Anterior, Xerath, The Safety Fire, Subversion @ Camden Barfly

9th May 2011, Review by Jo Blackened
Photography by Michelle Murphy

There was no doubt tonight was going to be a great gig, with the current line-up, especially seeing Xerath who have just released their new album and never seeing these guys before I was looking forward to seeing what tonight held!
The barfly is a small, intimate venue but very comfortable with large bar, seating area with the gig venue upstairs.
I was quite surprised seeing these guys perform here, due to the small size of the place.

First on was UK band ‘Subversion’; a six piece metal band from London.
I’ve seen these guys’ play afew times now and I have to say they just get better and better!

Despite the small crowd they played amazingly and their stage presence is amazing!

They were definitely on top form tonight with vocalist ‘Spencer Haynes’ growls echoing throughout the room, as well as some great backing vocals from ‘Kai Giritli’ and ‘Chaz Barnes’ who was also sporting a new hair cut!
Despite looking slightly squashed on a small stage all six members played a great set tonight and it was great to hear them play new tracks from their recently released album ‘Lest We Forget’, which included the track ‘Treason’.

Towards the middle of their set, the place started to fill up and these guys had a great audience reaction, it was clear they had fans here tonight. They even managed to start a two-man mosh pit which was quite amusing and I had a feeling this was just a taste of things to come, such a great start to the night!
It was a shame these guys were first on, with a shorter time limit as I was really enjoying their set.

Second band on was ‘The Safety Fire’; a five piece Progressive Metal band from London.
The band only formed in 2006 and has recently released an EP, but I have to say these guys really didn’t do it for me.
I have listened to their stuff online and thought they sounded better than they did live tonight.
Maybe it was their genre that I wasn’t feeling, bit too metalcore for me, or the vocals maybe? Or maybe it was their lack of stage presence? Or lack of originality? Or it could’ve been the checked shirt worn by vocalist ‘Sean McWeeney’, I never trust a guy who wears checkered shirts!

Was a shame really cause despite the screaming vocals, the clean vocals showed that ‘Sean McWeeney’ does actually have a pretty good voice. But I really didn’t think these guys fitted onto the bill tonight, given the rest of the line-up.
They did have some interesting melodies, and I enjoyed the music much more than the style of singing, but I did enjoy their set more towards the end, but they didn’t come close to the energy and level set by ‘Subversion’ and I think the audience reaction showed the same, sorry guys.

Third band on was Xerath, an absolutely amazing four piece band from UK, who have just released their second album ‘II’ on Candlelight records. This was the band I had come to see tonight!

I seriously cannot put into words how amazing these guys are. They have such immense stage presence, amazing aggressive vocals by ‘Richard Thomson’ with all members playing a fantastic tight set throughout and impressive guitaring from ‘Owain Williams’, these guys did not disappoint.

With the crowds’ reaction tonight it was obvious a lot of people had turned up to see these guys play as the crowd went crazy for them, with metallers flying everywhere, creating an impressive mosh pit with the rest of us trying to find safe corners to hide in.

Again, its surprising seeing these guys play on such a small stage and I’m looking forward to seeing them play again at the end of the week, supporting ‘Anaal Nathrakh, but despite the small stage, the intimacy definitely makes up for it and towards the end of their set the crowd went crazy and all you could see where metal horns in the air, a great response from everyone.
‘Xerath’ are most definitely a band you need to see live and I definitely recommend purchasing their new album!

Last band on tonight was ‘Anterior’; a five piece Melodic Death Metal band from Glasgow.

These guys have known each other for awhile now, with them first releasing a self funded demo in the summer of 2004 and last year the band completed writing for their second album, it wasn’t long for them to get an impressive fan base.
I’ve not seen these guys perform before but seeing as the energy was high and everyone rushing to the stage and shouting their names, before the guys had even come on, I assumed they were going to be good….I wasn’t wrong!
These guys are just amazing live and put on a fantastic show tonight.

The growls coming from ‘Luke Davies’ were more than impressive and all members played perfectly and interacted with the crowd well. Again there was no chance of getting close to the stage with metallers flying around everywhere again, with the room turning into one massive mosh pit!

It is clear this band is loved! With the crowd showing their appreciation to each and every song and with ‘Luke Davies’ talking to the crowd in between their songs, it kept the energy high, but despite not hearing everything he was saying I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever heard so many ‘fuckings’ in one night, but it was ‘fucking’ awesome!

Such a fantastic way to end the night, with all bands being amazing…apart from one.
Many thanks to Owain Williams for putting me on the guestlist last minute!