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Hang The Bastard, Live in London

Sludge-ridden Londoners launch a new attack

“This next song’s about chlamydia,” announces DEATH & THE MISER’s [6] frontman. It’s a phrase which sums the openers up well, however, with their NWOBHM-leaning doom coming on like early Trouble with a grim swagger.

You should never judge a band by their t-shirts, but that PROFANE AND THE SACRED [7] guitarist/vocalist Luke Alleeson and guitarist Rick Spooner arrive onstage sporting Clutch and The Sword logos across their chests is perhaps the least surprising sight ever seen on the venue’s cramped stage. While the reference points are obvious and the quartet’s sound occasionally lurches towards the generic, there’s no doubting their deft ability.

It’s not the size of the crowd that matters as long as the requisite intensity can be channelled from them; that HANG THE BASTARD [8] spend most of their set launching stagedivers back in the direction they came from is testament to this.

Having refreshed their approach with last year’s Sex In The Seventh Circle, the troupe are still as direct and uncompromising a live band as ever – what they lack tonight in dynamic subtlety, they more than make up for in punishing, nihilistic force./o:p