Agrona w/ Tides Of Sulfur, Levitas, Trolls In the Mist & Sepulchre | Fuel Rock Club

With the sun still blaring down like the bright smug bastard that it is, Fuel tonight proofed to be a safe haven from those unforgiving rays. With black metal firmly on the menu tonight, the darkness was more than welcoming.

Jumping in are Swansea trio Sepulchre [4] who have their fair share of charisma, but lack in the imagination department. Nothing new is brought to the table as they rely too heavily on a garage band sound that is ultimately unsatisfying and cringingly childish. Trolls In The Mist [6] step up the intensity and wear their traditional black Norwegian metal influences proudly on their sleeve. Though immersive and spine-shatteringly heavy, the Tolkien fantasy overtones came across a tad cliché and a little on the nose. Despite some serious tuning issues, they proofed fun nonetheless.

Enough can’t be said about Levitas [8.5] who have clocked on to the contemporary tide of extreme music that is peeping its head in the underground. Bursts of reverb soaked screams to a blasting backdrop of sonic picking guitars; fucking hell, where have these guys been hiding? Skull crushing drums that grab every single hair at the back of your neck and proceed to shit themselves into submission. Building upon these haunting outcries, Levitas build up an atmosphere that’s soft and eerie that envelop the senses. Taking a page from the book of Oathbreaker, they may be small but are living proof of where the future is heading.

Beefier than a roided-up bull doing CrossFit, Tides Of Sulfur [6.5] combine fast screeching metal with a hardcore attitude. An interesting mix as the boys are clearly having a whale of time playing, which shows. For a three piece, the sound punches the wind from your stomach immediately without letting up throughout most of the set. At times, it did seem their overbearing interpretation of what a beatdown should be came off as parodic. Still, an interesting formula that is worth exploring.

The might and presence Agrona [9] is as triumphant as their reputation proceeds. Fuel is transformed into a smoky cavern of darkness that envelopes a crowd that swells tenfold at this point. Bloodied skulls wrapped in barbed wire, corpse paint, symphonic overtures, the seven-piece know how to put on the best black metal show in South Wales. Vocalist Taranis bellows with a deep and commanding tone that would make a boulder cry. Pleading for violence, the pits emerge furiously as the atmosphere is so concentrated that you are taken against your will into the hellish underworld Agrona have sculpted.

Currently working on their debut album, we are blessed with some of the best material the band have written. 'Unbound' pulverises every inch of your brain that left us gasping for breath. Forty-five minutes was not enough to truly explore this band. Given the size and ambitious grandeur this outfit are chasing down like a pissed off buffalo with someone’s thumb up its bum, a larger stage is where this band need to be. But when you’re this close to the action, we certainly aren’t complaining. You cannot miss this band.