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Moonspell And Rotting Christ Enchant Fans At The Islington Assembly Hall

Photo of Rotting Christ

Band Photo: Rotting Christ (?)

Despite it being Halloween tomorrow, everyone seems to be focused on Christmas already. For metal fans in London however, Christmas came early, despite an eight month wait, as Moonspell and Rotting Christ stormed into the capital to lay waste to all in their path. Both bands initially made their name with black metal releases but have evolved into some of the more unique bands in extreme metal, utilising Gothic and world music influences over the course of their careers to forge two amazing legacies. When it was announced that the two would be embarking on an extensive European tour together, it was something which simply could not be missed.

Opening the night was Silver Dust, a Belgian group very much focused on visuals. The band makes full use of a mirror like video screen they've brought on stage, which includes a guitarist Tiny Pistol dueling with an on screen phantom, trading off parts of the famous Bach composition, "Toccata and Fugue in D minor." The whole performance is very much like a circus show, complete with with vocalist Lord Campbell in full ringmaster mode, sporting a top hat and everything. As for the music itself, it's good. Very good in fact. They might not win over many of the black metal fans in the audience, but for those who appreciate showmanship, catchy tunes with a Gothic twist and something completely different, Silver Dust are a must see. A wonderful way to kick things off.

Truly, Rotting Christ had brought all of the Hellenic black metal legions to the battlefield tonight, as one could hardly move during the set from the Greek titans. Promoting their incredible new album, "The Heretics," surprisingly with only two songs ("Fire, God And Fear" & "Dies Irae,") the London faithful ate up every single note from the Athens quartet. Opening the set with the haunting "666," the momentum never slowed. With thirteen full length albums under their belts, choosing a setlist must be a headache, but there's a good mix tonight, which includes more modern favourites such as "Nemecic," "Grandis Spiritus Diavolos" and "Kata Ton Daimona Eaytoy."

Of course, old favourites can never be ignored and the band dug deep into their catalogue to bring out such gems as "The Forest of N'Gai" from their debut EP "Passage To Arcturo" and "The Sign Of Evil Existence" from their first full length, "Thy Mighty Contract." Rotting Christ are all about keeping their fans happy with electric live shows, quality albums and surprises, the last of which came in the form of the Thou Art Lord cover, "Societas Satanas." All this, plus a great rapport with the audience, before closing off yet another superb performance with the title track from their second album, "Non Serviam," the phrase which sums up the band perfectly. I will never ever get sick of seeing Rotting Christ.

Finally we come to the evening's headline act, Portugal's biggest metal export; Moonspell. The quintet are still promoting their latest album, "1755," a concept record dealing with the natural disasters and fire which obliterated Lisbon and so of course, there were no shortage of songs from the release to air. In fact two of the opening three cuts all came from the record, which was around the time I had to miss out for a while to record an interview with Rotting Christ frontman, Sakis Tolis.

When I returned however, it was clear I'd been missing one hell of a show. As the band tore into "Extinct," the title track from their 2015 album, it was amazing to see the effect they had on the audience, which naturally featured a good chunk of Britain's Portuguese population. "Everything Invaded" from "The Antidote" followed, in a set which also included a great variety of past material. Naturally, songs from their classic albums, "Wolfheart" and "Irreligious" were brought out, which included "Mephisto," "Vampira" and "Alma Mater," before they returned with an encore of "Todos os Santos" and "Full Moon Madness." It was an amazing night all in all, one well worth the eight month wait, as Moonspell and Rotting Christ demonstrated why they're still two of Europe's most revered metal bands.

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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1 Comment on "Moonspell And Rotting Christ Enchant London"

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Anonymous Reader
1. Oslaf writes:

I felt like it was really hard for Moonspell to follow up RC's energy, don't get me wrong - it was a good set, but I don't think 1755 stuck with british crowds as much as their past material, including Extinct - may be because it's all sung in portuguese.
All in all a good set but Rotting Christ really dominated the night, I feel.

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