Following our merger with the fantastic South Coast Noise Society, Astral Noize Events‘ first all-dayer is set in stone for March 30th at Brighton’s The Green Door Store. Seek & Destroy 2019 promises a veritable onslaught of artists who provide a unique take on heavy music in a dingy venue that feels tailor-made for metal. As if that wasn’t enough, it’s completely free! Come down early to avoid disappointment and ensure you catch all of these kick-ass bands. To whet your appetite, below is a breakdown of the artists who will be performing.
Headlining Seek & Destroy will be Holy Roar favourites Svalbard. The Bristol-based ensemble boast a rousing strain of overtly political blackened post-hardcore, and released one of last year’s most ferocious and direct bouts of takes-no-prisoners extremity. It’s Hard To Have Hope addressed many a real-life issue through some of the most inventive, pummelling music ever put to tape. Each song barrels forward with a punk-rock momentum, but the surging power of extreme metal is always present, and their tracks frequently blossom into much more. Cascading melodies sprinkle an air of post-metal into the proceedings, usually complementing the steam-rolling drums and venomous vocals rather than replacing them for airy interludes, as many self-proclaimed “experimental” metal bands often do. This is as musically creative a band as you’ll find in the modern metal scene, but the band’s songwriting prowess serves a higher purpose, as they use their voice to speak up for those facing injustices.
Black Country noisemongers Opium Lord will also be converging on Brighton, with their filthy-and-fuzzy riffs in tow. If you’re new to the scene and haven’t heard of them, it’s probably because the wait for their second album has been a long one. Nevertheless, 2015’s Eye Of Earth packs one hell of a punch, drowning thick muddy guitars in production that sounds as if it was literally recorded in sludge. The result is certainly effecting, bringing pummelling grooves but also rough yells and gritty percussion that seem to somehow emanate up from the depths of hell itself. Oozing in the thickest black tar imaginable, Opium Lord’s music is corrosive and heavy-as-fuck, the kind that translates flawlessly into the live environment.
Sludgy bruisers Opium Lord will be bookended by two ferocious hardcore bands with a black metal streak. Londoners Calligram also bring a refreshing approach to the genre, calling themselves “black metal in shorts” and blending the raw assault of the genre’s infamous second-wave with the more calculated anger of only the most bruising hardcore. Each track the band puts out has its own flavour, though – ‘Scourge’ moves from blastbeats through to gigantic grooves, ‘Sinking Into Existence’ bursts out of the gate before opening up into more atmospheric textures, and ‘Lament’ embodies not just BM but also doom. Elsewhere is the instrumental poignancy of ‘Murderess’ or the punky energy of ‘Entwined’. With music this chaotic, the live show is always a dynamic one.
In the relatively short period since their formation, Nottingham’s Underdark have crafted a mature sound which fuses the aesthetics of black metal with the atmospherics of shoegaze to create a style that is unique enough to allow them to stand above the litany of atmospheric black metal currently in rotation. The group’s debut, Mourning Cloak, saw them push this formula to its logical conclusion; producing a release that not only pushes the boundaries of what can be called black metal, but also carries with it a number of important socio-political themes, in some cases verging on the philosophic. Across its twenty-three minute running time, the vocals shriek with a Nietzschean rejection of societies limitations, whilst the music creates a wall of sound designed to soothe our generation’s existential ennui.
Find out more about Underdark in this interview about their motivations for the band, black metal politics, the importance of the DIY scene and more.
It’s a cliche to say that a release needs to be heard in its entirety to fully appreciate it, but Earth Moves‘ The Absurd Man is worthy of that cliche. It’s four parts entail a hefty emotional weight that works so well in unison, something the band recognise in numbering the tracks as well as naming them – these are simply four chapters of a larger work, which share their own single music video. Their live show is similarly captivating, and the hometown band will be sure to enthral The Green Door Store with the emotionally-draining strain of multi-faceted metal shown on The Absurd Man, as well as 2016’s fantastic The Truth In Our Bodies.
Ill, In Pain
Describing themselves as “sonic pain”, Ill, In Pain‘s frenetic bursts of extremity are pure chaos live, setting any venue alight with a raucous energy. For a preview of what to expect, check out the band’s Instagram.
Relative newcomers Sobek will open up the day with a smattering of celestial post-rock. With no music online as-of-yet, this will be your chance to catch the band before the attention they undoubtedly deserve comes pouring in. Follow the band on Facebook to keep up-to-date with any more developments.
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