Bat Sabbath & God Damn at Islington Academy, London - live review

Sheffield ragers rip it up at ground zero

Art for Bat Sabbath & God Damn live at Islington Academy, London

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It says a lot that on the hottest night of the year the Academy is rammed for what is essentially a covers band. But before that, GOD DAMN [7] show that the headliners won’t have the monopoly on riffs, although the Wolves-based trio owe much more to Sub Pop, Bleach-era Nirvana than pure metal. The addition of a keyboard player and some brilliant new tracks from last year’s Everything Ever shows a band continuing to grow into one of British rock’s best. But, just on the strength of their setlist, no one is upstaging BAT SABBATH [9] tonight. The members of one of the best hardcore bands around bring a nihilistic, punk roughness to those classic Iommi riffs. Liam Cormier doesn’t even bother with trying to capture Ozzy’s melodies, instead screaming his way through Children Of The Grave, SSOFTWAREmark” gingersoftwareuiphraseguid=“a3c6c751-b874-4c3d-b458-6c787cf43f6d” id=“dee8f0a8-3447-43d0-85e6-16b12f458c6e”>upernaut and N.I.B. and addressing the crowd like a deranged preacher extolling us all to worship at the altar of “The almighty SABBATH!” His band areplayful with the base material, too, Scott Middleton adding plenty of Zakk Wylde-esque pinch harmonics in the gaps where Iommi lets his riffs breathe. If that wasn’t enough, an encore of Cancer Bats ragers Hail Destroyer, Road Sick, Lucifer’s Rocking Chair and Bricks And Mortar are even more wildly received than material from Paranoid. Bat Sabbath might just be the best cover band of all time.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.