Doom Over London, a three-day fest celebrating the best of Doom, and extreme metal in general, once more descended upon us for its sixth edition. We sent our plucky doom correspondent and assistant editor along to open his ears, grind his neck vertebrae and tell us all about it. [/tps_header]
Friday – 25/03/16
It’s a reasonably sparse turn out when we arrive midway through festival opener SardoniS’ set. The Belgian two piece throw out an impressive instrumental racket – lots of pacey drums, with some tribal, tom-heavy lines, and big grinding chords meted out meticulously. They’re a little rough around the edges, and although there are plenty of riffs, they are fairly nondescript. Dynamic soft/heavy passages don’t work for them as much as their faster sections do. [3/10]
Next up are Death/Black/Doom crew Malthusian. The Dublin lads favour lengthy compositions, with blasts of icy tremolo-picked guitars and frantic blast beats, adding tempo and a blackened edge. The guitars aren’t given as much prominence in the mix as bass, drums and vocals, which is a shame, but we get the full force of the bands’ three-way vocal attack. Bassist Pauric Gallagher’s voice is the most varied, running from shrieks to low death grunts, and his repertoire includes an impressive amount of throat-singing, which adds interesting, resonant depths to the band’s sound. [6/10]
Bathsheba take to the stage and continue to prove just how wonderfully incestuous the scene is – they feature the drummer from SardoniS (Pauric of Malthusian will later appear on guitar for Mourning Beloveth). The whole band get into it from the start, with vocalist Michelle Nocon playing air guitar and headbanging in-sync with the guitarist. As with SardoniS, Jelle Stevens throws down a battering, movement filled drum line, spurring on the frantic pacing of the chunky riffs. Said riffs are oftentimes massive, the bands’ fourth song features one of the stand out locked-in chord progressions of the ‘fest so far. It’s just a shame that the vocals are so patchy – not in terms of quality, they are easy enough on the ears, but in terms of ‘fit’ – sometimes they complement a riff nicely, but often they seem totally out of place, and it’s more than a little distracting. [4/10]
Unfortunately for us, our Good Friday listening was cut short by the combination of strong lager and a truly risky prawn-mayo sandwich. We’ll spare you the gory details, but we apologise to all the bands missed. On to Saturday!