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Kadaver at The Dome, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd shot

Who knows how quickly Kadavar’s popularity would have risen had the underground not woken up one day to the arresting sight of three fabulously coiffured, hirsute men looking like they were at the junction between 70s knitting pattern models and Victorian gents? Four albums in, it’s clear the Berliners have more in their tank than mere retro-fetishism, with a dynamism far more aligned to the 24-hour whirl of their home city than the comforts of analogue authenticity. For all the darker, more restless sound of their latest album, Rough Times, tonight’s tone still feels celebratory, new songs like Skeleton Blues greeted rapturously by a busy, mixed crowd. Dragon’s lithe yet thudding bass and Tiger’s mesmerising Neanderthal tub-thumping drumming hit the sturdiest of grooves as Lupus’s roving, wanderlust vocals offer a route into expansive detours and wah-wah skrees in songs like the spring-loaded Last Living Dinosaur that feel like an overflow of lived experience. Kadavararen’t looking back – tonight they sound as they’ve got the world strewn at their feet.

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.