The Great Old Ones @ The Black Heart, Camden

21st March 2015
Review by Ben Spencer
Videos by Jo BlackenedThe Great Old Ones Flyer

After waiting around in the bar downstairs and catching parts of tonight’s sound check, Old Empire Promotions entreat London Metal fans to an evening of anarchic noise. From the home grown talent of Conjurer and Bast, to the French pioneers of post black metal The Great Old Ones.

With a semblance of Metal hungry fans congregating towards the sound of Conjurer [4/5], the band display a mastery over their sound with blistering shrieks and sinister sounding riffs remaining ever present.

They also display a good crowd interaction as the vocalist announces that tonight bands are strong influences on their style. The bassist informs fans that he is renowned for being tight with money but encourages fans to check out the merch stall. The quintet launches headfirst into further metallic disarray with ’A Flesh Weaker Than Ash’ that see’s onlookers nodding remaining fixating towards their procession of heavy guitars and relentless blast beats.

Following up with ’The Old Gods’, the bass guitarist departs from the stage and starts throwing himself around among the crowd. While the remaining members plough through on stage, jumping between vocal transitions and melodic passages with ease.Conjurer remains one of the best opening band’s to feature at a gig for some time. With a strong presence and tight song structures, their work remains wholly engaging throughout their set. Great work guys.

Next up, Bast [4/5] prove to be a very different beast. With very little interruption between songs and with a more minimalist approach, they barge onward with their post black sensibilities with no respite. Their tracks jump between guitar driven angst and daunting drum work. Meanwhile, the backing vocals remain of the same tortured disposition as that of Steve Von Till, and this is no way a bad thing either!

As the trio carefully laces together sweeping melodies with dissonant textures, their rage remains one of their strongest selling points with several metallers head banging toward the front of the stage. Their proggier elements also intertwine with the spree of bass drum kicks, showing just how versatile they are.

While it may have been difficult to discern one track from the next, Bast offer up a well refined sound that is a true testament to their professionalism. Full of inspirational walls of noise and dedication, it is easy to see how these guys have accumulated such a loyal following over the years.

As the venue’s dim lighting set up cuts out, the eager and now packed out venue remains in complete darkness. After a brief spoken dialogue, The Great Old Ones [4.5/5] assume positions on stage and unveil a refreshing display of forward-thinking black metal. ‘Antarctica’ ruptures with brooding riffs and catastrophic drumming from the outset and instantly sweeps the small room into a congregation of roaring fans who immediately flood into the front of the stage.

They also come with a strong theatrical approach, as their blinding light display that both immerses fans and has them squinting afterwards. The cinematic scale of ‘The Elder Things’ remains a personal stand out moment. With wind effects and piano led introduction, and a foreboding sense that hell is about to break loose, the quintet deliver an array of weighty riffs and throat tearing vocals that is nothing short of staggering.

Closing off with, ‘The Ascend of Truth’ the intense drumming raises the bar even higher. Everything from the dense guitars to the harsh shrieks collides at full force as fans raise fists and half drunk beer glasses.

The Great Old Ones show us how you can take an idea and develop into something that is it truly your own. The calibre of their sound proves how they have become one of the key figure heads within the French black metal scene. With a live performance that far surpasses expectations, these guys are ripping apart and redefining the term epic in a whole new and exciting way!

The Great Old Ones set list

1. Antarctica
2. Visions of R’lyeh
3. The Elder Things
4. Jonas Awakening
5. The Ascend The Truth

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