seps_tour_posterPerhaps it’s a sign of having lived on this island for over a decade when the first thing you do is complain about the fucking rain which when combined with the industrial action taking place on the London Underground Network, a.k.a. the fucking Tube strike, caused travel chaos for everyone. Including those of us trying to get from 1 side of London to the other to get to watch a trio of Brazilians and an American rip Islington a new one. And after the two and a half hour commute I was seriously ready to let my hair down and take some people down in the mosh pit.

Thankfully Primitai laid waste to those plans by draining away all that pent up fury with their extremely proficient, but sadly for me brand of power metal. They were in the death throes of “The Cannibal” when I started milling about trying to find a good vantage point to watch them from. Encouraging everyone to sing along to “Nocturnal Hordes”, they managed to elicit enough of a response for it not to have appeared a request made in vain, but it did feel like it doubled the length of an already long song. After announcing that “The Line of Fire”, taken from their 2010 release, was to be their penultimate song I realised I’d been watching them for 20 minutes already and they weren’t done yet. While the grandiose leads were played efficiently, they did drop the level of intensity in the live arena way too much causing my attention to wane. Finally ending it was “Scream When You See Us” from their latest release, which wasn’t a bad track and the promo video clip does it far more justice than they were able to live.

After a thankfully not too lengthy wait Eloy Casagrande slipped in behind his drum kit for his London début. The first thing I noticed was the amount of open space on the drums. If that was all he needed, so be it. As  Paulo Jr. and Andreas Kisser sauntered on stage, they were followed by a rather clean shaven Derrick Greene looking far more military than he did with the waist length dreads. The static noise intro for “Trauma of War” ended and the song began and so did the moshing. There was the briefest of respites for the bells, organs and choral intro before “The Vatican” was let loose on the room full of children with Derrick howling like a daemon. Having just played the opening two tracks from their new album, they took us back to their 2011 release and its title track “Kairos”, then back 21 years to “Propaganda” which had me feeling like a teenager again as I bounced around. Considering they are touring to promote the new album, it’s only fair that we got to hear another 2 in quick succession in the form of the chuggy “Impending Doom” followed by the bass heavy “Manipulation of Tragedy”. I wasn’t even aware there was a promo video for “Convicted in Life” until I started this review, and add to that having only listed to ‘Dante XXI’ a handful of times I can safely say that it almost felt like a new song to me, while “Dusted” however was far more familiar and had everyone in the pit bouncing and banging their heads. Earlier in the set Derrick announced that they were playing “The Age of the Atheist”, only to be told they weren’t, but this time he reassured us that they were at the correct point in the set for the song. Getting everyone singing the chorus wasn’t particularity difficult for “Dead Embryonic Cells” before they slowed things right down for the New Model Army song “The Hunt”, which Andreas informed us hadn’t been played live until this tour. The slow but steady build-up of “Spectrum” allowed everyone to catch their breath again, especially Derrick as he would need it when helping out on the drums for the second cover for the night, their version of the Nação Zumbi song “Da Lama ao Caos” which Andreas dedicated to the Brazilians in the crowd. and if that wasn’t enough, the stage was lit in a green hue with yellow spotlights criss-crossing each other for added effect. Of the next quartet of songs, I thought that the last one was the only one that actually being played at full speed and giving them a listen the following morning I can definitely say that “Inner Self”, “Territory”, and especially “Refuse/Resist” did feel a lot slower and were in dire need of Derrick getting out a second guitar to help Andreas with rhythm while he belted out the leads. “Arise” however felt spot on with exactly the right amount of aggression to complement the pace and was probably the highlight of the show for me. The obligatory end of show was delayed for the mandatory encore of “Ratamahatta” and the popular sing along “Roots Bloody Roots” where the entire venue quite happily obliged by shouting along ’til the end of the song.

Thankfully the trip home was rather uneventful and far quicker than the trip in, but I can’t say the same for the hordes that were fighting their way on to the buses outside the venue, which could’ve easily been used as clips for a zombie film.

(Review by Marco Gaminara)