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Baest Brutalises The Black Heart, London

Unquestionably one of Europe's fastest rising death metal bands, Denmark's Baest has been on a relentless stampede ever since releasing their debut album, "Danse Macabre" in August 2018. Only a year and a month later, the quintet would unleash the superb, "Venenum," with their third full length, "Necro Sapiens" following in March 2021. Not one to rest on their laurels, Baest will be releasing a new EP, "Justita" this month and to celebrate, the band has been headlining venues across Europe, including a stop in London to perform at The Black Heart.

The Black Heart is an interesting venue, tucked away on Greenland Place, the next street over from The Underworld, it boasts a fantastic downstairs bar, decorated with gig posters and the best soundtrack a metal fan could ask for. Upstairs, just past the toilets, is where you'll find the performance area, where on this occasion, deathcrusties Sewer Trench were kicking off proceedings. Honestly speaking, Sewer Trench were fine. They had some good support locally, but most of those who weren't part of their circle of friends seemed a bit nonplussed. They were a solid band to open a death metal show and may be worth checking out if you like the style, but offered little in the way of memorable songs or stage presence.

Following Sewer Trench was the Bury based Pist and this was where the night took an interesting turn. Displaying a particularly heavy brand of stoner and sludge metal, Pist has riffs by the barrelful and a great demeanour to go with it. Frontman Dave Rowlands in particular was a highlight, playing up to the north/south divide in England with the line, "We like us chips and gravy but you're alright down here," which may be the most complimentary thing I've ever heard a Northerner say about London. The audience were clearly loving it too, with plenty of movement, from nodding to mosh pits going on in the small space. Pist has been going for nine years now with two full length albums to their name, but one hopes that it won't be long before a third is unleashed and Pist can take this exciting energy and talent to the next level.

Finally we come to the headline act of the evening. Making their way on to the stage, which has barely any space between the group and the crowd, much less the band members, the shirtless Danes appeared to a very warm reception and launched into a vicious sonic assault. As one might expect, "Necro Sapiens" was represented very strongly, given that they haven't been able to tour properly until now to celebrate the record. In fact, almost every song on the album was played to the baying death metal fanatics in Camden, who devoured every one and asked for me.

And more they received, as the previous albums were represented with a song each in the forms of "Crosswhore" and "Gula." Recent singles, "Genesis" and "Ecclesia," which will both appear on the upcoming EP also were also performed and received every bit as fondly as more established material. All in all, Baest really are future stars of the genre, if they aren't already, with a superb catalogue of music, matched only by their ferocious live presence.

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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