Live Reports   


Artists : EvileWarbringerThe Fading
Venue : Underworld, Londres
Date : 24-01-2010
Crowd : Environ 250 personnes

It’s the start of the Infected Nations tour to continue promoting their new album with the same name and it is mainly a fresh new start for Evile. After the sudden death of their beloved bassist Mike Alexander, from now on it is Joel Graham who will be replacing him in the English band.

The aim of the tour will be to pick up things where they had left them and to introduce Joel to their fans. It is also a unique moment for the band, who are still appearing fragile, to finally turn the page.

The Fading

Just as the doors to the Underworld are about to open, we notice that people are running all over the place in a complete state of panic. The tour manager, the tour promoters and the band merchandising people appear to be completely stressed out. Meanwhile, the three bands are chilling backstage behind the decrepit curtain, calmly telling jokes and looking forward to a great night.

The Underworld is a small intimate room below the pub popular alternative neighborhood of Camden: The World’s End. The pub is very apocalyptic aptly named given that organizes concerts of extreme metal every night since the 80.

Tonight the pit is completely divided. At the rear of the small room we find the older thrash adepts, one arm on the bar and head held high. However, right in front of the stage is a whole other story. Four of five rows of over excited teenagers wearing Evile t-shirts have formed, and as a result, there is not the slightest bit of space to stand. It’s official, youth has taken over tonight and we know that means serious damage.

The first band playing tonight comes from Israel. The Fading are an emerging band who play conventional melodic death metal. They are renowned for having won Wacken’s annual Open Air Metal Battle 2008. As a result, the lucky buggers were given the opportunity to be signed unto Wacken Records label. They then got the chance to go off to Sweden to record their first album with producer Pelle Saether (Ebody Tears, Necrodeath, Carnal Forge). Consequently, our expectations were pretty high for tonight.

Absolutely no changes made to the lighting whatsoever since the stage is only equipped with three minor spotlights and because of this we don’t even realise that The Fading are already on stage. Their set is not very varied and the crowd doesn’t seem that impressed. However, it could be noted that the sound quality is really good and that Arie Aranovich’s solos are pretty damn good. Even if Ilia Badrov (vocals) is bursting with energy from start to finish, the audience don’t move an inch. He even tries to get the crowd going by thrusting his fist in the air old school style, but the pit just aren’t having any of it. It isn’t even as though the rest of the band were not trying either; each of they giving it their all as though they were performing for an arena full of people. Although the effort was much appreciated, the atmosphere remained the same.

The Fading

Despite this disappointing intro, the band’s attitude on stage is still admirable. The combo keep smiling the whole way through and the singer doesn’t once give up trying to resuscitate the venue. Unfortunately, as indicated by the band’s name itself, the music starts to fade in the background and gets lost in the crowd. We soon find ourselves more intrigued by the drunken teenager in the front row, who is the only person moving as he demonstrates his air drum solos. At the end of their set, The Fading did receive a sympathetic applause from the crowd. Needless to say, we have a feeling this was a forced gesture.

As they leave the stage with their head held high, the uncomfotable atmosphere finally disappears. This is a problem that often occurs for supporting acts that play in such small venues. It could be said that if they do not succeed in gripping the audience from the very first notes, then it is a lost cause. The Fading’s music is not bad, however, we get the feeling that they were unable to blend in with the dominant thrash/death theme of the evening. Just enough time to get a beer (which actually takes us quite a while since the queue consists maily of underage people with no I.D…) and it’s time for 45 minutes of utter madness with Warbringer!

John Kevill, Warbringer

This band from California, who have been in the limelight for a while now, much like Evile, are an emerging lot from the thrash metal revival wave. Their success is clear from the start: the second they arrive on stage, the crowd goes wild. A very hyper John Kevill (vocals) jumps on stage and give the crowd an evil gaze. Having hardly finished their first track, the thrash metallers get straight into the next song which happens to be even more brutal than the first, and without hesitating one second more, John orders the crowd to make a circle pit. The crowd obey his order instantly. They seem to be loving this combination of brutal thrash and death metal, that reminds us of Exodus and Slayer.

John Laux, Warbringer

We can see straight away that the whole of Warbringer’s musical depth relies on their singer’s energy. Crazy John is running around the stage like a kid hooked on sugar. The rest of the band try to follow him, yet they also seem to be attempting to avoid getting tripped up with his ever moving microphone lead. The crowd hardly have the strength to stand up as the band are about to leave, yet the band seem to be doing absolutely fine. After such a surge of energy, the crowd calms down and each to their own goes off to find their missing shoe.



It is finally time for Evile to come on stage. Under a roar of growls and claps from the crowd, we get a sense that this concert is quite out of the ordinary. The faces of the four players are filled with emotion and before even picking up their instruments, Matt Drake (vocals) offers to share a few words to begin with. The English singer starts by thanking all of the fans and all of the bands that showed them support since Mike Alexander’s passing. He insists on the fact that the band is happy to have chosen Joel Graham (bass) as the replacement bassist. Finally, Matt claims that the last few months have been very tough, yet they are now ready to put the past behind them and that this will be the last time this tragedy will be evoked. Of course, the crowd reacts by chanting back “Mike! Mike! Mike!” in unison, and this is the perfect moment to start the gig.

Matt Drake, Evile

What could be better than to start off with a track as stimulating as “Infected Nations”. The song’s climbing intro manages to capture the attention of the whole audience and as it reaches its climax, we get a real sense of the band’s intensity on stage.

Ol’ Drake is a guitar genius and he is not shy to show it. When you first see him, with his long pointy beard and evil goblin charms, you instantly feel that he is probably the joker type in the band. Joel; Graham seems to have integrated the band perfectly, Ben Carter (drums) still appears s scary as ever and the ingenious Matt Drake still remains as tranquil. Evile might not move around on stage as much as Warbringer but they still headbang all the way through and the connection between the crowd and the band is almost palpable.

Ol’ Drake, Evile

Their set is not very different to any of their previous concerts. The most famous songs are all there; such as the excellent “Demolition Now” from the latest album and a few songs from their first album Enter The Grave. Notably, the song “For Those About To Die” which reminds us a lot of Sodom’s take on thrash metal, and the song that made them famous in England, “Thrasher”. Thesecond half of the concert also consisted of “Bathe In Blood”, which ought to be compared with “Reign In Blood” because of the songs’ ridiculously obvious similarities. After a short break, Evile are back for their encore “Enter The Grave” which turns out to be just enough to finish us all off. Matt still takes the time to say thank you again and to ask us all to bring one extra friend to their next gig so that they might be able to play in a bigger venue next time. Brixton Academy perhaps…

Joel Graham, Evile

As we leave the room that is now so stuffy, it has literally turned into a sauna, we ask ourselves whether Evile really are as much of a thrash revolution as people claim. Having started off as a covers band, we understand how their music can convey such similarities with bands such as Exodus, Overkill and Testament. However, we hope that they will manage to find their own pathway somehow so that they can get away from their copy-cat reputation. According to the amount of talent these guys display, this is just a matter of time!

Live Report : Izzy
Photos : Alexander Milan Tracy

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