Havok w/ Warbringer, Gorod & Exmortus at Underworld, Camden. - 4/4/17

It was a warm, Tuesday evening outside the Underworld, Camden. John Kevill, singer of Warbringer ran around the que recording the fans excitement. As I entered the venue, I managed to find a great view of the stage while Exmortus began their set.

Exmortus [8] are an American, extreme metal band. The first thing I noticed about the band was how young the lead guitarist and bassist looked. But, all four members blew me away with the energy they brought to the performance. They were head banging to every song and they all had massive smiles on their faces, which was great to watch. It was clear they wanted to be up on that stage performing to all those people. They interacted with the crowd frequently, getting them to cheer and chant. I was highly impressed with the solo switching that Jadran Gonzalez and David Rivera shared. The standout song they performed was "Moonlight Sonata (Act 3)", it oozed passion and progression and the crowd loved it. At one point, the guitarists played each other’s guitars while hugging one another. They didn’t miss a single note, it was incredible.

Next on were French, tech-death gods Gorod [9.5]. They jumped straight into their performance with mind blowing riffs and the deepest of growls. The guitars caught my attention initially as they looked so simple in comparison to usual metal guitars. As I looked closer, I noticed that both guitars had seven strings instead of the usual six. This band stole the show for me, my jaw dropped for nearly every song. I couldn’t take my eyes off the stage. They had great chemistry and guitarist Mathieu Pascal grabbed the crotch of bassist Benoit Claus which was hilarious. The band danced and squatted across the stage with huge smiles across their faces. Vocalist Julien "Nutz" Deyres continuously interacted with the audience and they were going nuts. He also put in the microphone in his mouth several times for better sounds and for comedic effect which was so funny. Their new track "Being a Jerk" got the crowd pitting and thrashing. A reminder that metal can be technical and brutal but also so much fun. I would happily pay good money to watch them again.

Next were American thrashers, Warbringer [7]. They entered the stage dramatically, and the crowd instantly lost their minds and started pitting. Singer John Kevill interacted with the audience from start to finish, making them scream and run around like children. The entire band showed great energy, but John Kevill owned the stage. I was blown away by his performance, he is an incredible performer. While belting out a song, he fell into the crowd and they carried him like a god. Bassist Jessie Sanchez also went into the crowd to perform a track, and the technicians frantically ran around to find him. He soon appeared, playing to his heart’s content with a grin spread across his face. The crowd loved every second of their performance, every person was chanting and pitting. They particularly loved "Living in a Whirlwind", the standing area became a giant circle pit which was insane to witness. There was even a huge wall of death, which sent everyone flying. I personally did not enjoy their music, but their performance was incredible.

Last but not least was American thrashers Havok [8]. Their entrance was intense and tension building. You could feel the anticipation from the crowd. They blew onto the stage with "Point of no Return", which made the crowd erupt into a vicious pit. It was clear to see the band were exhausted, the tempo seemed lower than usual. However, after they performed a few tracks they really got into the swing of it. Singer David Sanchez screamed “We’ve come to deliver the riffs” then flew into the new track "Hang ‘Em High" which was astounding. Their energy got better as the night progressed, and the band mates joked around with each other on stage. Bassist Nick Schendzielos turned his guitar into a light-covered party machine. There was not a great deal of crowd interaction, but they were lapping up every song with delight. They created a giant wall of death for the track "Fatal Intervention". How the crowd had any energy left I don’t know. There were several crowd suffers which seemed to ruin the performance a bit, they kept knocking things over and getting in the way. Because it is such a small venue, there was not a lot anyone could do to stop them. They continued on regardless and smashed every single song, Nick Schendzielos also ran into the crowd and pitted with them. It was a great performance as always, and every single person there looked like they had a great time.


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