Monday, 7 March 2016

Votum/kingcrow Live Report

I'm a total newcomer to Poles Votum so my attendance a this gig was based purely on the fact that I'm off for the week so I could go to this gig without worrying about getting up early the next day for work. Well of course I still have to half like the bands in question and you could probably say I do half like'm. Well Votum I didn't know until I some buzz for Ktonik and saw the lead video, Satellite. I wouldn't say I immediately loved it 'cause I don't tend to be into the dark metal scene much at all but something about the rousing chorus in Satellite intrigued me. It was mind numbingly heavy yet carried enough of that dark melody that makes some older Anathema attractive to me. Not saying these guys are as good as Judgement era Anathema but it's not a million miles away. I heard the full album a couple of times and the cheap ticket price also helped in making my decision. plus the Underworld is so easy to get to so all systems go for a Sunday night of depressing, melancholic atmospheric metal.

There was some delay getting in to the venue for some reason or another but eventually the doors opened and the hordes streamed in. I jest when I say hordes of course. It is a shame but this is one of the most poorly attended gigs I can ever remember at the Underworld. Maybe 50 at it's height. A damn shame for the band and I doubt they'll come again.

First up were a UK prog metal band by the name of Spiral Key. Their music was slightly djentrified if anything with stop start riffing with heavy bass and drums. The guitarist/singer unfortunately just wasn't my cup of tea. His melodies were not warm or memorable and he had this slightly awkward stage manner. Not bad altogether but not something I'd probably seek out much in the future. There is one video of them on youtube if anyone's interested to check them out.

Next up were co-headliners Kingcrow from Spain. I actually saw them supporting Redemption here at this very same venue a few years ago now. They have moved on a lot from then no doubt. I am not a huge fan of theirs I must admit. Their take of prog metal is a bit different than what I normally like in prog but it seems they've gotten a hell of a lot better and more confident over the years. I don't know their songs at all if I'm honest but every song of theirs had something interesting about it, be it a stark vocal, or an interesting riff or melody. The singer especially has improved a lot from what little I recall. The guy still has a strong accent when speaking but when singing he sounds pretty smooth and crystal clear. I enjoyed their set quite a lot even whilst not recognising the tunes. Their music tended to be more melodic and less heavier and dense than what Votum proved to be afterwards. Definitely a suitable dual headline for this bill. The crowd was at it's high point at this stage but still way way below a 100. I tried counting and it was just around 40-50 bracket with maybe a few more milling around where I couldn't see them. Still no people meant you could get right up to the front and check them out up close and personal. Kingcrow played enthusiastically though I think you could tell they were a bit disappointed with the turnout and yet they had the best of it.

The Drowning Line
Right Before
The Moth
At The Same Pace
The Deeper Divide
If Only
This Ain't Another Love Song
Fading Out, Part III
Morning Rain
In Crescendo

As Votum were getting ready for some reason the crowd thinned out even more. I don't know if most of the people that did bother to turn up were Kingcrow fans or what, but Votum started playing to about 30 and probably ended up playing to about 10. Their set did start a bit late, so I guess some people left due time issues but damn they missed a heavy set by the Poles. Now apparently the singer is a new guy and they had a different singer on Harvest Moon, their previous album. However the new guy fits like a glove. His accent is quite audible, but it sort of adds a charm all of it's own. T

hey played the whole of Ktonik which was good for me as it's the only album I know. I don't like every song but there's quite a few that I do and live they sounded monstrously heavy. The singer had enthusiasm on stage even though they were playing to literally no-one. A few die hard Poles were out and a few die hard old English dark proggers, Floyd fans, Riverside fans etc and then there's me! A power metal guy who just happens to have a passing interest in the album.

My fave songs were of course the massive Satellite, the epic Prometheus, the gargantuan Spiral and the morose duo of Horizontal and Vertical. They played just past the allotted curfew of 11 o'clock due to the time delay. I'll never be a huge fan of this style of metal as I enjoy happier music much more but there's something mesmerising about this band Votum and even though I'm sure they were pretty gutted no one turned up they still gave it their all for those who did. A very heavy night of downbeat metal in the end, I guess the London massive was having a Sunday night party and weren't in the mood for the dark shit!

Dead Ringer
Stranger Than Fiction
Last Word

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