Friday, January 24, 2014

Lamb of God totally killed it @ Brixton Academy

Ok, This time I was about to miss this gig thinking that I have seen LOG twice already and I know the drill so very well that it won't hurt. I will be fine without seeing them and boy, I was so wrong when I thought I have seen the best of LOG. When I arrived at the venue the line was really really long, probably the longest I have seen for any gig. I have changed my telecom service provider from O2, so I cannot use special jump the queue and join the priority queue either. Anyway after seeing a lot of people passing by us, when I finally arrived at the venue this band called as Huntress was performing.  I saw it from a distance before moving into the zone, I was not impressed at all. Though I have heard good things about the band, so we moved closer to the stage, but I was still not all that impressed. When you are in the crowd the vibe catches on and you start enjoying a bit more, it is all contagious. Well to be fair the singer of huntress is pretty damn good, she can pull very high notes. Most metal lead ladies have impressive vocal ranges, but it is easy for ladies to pull soprano ranges and this one in particular did that shrilling sound with a lot of vibrato when she screamed about witches!!! She carried on singing in very high pitch for a long duration, it was damn cool. Technicalities asides, I still cannot get myself to like it; I mean I do not like big players like Angela Gassow or Cristina Scabia and I absolutely hate bands like Nightwish and Delain. I donno why I cannot find female vocalist as kick as Janis Joplin, Debby harry or Joan Baez in Metal scene. They just don't stand out any more. 
Anyway huntress were alright for their kind of gig, they did couple of songs before they did a song called as ¨I want to fuck to.... death" which is written by Lemmy himself and the singer described it as "how fucking romantic!" With loud screams and a lot of thanks you and flying kisses the huntresses finished off. The next on stage were Polish death metallers Decapitated. For voice check the vocalist shouted ¨123Slayerrrr" and I was like did he just..... And then for sound check they played Pantera's walk. Entire auditorium was singing ¨Can you see I am easily bothered by persistence." My god! I knew this is going to get fucking brutal. Ok now a note on nuisances caused by scene teenagers. While I am up for some quality moshing, I am also a believer of  moshing with proper moshing etiquettes like mosh with people who are moshing and don't shove and push everyone around who is just enjoying the show. But this show as full of teenagers whose primary goal in life is moshing after getting hammered, I believe some of them have not even tasted alcohol before in their lives, but hey this is the time to just annoy everyone and act like a dumbfuck. Decapitated performed an electrifying show, they are very technical in nature and absolute tight. I can tell by the music that this band is some very serious shit, the double bass and bass lines were fucking brilliant. One thing which was uncommon was a lot of pre recorded musical interludes, where they disappear from stage and appear with a lead and drum solo few times during the while performance. The lead singer has really really long braids, such that they were hanging lower than his knees. With consistent headbanging you know they are a useful weapon in death metal gig.
Anyway, at this point I was standing in the second row and in the middle of the stage. I knew it was a bad idea in general but I thought I would be fine with some pressure and crushing but second time in a row, I couldn't have been more wrong.
After a lot of chanting "Lamb of God!!! Lamb of God!!! Lamb of God!!!" the stage was darkened and Chris Adler was first to arrive and followed by guitarists and then Randy, who happened to have a beard for some reason. Never seen Randy with a beard. Anyway they kicked off with Desolation and the crowd went absolute mental. I was kicked, shoved, pushed, trampled all at the same time. I somehow thought God, I am going to faint with this much pressure. I had no chance to headbang or do anything I was just being thrown from one spot to another. With next song Ghost walking the crowd became a bit better but as soon as that double bass, leads and scream kicked in, the same thing happened again. I decided to go with the crowd and move away from the centre, but there was no fucking escape. I had no control whatsoever over my movements or my position, everything was on mercy of the crowd. This is first time I have seen how brutal the LOG gig can get, I mean I escaped this pressure in Download and bloodstock, which have much more crowd. But here I was surrounded by half naked teenagers everywhere, whose primary business today was to cause turmoil in the gig. I was running out of breathe and sweating like a dog. Anyway after the song finished Randy introduced the guitarist Paul waggnor from ¨Between the buried and me¨. He said Morton couldn't be here because of a family emergency and for Lamb of God we always maintain Family first and band later. People cheered as it always works in this part of the world. He asked, So how many of you have to work tomorrow? some people raised their hands and some shouted. Well, you know how does it feel to go to work everyday, it is like "taking a walk in hell". So the next song they performed was Walk with me in hell. For me it was quite close to being in hell, since I was still in midst of moshing insanity, which was not stopping even after two songs. Next song was hourglass, which started as soon this one finished without much delay. This time I was a bit outside the pit, I was close to the stage but still in first three rows. Randy started talking about how much he loves England and talks about how England is first country which recognized Lamb of God outside America and everyone of you is fucking Mental. The next song started with those damn Drums, which were shooting blast beats and double bass like an Apache helicopter gunning down with bullets and missiles. This song is called Set to fail, it is set for constant non stop headbanging with insane speed. This was first time in my life when someone's hair were hitting me when the dude was doing the windmill and now I knew how does it feels to be on receiving end. I was still nowhere in position to headbang properly, but I have let myself let freely float in the crowd and move my head and body in rhythm of crowd, it was like I was part of this gigantic cruel wave assimilating metalheads like pacman eating dots, it was majestic. I don't have to balance myself, I don't have to position myself, I don't have to worry about getting hit or fallen, it was all automatic. It was so wonderful that I felt I can live in this euphoria for a long time.
For some reason the whole band went inside and there was no light and it felt that this was bit too early for an encore, but everyone starts shouting Lamb of God!!! Lamb of God!!!. Randy comes back with "Now you have got something to die for". The crowd was a bit less violent now, I can headbang with the right rhythm and pace. The moshpit was still very active but a bit smaller. This time crowd was creating a wall, close to me, I wanted to be a bit away from it. As soon as the drums go wild, people starts running towards each other, just hitting and pushing and all kinds of adrenaline driven craziness. Randy asked the crowd again, how is everyone doing? and crowd howled. Randy was like you guys are so fucking awesome, we love you, this next one is called "undertow". I was utterly tired at this point, I enjoyed the great riffs and screams and insane drumming heavily. It was all a great treat to enjoy in this overcharged sweaty environment.
Whoever appeals to the law against his fellow man is either a fool or a coward. Whoever cannot take care of themselves without that law is both. For a wounded man shall say to his assailant, 'If I live, I will kill you. If I die, You are forgiven.' Such is the rule of honour. With almost everyone repeating the word, the song kicked off. It was thrilling to hear this brilliant song live again. The song progresses slowly and goes into state of consistent frenzy and then drops down and continue its pace to dive again into bursts of euphoric drumming and singing which can only be justified with headache causing fast headbanging. To make matter more sinister, the next song they performed was called "Ruin". Motherfucking roller coaster of a poem written with drumming so genius that  it will make the Devil himself ask the question, "who the fuck is this Drumming Devil?" Ladies and gentlemen that is Chris Adler for you. Despite him being so scrawny looking, the power packed by this piece will blow you like a grenade thrown right onto your face. I was perspiring like a marathon runner after completing the entire race, with my heavy jacket and this kind of entropy it was hot as hell inside the hall. They performed another song called as In your words following the Ruin without any break. I rested for the most part of this song, it is your usual LOG song, nothing special about it but nevertheless a good song. They all gathered around and start throwing sticks and plectrums and starting thanking and shit. I was like woah, they have not performed a hell lot of signature songs, what the fuck is happening?
Lights went out and some kids were starting to slip away, one of the biggest problems with extreme metal moshpit crowd is that they exhaust all their energy and enthusiasm by the time best of the lot is still not not over. I was waiting here and even the chants were not as energetic as you would expect for encore. Anyway they returned back after a bit of time. Randy started talking again about how awesome the England is and then he talked about the band huntress, which is from LA and touring with them and said they have the only good looking member in the whole group. Then he talked about Decapitated, who are from poland and one of the best and most respected act in the whole death metal Genre. After a bit of talking Randy asked how many people want him to shut the fuck up, LOL! The next song they performed was "Vigil", one of my favourite songs, after seeing them three times before, this is first time I have seen them perform Vigil. Oh the starting line of "Our Father thy will be done" and then the second line "We have denied this life its worth" and the drum and guitar that follows with every chorus. This was sex served on a toasted crumpet. Totally Loved that song, every second of it. Randy's intense singing and simple riffs and complex leads makes it my absolute favourite. The song followed another classic "Laid to rest". All songs were performed with absolute brilliance. Randy now stops and starts talking to the crowd. First he asks how many of you are from London? and how many of you are outside the London? How many of you are England? Then he points at John Campbell and asks him if he is from England. John was like NOO!!! Then he says it doesn't matter where you guys are from, but you guys are bunch of Rednecks!!! This when all the hell break loose. Entire crowd goes into the berserker frenzy, with first drum beats the heads starts rolling like a propeller the push the shove and the trampling is all back. HOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THIS IS A MOTHERFUCKING INVITATION!!!!! THE ONLY ONE YOU WILL EVER GET!!!!!!!! HOOOOO!!!!!!!. With each beat blasts the moshpit gets crazier and crazier. One of the best experiences I ever had in a rock concert. Inspite of this feeling of getting exhausted and passing out, I was still performing with all my reserve energy. This songs makes you believe in the devil and how has he blessed Chris Adler with skills that makes most drummers fade in comparison. The wall of death was closing in as the song ended and I was somewhere at the periphery of this unstoppable brutality. At the end of the song, someone dressed as panda was crowd surfing. The bassist was pointing Randy towards Panda, who kept missing the panda, but they were laughing like crazy about the whole panda thing. I thought that must be it, but the next song was Black label. This was getting totally unholy. The brutality was not not stopping, it was just getting stronger and stronger. It was just ridiculous how good this gig was getting by every fucking song. But I knew this would be last. The headbanging continued inspite of the fact that I couldn't feel my neck and my throat was hoarse, I didn't had any fluid in last few hours and I was drenched in sweat. I stood there in order to get either a plectrum or something when they finished. It was like a breather after the dust has settle after a monstrous battle. As I was leaving the place, I was thanking the devil as he has shown me the right path to actually come for this concert inspite of the fact that it seemed a bit too much to watch LOG for the third time, but it was best 19.50 £ ever spent.