A couple of months after a beast of a tour with blackened metal titans Behemoth, Winterfylleth are rolling into Camden’s sold-out heatbox of The Black Heart for a very sweaty, intimate affair, and a chance to see an incredible live act up close once again. It won’t be long until Winterfylleth are taking over and selling out much bigger venues, but the Black Heart is a perfect spot for the Mancunians to remind those in attendance that their deeply English black metal is here to stay.
Opening up the evening are The King Is Blind , who meld industrious grooves to fiery death metal. The quartet are a much more solid live proposition than at Bloodstock last year, and the time in between has given them a chance to polish their performance. None of the members are strangers to the scene (Cradle Of Filth, Entwined and Extreme Noise Terror all feature in the band’s past) – and that professionalism and knowledge of interacting with the crowd comes to the fore. Slower, groovier songs serve the band much better than the faster-paced tracks but The King Is Blind know how to write a punishing track. Mors Somnis pushes forward on tight riffs while Genesis Refracted showcases the band’s demanding speed. A Thousand Burning Temples closes out their time on stage, but it’s clear that they gained many a fan this evening.
Winterfylleth , in comparison, need no such introductions and to witness a band come from playing to a handful of people, to thousands, to 150 and still give the same passionate response is the mark of a band who care. While their line-up has shifted a little in the last few months, the band haven’t let it dent their stride and tonight they prove just how much they care with renditions of gorgeous new material from The Divination Of Antiquity to the not often heard heights of Mam Tor. Their music is classic in feeling, with huge sweeping gestures laying over their black metal in waves. There’s a deep sense of the epic running through the sounds that Winterfylleth elicit and with A Careworn Heart pulling at the proverbial heartstrings, it’s a sure sign that the band mean every single word. A Valley Thick With Oaks makes a welcome appearance and the ever stirring Defending The Realm signals the end, but not before Mam Tor (The Shivering Mountain) lays waste to packed out venue who show their appreciation with raised fists, beer and voices.