Metal Hammer (UK) - - Contents - Kamio, Lon­don TOBY COOK

Full Of Hell, Metal Brew 2017, Acid King, Om­mad­don

US grind ag­i­ta­tors fight the hor­rors of hip­ster­ville

IT MIGHTN’T BE 2005 any­more, yet vis­it­ing east Lon­don it’s still dif­fi­cult to shake the sen­sa­tion that you’re in an episode of Nathan Bar­ley. Nearby bars serve burg­ers named af­ter dead pulp nov­el­ists to peo­ple who wear Game Boys as neck­laces and say they work as ‘self-fa­cil­i­tat­ing me­dia nodes’. But they sure turn out for gigs ’round here and tonight’s sold-out show is no ex­cep­tion. Un­for­tu­nately, the venue seem to have for­got­ten they’re host­ing a rammed evening of snarling, grind-heavy metal and con­spire to treat those at­tend­ing to one of the least plea­sur­able gig ex­pe­ri­ences in mem­ory – from the hip­ster-disco play­ing up­stairs at ear­bleed­ing vol­ume, to the lack of bar staff dis­pens­ing cans of beer priced at twice your monthly salary. Worse, tonight even the music can’t make up for the sense you’re be­ing taken for granted, as ev­ery band suf­fers from an ap­palling sound mix that ren­ders ev­ery­thing down to an im­pen­e­tra­ble slew of bass, vo­cals (oc­ca­sion­ally) and ‘pop­ping’ drums. First to suf­fer th­ese sonic in­dig­ni­ties is Bris­to­lian black­ened scream troupe WEEP­ING [6], the dy­nam­ics of their equally jar­ring and maudlin dirge be­ing ren­dered largely in­ert. De­spite their best ef­forts,

GRIEF TOURIST [5] fare even worse, their more noise washed, hard­core-lean­ing bar­rage ex­plod­ing out of the PA with all the dy­namic clar­ity of a wet fart. They make a great fist of flog­ging their merch, though. Re­mark­ably, a com­pe­tent sound en­gi­neer seems to emerge – briefly – for UN­YIELD­ING LOVE [6]. Bet­ter son­ics aside, the sheer in­ten­sity of the quar­tet’s stage pres­ence el­e­vates them tonight; their grind­ing, post-ev­ery­thing black­ened on­slaught pul­verises you from ev­ery angle. And if that wasn’t in­tim­i­dat­ing on its own, later their vo­cal­ist starts play­ing a rusty saw, then angle-grind­ing it in his own face. While it was their Merzbow col­lab­o­ra­tion that brought them into the wider con­scious­ness, FULL OF HELL

[7] are a dev­as­tat­ing unit in their own right. Not that you’d know it tonight thanks to an ut­terly ap­palling mix. Buried some­where un­der Dy­lan Walker’s tor­tured screams and drums that sound like bub­blewrap burst­ing in a tun­nel is Spencer Hazard’s death metal-in­flected gui­tar, but it’s largely in­audi­ble and the likes of De­lu­mi­nate or the apoc­a­lyp­tic Gor­dian Knot are drained of all threat. Frus­trat­ing doesn’t be­gin to cover it.

Un­yield­ing Love: bright sparks Full Of Hell are a tad frus­trated by their sound prob­lems

Full Of Hell: “Lemme at the sound guy…”

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