As the Barfly prepares to open its doors once again to a crowd of thrashing metalheads, there is a surprisingly chilled out vibe emanating from the venue on this Tuesday night. The beer is flowing and the bands are hanging out at the merch stand chatting with the fans. It’s almost a shock to the system when the bands start their sets.
South American Thrashing machine Necroriser (8) take to the stage with an incredible amount of force and it’s not long before masses of denim and hair are charging around the tiny venue in a frenzied manner. Oozing their early Sepultura influences from every orifice, Necroriser fill the room with a barrage of sonic destruction and considering that they are only a three-piece, this is quite a wall of sound that they produce. Frontman Vermeyo tears through the setlist and glares across the pit, revelling in the madness. The riffs pack a savage punch and Mighell also shreds through his solos with blinding fury whilst Ruben offers more punishment with his array of blastbeats and groove-filled drumming. With an album almost ready for release, Necroriser are making huge steps forward and are definitely ones to watch on the London circuit.
A slightly different act is to follow, in the shape of Elm Street (7). These horror-obsessed, Thrash-tinged, Trad metallers take a few tracks to hit their stride, a noticeable turning point being a brilliant cover of the Judas Priest classic ‘Breaking the Law’, but soon enough, fists are up and heads are banging. Tracks like ‘Leatherface’ and album title ‘Barbed Wire Metal’ get the place bouncing along with the ambitious Aussies, cleverly showing off their huge, hooky chorus’ and good, old fashioned riffing style. Although Elm Street may be a bit out of place on a much more aggressive bill, they still get quite a good reception and keep the bodies piling up in the pit. They drape the stage with an awesome Ed Repka (who has plied artwork to Megadeth, Death and many other great bands) backdrop, which looks fantastic plastered behind the chaos on the stage. Guitar-slinging frontman Ben Batres’ gravelly voice cuts through the flurries of solos and an absolutely mental display of skill from drummer, Tomislav Perkovic.
Tonight’s main attraction absolutely slay the thrashers in attendance with a foray of lightning riffs and throat-wrenching screams, courtesy of John Kevill, whose boundless energy and constant signalling to the crowd to destroy everything, whips up a frenzy in the pit. Californian five-some, Warbringer (8) are on fire at the Barfly, and arguably should be playing a bigger venue, but the fans who have crammed themselves into this little sweatbox were treated to a blend of vicious old-school Thrash with a twist of modern technicality. Some of the tracks can feel a bit ‘Thrash-by-numbers’ from time to time, but the overall impact of the aural assault still has the desired effect. The crowd gathered at the stage are further proving their insanity, as stage divers are flying and sizable circle pits are forming everywhere. During a brief moment between the tracks, the band lays down a challenge, to crowd-surf from the stage to the bar, and back again, amazing scenes as a few sweaty adolescents step up to the plate. ‘Living in a Whirlwind’ summons a pit of epic proportions, almost wall-to-wall pandemonium ensues.
Countless bruising riffs and rapidly dispatched solos are unleashed by John Laux and Andrew Bennett upon a sweaty but still energised army of Thrashers. Offering up generous servings from the each of their three albums and a rousing encore of Motorhead’s ‘We Are the Roadcrew’, Warbringer leave a trail of destruction through Camden. As the evening comes to a close, the stragglers are swept out of the door and wander home, broken, but buzzing from a great display of midweek Metal.
Thanks to Neil Visel for the photo of Warbringer! More live metal reviews such as this will be available here in the coming days and weeks, just keep looking in on the site from time to time!