Anyone up for a ‘Continental Crucifixion’, just put your hands up. Oh I see they already are. The old ones are the best and this line up is certainly a cracking one, speaking of which how do you like them Eggs of Gomorrh? Yes the oddest band name in a while certainly intrigued and this lot from Switzerland are given free range to open up proceedings tonight. They turn out hard boiled too, whipping up a veritable soufflé of riffs (ok I am gonna stop that now), this lot are dead serious. Hateful, churning and full on they are certainly a wake-up call for those venturing in early. Vocalist / guitarist AAMON.XVZ8 is a veritable barker and his voice booms out abrasively and songs like ‘Lust Of Murder’ really do hit right between the eyes. One song finishes and another batters in after a quick yell, it’s like being whacked over the head with a large stick, primitive, uncouth and violent war metal seems like a pretty apt description of it all. It’s all churned out in blood red lighting hue making the anger behind it seem to bite all the harder. Several long haired patrons submit entirely to their will at front of stage dexterously twirling away in co-ordination to the heaving sound and the band strike as a very good opener for the main band, scrambling more than a few heads during their short, sharp set.

Staying in Switzerland it’s really no surprise that the place suddenly fills up for Bölzer, I have already nabbed their debut album Hero at the merch stand and am looking forward to the barbed wings of songs like The Archer which don’t disappoint in the slightest. Vigorous and dynamic the duo take things up a notch KzR’s vocals hitting the croons, the melodic textures intertwining around them with frond-like tenacity and a hefty barrage at the back from HzR driving it all along. Bölzer have moved inward putting monitors around them in a smaller space and keep within its confines like it has some sort of magical properties. Everything seems great to my ears but not to KzR’s and he breaks out to harangue the sound engineer unhappy with the delay effects, something that bothers him several times during the performance. Perfectionism is a harsh mistress and that is exactly what it seems like he is striving for. Having seen the pair several times and watching their ascent there is definitely a buzz about tonight’s performance. The band may have got on the radar of the idiotic brigade along the way but here they seem to go down brilliantly, playing as though headlining with a good hour’s worth of material. New songs such as ‘I Am III’ fiery pulpit tempests and old ones like ‘Entranced by the Wolfshook’ battering gloriously powerful surges, which completely enthral.

“Ever heard of a place, I think it’s called Iceland? That was one of mine, I got an an award for it.” Nope must be getting confused its Svartidaudi not Slartibartfast, easy mistake. The band troop out covered in oily black ink paint and wearing masks, they look hostile with it and furrow into some cavernous hate fuelled lurching dissonance that is again clinically rendered. Songs are long and dense and are a lot to take in certainly if it is a first encounter with the band. The audience respond going suitably nuts unfortunately one gurning ape gets so excited he decides throwing his beer over singer Sturla is a good idea. It’s not and he gets kicked in the face and battered onto the ground, still he stands up continues gurning like he’s having the time of his life. Mountainous Flesh Cathedrals are built around things and musically it is mighty. At times it seems like there is some nightmarish near jazz constructions amongst the complex riffs and the band hit the occasional really stunning grooves, obviously all formidable musicians and well practiced at their craft. Vocals are coarse haranguing and hollering over the top of the strident instrumentation and Svartidaudi too play a long set stretching near to an hour in length. I was happy to surf away on the choppy jagged riffs and allow the vocals to bite my head off for the duration. Plenty more to discover here and this is a band I need to investigate a lot more thoroughly.

Well we can leave any form of outright complexity aside and get back to the base elements with Archgoat. The filthy Finns of songs such as ‘Nuns, Cunts and Darkness’ are about as subtle as a brick in the face and take us right back to primitive times. Been a while since catching Lord Angelslayer, Ritual Butcherer and now with recent recruit Goat Aggressor in action but I knew exactly what to expect. Gnarly and thuggish sounds are vomited from the blasphemous bowels of hell itself. The band either rumble and shat it out like angry diarrhoea or clench things together and try to force things out in craggy agonizing doom fed tension. Lurching out their anti-Christian hymns has the desired effect from the audience at the front, the pit opens up and the Neanderthals drag knuckles along the ground tossing each other about like mad chimps at an out of control tea party. It’s great to watch from a safe distance but fuck being in the centre of it.

The band feed off the negativity and give it back in spades. Lucifer is praised by all and the Goat Vulva is split in communion. Fists are thrust up in the air and the stench of Bolzer’s incense long having left there is a fetid vibe and rancour about the venue now.  The slower grooving parts are thick and tarry, bass sound rumbles around and goes straight for the guts on numbers like Goat And The Moon. There’s more than a bit of Beherit in it all too, one old God saluting another so to speak There’s nothing in the way of communication from the band, they just seem determined to spew out their set songs and no doubt get back to whatever unsavoury acts they carry out off the stage. Just as well too as I am beginning to have had enough of the turgid swampy flow of it all. Just as I am thinking this they rattle into ‘Hammer Of Satan’ bounce our skulls and smash the altar one final time and they are off. ¾ of an hour straight, no encore, no fun at all and definitely no more mosh. The house of the dead goat is now closed.  Thank-you and goodnight!

(Review and Photos Pete Woods)