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Fen/The King Is Blind/ Domitorem at Lounge 666, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd shot

It’s early days for London’s bonenecklace-sporting DOMITOREM [5], but if their keyboard-infused black metal is going to reach critical mass, they could do with some stage presence and a rhythm section that doesn’t sound like it’s about to fall apart on take-off. In contrast THE KING IS BLIND’s [7] fusion of in-your-face groove and extreme metal is the sound of seasoned musicians pooling forces into a gleefully cajoling blastfest. There’s a lot going under the hood too, from expertly timed tempo shifts to baleful atmospheres, and the abundance of tracks from the new album shows their arsenal remains well stocked. There’s a level of reverence in the room for FEN [8] that’s reserved for bands able to create immersive worlds of their own, and the three-piece’s subtly progressive take on black metal proves to be the most sensitive of emotional barometers. Focusing tonight on atmosphere and expanse, shades of Pink Floyd splay into radiant peals, surge into cathartic odysseys, and leave the room entranced.

Having freelanced regularly for the Melody Maker and Kerrang!, and edited the extreme metal monthly, Terrorizer, for seven years, Jonathan is now the overseer of all the album and live reviews in Metal Hammer. Bemoans his obsolete superpower of being invisible to Routemaster bus conductors, finds men without sideburns slightly circumspect, and thinks songs that aren’t about Satan, swords or witches are a bit silly.