brought me to the door for an early ending. My personal taste put aside, the Incineration fest was definitely an enjoyable experience and I am definitely thankful for having witnessed the mastery of Origin and Immolation during the same day. If a repeat of the scheduling problem mentioned earlier could be avoided for next year, I would be happy to come back.