Azriel – Camden Underworld

By paul

Subverse 43 @ The Underworld, Camden,
3rd September 2006

Ahhh, Subverse at the Underworld. A place where fourteen year old metalheads from all over the South come to sniff poppers, dance violently and spend their parents’ money on non-alcoholic beverages while listening to some good metal. So this, the 43rd instalment of the monthly event is no different and today plays host to some of the best unsigned metal acts the UK has to offer.

First up we have THE CHASE. This South-London band have come a long way since their early days playing at the Croydon Cartoon, and today they put on a great show. Musically they’re somewhere in between Bullet for my Valentine and Every Time I Die, but their show has to be seen, if only for frontman Mikey Lloyd’s charismatic stage performance. He leads the band through a watertight performance, with definite stand-out tracks being ‘Addict’ and their rather unique cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Beat it’.

Sadly, second band on stage A STORY AT THREE fail to impress as much as The Chase. While not being awful, their music doesn’t set the Underworld alight, and their combination of old songs and a preview of the new album seems to confirm the fact that metal cannot survive on powerchords and unenthusiastic screaming alone.

Fortunately the next band to grace the stage of this dirty underground sweat-pit give us a lesson in music designed to piss off your parents. This, their last show with their current singer (as rather annoyingly he keeps telling us), is dirty, angry music at its finest and the music gives some definite nods to Killswitch Engage and ETID. It’s a shame to discover a band just before a massive lineup change like the one SYLOSIS is about to go through, and today showed us that this band could go on to much bigger things if they can find a suitable replacement vocalist.

Headliners AZRIEL prove to us all they’re deserving of the slot. Hailing from Glasgow, their delicious blend of metal and hardcore hasn’t suffered on the trip down south. The Scots look and sound the part today and show exactly how to do metal right and look set to follow in footsteps of bands such as Poison the Well and Shai Hulud. Today’s show proved a podium for some great young bands to display their talents and give a room full of teenagers a lesson in how to rock out. While the crowd may have been a bit too self involved in how much eyeliner they were wearing and how hard they could headbang to appreciate what was on offer here, I’ll be looking forward to next month’s Subverse if the music is as good as it was today.