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Inquisition live review – London, Underworld

Colombian metallers Inquisition come to London, with support from Rotting Christ, Mystifier and Schammasch

It’s an early start at 6:45pm, but the crowd that greet SCHAMMASCH [8] comfortably fill the floor. The Swiss four-piece provide an intense start, a richly textured blend of black and post- soundscapes.

Their distinctive garb, together with the swirling purple and blue lights and puffs of smoke that envelop them, add to the entracing performance; frontman C.S.R. is a foreboding presence wrapped in ritualistic robes. The only niggle is the sound, with the guitars sounding muffled at times. From flowing robes and ominous vibes to raw, raucous black metal, spiked leather and wraparound shades it’s time for Brazilian madcaps MYSTIFIER [9]. Their stageshow is wild; singer/bassist/keyboardist Diego Araújo rolls his eyes under corpsepaint, thrashing his instruments and laughing maniacally, while the shaven-headed, burly Beelzeebubth bolts around the tiny stage with feral ferocity, singing along gleefully and rousing the audience to embrace the hullabaloo. “Keep the spirit alive,” he roars – Mystifier certainly achieve this and more.

ROTTING CHRIST [9] are one of the main draws of the night. More visually straight-up than their predecessors, the Greeks waste no time turning the pulsing venue into a swirling, chaotic mass. Frontman Sakis Tolis even looks a little overwhelmed as he surveys the scene stirred by their booming, groovy black metal. Songs from new album Rituals get a fervid response, but it’s the closing with classic Non Serviam that really gets the pit spinning. How the hell can anyone follow this?

Sadly, INQUISITION [7] don’t quite manage it. The Columbian two-piece don’t have any less of a crowd than Rotting Christ, but they fail to stir up the same atmosphere. Then again, they’re less party, more kvlt; their brand of lumbering black metal doesn’t call for wild circlepits – it’s more mesmerising and mystical, while corpsepainted frontman Dagon slinks across the stage. In this instance, Rotting Christ may have been a better choice to close this brilliant bill that shows just how multi-faceted occult black metal can be.