Ramesses“They were warned…they are doomed…and on Friday the 13th nothing will save them…”

Ramesses were one of the most revered acts of the doom metal world, comprising ex members of the likes of Electric Wizard and Pombagira, so it’s unsurprising that there was a palpable sadness amongst fans when the trio announced they were calling it quits back in 2013. Adam went on to create music with 11Paranoias, alongside Mark, who also formed With the Dead with Tim. Three years later, Mark has departed from With the Dead and reunited with Adam to bring Ramesses back to life, and it seems rather poignant that their first show would take place on Friday the 13th

Liverpudlian lads, Iron Witch, know all too well the horrors of reformation and line-up changes, having recently undergone a pretty intensive change in band members themselves. As well as showing off their new members to the London audience, their classic ‘Single Malt’ sludge sound has also been given a polish. Their ‘tune low, play slow’ mantra has been shelved in favour of a faster, more aggressive brand of sludge that’s hardcore tinged in places and provides for a high-octane start to the evening.

Serpent Venom slow things right back down again, blanketing the Boston Music Rooms in a thick smog of traditional doom riffs and powerful vocals. Having been active for eight years, the four piece have had time to refine their sound and tonight marks one of their best performances yet. Newer material, such as ‘Let Them Starve’, sounds tighter than ever, while classic ‘Carnal Altar’ favourite ‘Devilshire’ has lost none of its potency.

Alex Hamilton (BOSSK) steps in to provide guitar duties for Ramesses this evening, for a performance that is suitably dark and relentlessly heavy. The guitar and bass creep and crawl along at an eerie pace, against a backdrop of heavy reverb, while Mark’s larger than life ride cymbal provides thunderous to intensify an already sinister mood. The real star of the show, however, is Adam’s voice the constant switches between shamanistic clean vocals and death rattle grows is hypnotic and, although the choice of set list is a strange one, it’s well performed and definitive proof that Ramesses are back in fine form.

(Review by Angela Davey)