Ihsahn / Krokodil / Voices

Black metal pioneer brings the warmth

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A surprising number of people arrive early enough to catch London’s VOICES [8], who play a disjointed and ugly form of blackened death metal to a welcoming crowd.

The quartet are only on stage for 30 minutes, but it’s more than enough to cement their place as one of the UK’s most interesting underground bands. KROKODIL’s [7] sludged-out groove metal seems a little out of place on the bill tonight but any worries are soon put to rest by a boisterous performance that wins over much of the audience. Frontman Simon Wright is a whirlwind of spite and this sort-of supergroup have the tunes to back up their confidence.

Krokodil: Simon Wright spreads the spite

Krokodil: Simon Wright spreads the spite (Image credit: Tina Korhonen)

This is a smaller setting than we’ve seen IHSAHN [9] in recently but tonight the Norwegian legend truly shines. Small technical problems during opener Hiber are soon forgotten and a gorgeous and emotional Pulse takes the audience to another plane. A stunning medley of Emperor tracks (sweetly introduced as being by Ihsahn’s “old boy band”) is lifted by the chorus of Thus Spake The Nightspirit before a new song, My Heart Is Of The North, is showcased.

The songs are monstrous and the avant-garde, jazz-infused style comes across with passion and dedication. Ihsahn is humble, but his music is defiantly strong, and tonight he pays homage to his past while moving towards the future.