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Thursday, 19 October 2017

A View From The Back Of The Room: Legions At Fuel Rock Club

Legions: Formicarius, Nonserviam, Misanthropic Existence, Incursion, Cranial Separation, Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff

HAIL SATAN! Now I have your attention I can tell you that Legions is an extreme metal underground showcase that takes place sporadically at Fuel Rock Club in Cardiff. Organised by those folks from Agrona, there's always a good mix of extreme bands on offer and enough to appeal to any fan of loud noises. It's a shame then that this particular event was very under attended, despite it being October, with no other major event on and it also coinciding with Friday the 13th, still those that did turn out made sure to cause as many violent 4 man pits as possible (one taking out our photographer!).

We descended into the bowls of darkness just as the show started with Cranial Separation (7) who's grindcore battery never fails to leave a ringing in your ears, it's neither nuanced or melodic just a non stop barrage of supersonic riffs and skull rattling kick drum. Cranial Separation are always a short, sharp, overly aggressive shock to the system and all the better for it.

Following on from the grind were Incursion (8) who were the first band to bring a bit of variation, their blackened industrial thrash was the almost polar opposite to the first band the three piece were decked out in Fallout-inspired Post-Apocalyptic gear, their songs feature heavy use of atmospheric tapes making the songs more cinematic in tone. Johnny (guitar) and Adam (bass) are up front and bring the zippy thrash riffs as Robbie brings up the rear with percussion, the band debuted two new songs at this show and they sound broader in scope than their earlier material although the vocals of Johnny still drip with venom as the riffs are a relentless industrial barrage much like SYL or Devildriver, whom Incursion follow by trying to incite as many pits as possible even making a wall of death that was properly done and led to many sweaty men bumping beer bellies, which is what you want at a metal show.

Once again everything changed when Misanthropic Existence (7) took to the stage now this trio were good musicians and they certainly believe 100% in what they are doing on stage but for me their brand of misanthropic, nihilistic extreme metal was just a little too jarring, that's my taste, I've never been fan of the rawer, truly cvlt black metal, bands such as Shining (the Swedish self-harming one not the jazz one) never do it for me. The pulled a healthy crowd but I had to pull myself out a few times as the Midlands extremity did get a bit overwhelming, probably the most stylistically different band on the bill but obviously for any band that subscribes to nihilism the show, this review or any comment made will mean bugger all.

London black metal act Nonserviam (7) came next now this was traditionally a purer forms of straight up black metal and defiantly sticking two fingers into what many consider to be the most sexist style of metal music (look at all the issues with Myrkur) Nonserviam are made up of Nadia (vocals), Dionne (guitar) and Louisa (guitars) with an unnamed male drummer behind the kit. The focal point of this band has to be Nadia who stands confidently and regally at the front of the stage, growling like a demon with the blackest of black metal roars only pausing to snarl what the next song is or get her waist length hair out of her corpse-painted face with one flick of her head. Standing astride her Dionne and Louisa riff away with ferocity both working the entirety of their fretboards peeling off riff after riff, however at times it did melt into a malaise as with out a bassist there wasn't enough oompf, still it was a glacial black metal at it's wildest readying everyone for the headline act.

The headline act were London based bombastic black metal act Formicarius (8) who not only had the biggest membership of all the band, also had the densest sound, oddly they also attracted the smallest crowd which was very annoying for those of us that like to see support of a scene, maybe the drink had stated to kick in but it's not much of an excuse. Especially when Formicarius were on top form imperious melodic black metal the twin screamed and growled vocals of Lord Saunders (vox/guitar) and Hægtesse (vox/bass) meant songs such as May The Rats Eat Your Eyes had all the bluster and grandeur of Cradle Of Filth and the early British black metal bands that favoured twin lead guitars and keyboards, Formicarius had all these basses covered the songs rang out thick fast and very heavy through as the sped through their 45 minute set. I'd have like to have seen more of them if I'm honest but this was clubnight after all so what we got was mere glimpse of one of the rising black metal stars. Yet again another excellent showcase of underground metal from the Legions team, it's a real shame there were so few people there, we can't stress this enough, if you want to keep it, support it.

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