Nargaroth / Scutum Crux

Polarising Germans go deep into the black

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London-based, Polish-born black metallers SCUTUM CRUX [7], gave their stand-in bassist just five days to learn their set. You’d never know had guitarist Demiurge not thanked him for his efforts and their mid-paced, icy cold riffing goes down a storm.

NARGAROTH [8] have long been a Marmite band, with mainman Ash inspiring both fanatical devotion and hate-filled derision. Hell, it’s not black metal unless someone hates you. However, if there is such a thing as an anthem for this most unlovable of genres then surely it’s Black Metal Ist Krieg. Sonically and in terms of mindset it sums up what corpsepaint and spikes are supposed to be about. Aggressive yet epic, and taking their cues from the Norwegian sounds of Burzum and Strid, Nargaroth have always had catchy riffs hiding beneath the blastbeats, and the lack of bass in early black metal is taken quite literally with two guitars but no four-string to fill out the sound.

The gothic-tinged Seven Rivers Are Flowing To The Sea is dedicated to Lemmy, whose funeral service is happening at that very moment. Ash makes a curiously expressive and captivating frontman considering he spends almost the entire set hidden by a black hood, removing it for the last couple of songs to reveal sweat drenched corpsepaint underneath. Love him or hate him, tonight is a thrilling display of triumphalist black metal.