My second time seeing Testament at this venue although if my memory serves the first time was way back in 2005. The Koko really is a lovely venue for a metal gig visually speaking but with the ceiling being so high the sound does tend to get a little cavernous and loud but a great place nevertheless.
First up we had some supports to get through. Xerath is a band I've heard about before and tried a bit as well but it's not my cup of tea. It's sort of pretty technical at times but the root of the band seems to be in the Djent movement and I don't do Djent! They didn't get a great response it has to be said.
Next up were Malefice who I've actually seen before. They support on quite a few bills in and around London. They play melodic thrashy deathcore. They are not terrible and have some decent riffage but again try as I might I can't get it into it. The singer alluded to their lot on stage by saying they've died a death on the previous four nights of the tour. They fared a little better here in London though and a moshpit even started on the last song. Again not suitable support really for Testament and it's a shame they can't take a band like Suicide Angels out with them rather than these local deathcore bands.
There was a 9.45 curfew so Testament came out right on 8.15pm to fill their 90 minute set with as much music as possible. Of course they were mainly promoting new album Dark Roots...which to be honest hasn't excited me all that much. It has some great songs like Native Blood and True American Hate which were both aired and went down a storm but it also has some average tunes which don't really do much for me.
However I was mainly here for the good old classics, Alone in the Dark complete with extended crowd singalong section, my fave Testament song ever, Disciples of the Watch was monstrous as was the thrashtastic Over The Wall played at breakneck speed. Practice What You Preach can never be left out of a Testament gig and so it proved to be a real fan fave with full crowd sing along.
I was 2 rows from the front at the start of the show but there was such an almighty crush that I had to bid a hasty retreat for safer waters. Much too old for that malarkey! I couldn't take any decent photos as a result and decided to try and find a balcony spot but even that was nigh on impossible. The place was rammed from every corner. Anyway it was a good but not amazing show for me. It's always good to hear Chuck's roar though and those familiar kicking Testa-riffs that all thrashers know and love.
The New Order
True American Hate
More Than Meets the Eye
Dark Roots of Earth
Into the Pit
Practice What You Preach
Over the Wall
Alone in the Dark
Disciples of the Watch
D.N.R. (Do Not Resuscitate)
3 Days in Darkness
The Formation of Damnation