Performing in London for the first time, San Diego’s LORD OF WAR  have the presence and precision to make the moment count.
That they’ve released one 2016’s best metal albums may not have registered widely yet, but thanks to the brutal and subtly inventive likes of Embryo and the album’s title track Suffer, they pull off a minor triumph here. THREAT SIGNAL  are the wrong band for this bill, their tendency to veer into sugary post-hardcore undermining any semblance of convincing brutality. It also doesn’t help that singer Jon Howard comes across as a bit of a bell-end. Next! HATE ETERNAL  have been ripping faces off in London for nearly 20 years now, and the death metal faithful rightly adore them. This is an unrelenting display of prowess, purity and undiluted venom that peaks with the still-terrifying King Of All Kings. VADER  have a great relationship with the UK too, and the room is uncomfortably full when the Poles tear into Wings and Angels Of Steel. Old cuts like The Crucified Ones and Silent Empire sound newly invigorated by the band’s current lineup, and founder and frontman Piotr Wiwczarek remains an imperious old-school icon, fired up by the euphoric intensity of his band’s turbo-Slayer brutality and in full command of the diehard throng. Death lives!