Undefeated !!! MEMORIAM Live at The Underworld, Camden, London 01st February 2020

Undefeated !!! MEMORIAM Live at The Underworld, Camden, London 01st February 2020

Words Andy S23

Photography and Footage Danny S

Definition: hyperbole

/hʌɪˈpəːbəli/

Learn to pronounce

noun

exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

… and that’s my opening statement, such was this momentous performance, much of what I’m about to regale you with will be undoubtedly prone to ‘hyperbole’ – however, I can say with absolute assurance, it’s all justifiably deserved !!!

Treat Your Self !!!

So, some background – late last year Memoriam announced the first of many shows for 2020 and I immediately booked tickets for I and my very, very good friend Danny.

I’ve know Danny for a good few years, working alongside each other on a daily basis, he’s the kind of guy you can trust to have your back, moreover, we enjoy a common love of films, comics and music all accompanied with our unique brand of humor and culture that many outside of our small circle will understand !!!

Man Day 101 !!!

The had stars aligned, we both had the day off, wives, kids, cats and dogs where all respectively packed off and taken care of – as such we inaugurated what hopefully will become an annual affair – Man Day !!!

Memoriam, take heed, feel free to play the first Saturday of every February – Ha !!!

It was our intention to have somewhat of a more ‘explosive day’ but Danny was nursing his head from his previous night out watching Megadeth, and I nursing a stinking cold, bad mood as well as marching into the sublime mediocrity of middle age didn’t present the most dynamic of duos …

Still, opening up with a cold beer, we perused a slew of comic book shops, including Orbital, Gosh! and Forbidden Planet. Danny picked up some missing numbers from Silver Surfer and The Punisher I opted for stuff from Adam Hughes, Jocks Green Arrow and an issue of Wolverine by Alan Davis !!!

As the sun set we marched onwards to Camden as showtime loomed over the horizon – alas Mega City Comics had already closed, we settled amongst the throng in The Worlds End for the first of many more beers !!!

On entry to The Underworld, suitably refreshed we bumped into Frank Healy, Memoriam’s bassist. Gregarious, unassumingly charming and genuinely pleased to see us – we briefly spoke about the drive down to London, plans for dinner, he was looking forward to a hearty kebab post show – and his thundering bass tone, which wryly quipped was due to his dwindling hearing – top man.

Naturally, first port of call, after grabbing some more ice cold beers, was the merch table – some great shirts, and regrettably I wish I’d picked up the show exclusive shirt, hopefully they’ll make their way on line over at their Big Cartel store …

But, I did pick up one of these, a coffee mug, resplendent with their demo’s artwork – this got put to good use as soon as I was through the front door …

Whilst at the table, drummer Andy Whale happily chatted to us, gave some incredible insight to the bands plans and future, I’ll keep quiet here, but seriously keep an eye out – Memoriam will be as busy as ever. Andy also spoke about one of his other bandsDarkened, and we energetically enthused over its style and tone. We also chatted about Memoriam’s unique DIY ethic, which allows them to tour on weekends, days off, and yet still remain committed to work, family and other endeavors – we both agreed it’s a model many bands should explore, keeping it fresh, exciting and vital.

We did also bumped into Karl, however, my inital greeting of ‘I love Saxon, and I’ve always wanted to meet Biff Byford’ was perhaps not the best opening gambit, but he heartily shook my hand nonetheless before disappearing into the depths of The Underworld …

MEMORIAM

As the opening bars of the instrumental ‘Memoriam’ faded the band quite literally exploded onto the stage, Memoriam ripped open with Undefeated – the sound, tone and pitch was perfect. Wether this style or genre either is or isn’t your thing – this was a masterclass in sonic assault and I’d urge other bands to seriously pay heed.

The stripped down, lean and taught approach really lent itself to the live setting, and whilst this track, on the album is a firm favorite, here it took a life of its own and sounded more venomous, vicious and vitriolic than ever. As aforementioned Franks bass, rumbled with a groove and warmth, and an assured confidence and prowess that clearly cemented why as one of the scenes elder statesman he’s a legend and consummate professional. He prowled and worked the stage relentlessly, putting many younger contemporaries to shame.

Karl too, exploded with a power, an unbridled fury that literally gripped and captivated the audiences attention from the off and throughout …

The passion and integrity, and thinly veiled vitriol and disdain of the current socio-political state was palpable and delivered with integrity, yet as any good showman and frontman does, this was ably delivered with aplomb and a wry smile, extolling that perhaps we all shouldn’t take our selves too seriously …

That aside, clad in black combat boot and cargo pants, and an intriguingly sleeveless ‘Singularity Sauce’ tee, his long mane of ice blond hair made for an iconically striking visual performance and decades of touring has not dulled his edge, I’d wager his vocals have never sound more ferocious, powerful or confident.

Andy was clearly at home and in a happy place on drums, working what appeared to be a stripped down ensemble, almost a jazz like set up, was an absolute pleasure to observe and clearly was having no end of fun holding it all together. Taught, tight, precision drumming, an absolute wall of pummeling beats alongside Franks bass gives this blend of ‘Old School Death Metal’ real groove, swing and a warmth and a texture many other bands live are simply devoid of. He’s clearly the heart of the beast, and imbues it with life, really making it a living, breathing monster !!!

Last but by no means least, Scott Fairfax the crypt keeper of riffs, the undisputed king of rhythm and lead, flawlessly switching between either with verve, style and panache – Ive long since seen such a player so confidently happy and at ease live – and as the all the band collectively did, his crunch and attack added more spite and vengeful sonic assault to these tracks !!!

Live, is clearly a very comfortable place for Memoriam and they don’t hide the fun with which they approach the stage – which, incidentally they owned !!!

Whilst a slightly shorter set than expected, they pulled out what I’d regard a fan favorite set of classics from their growing back catalogue.

Undefeated was hotly followed by Dronestrike, originally appearing in demo form on their 2nd 7” and subsequently on their sophomore effort as a bonus track in revised form. If I had to choose which version is my favorite, whilst both recorded versions are truly stellar, trust me, when I say live is the ultimate version !!!

No known Grave and As Bridges Burn powered along and the break and beat downs of both had the crowd not only captivated but now on the move …

Karl rallied the partisan crowd with a rallying cry for unity over the divisive referendum, and as such the attending crowd from all over the globe warmly cheered him on – the incisive Austerity Kills was a timely reminder of what the general public have endured and enshrined Memoriam’s relevance forevermore.

Showcasing material from the bands latest LP Requiem for Mankind led the final charge as they subsequently went on to power through Resistance, Shellshock and as I prefer to nickname it ‘Fix Bayonets’ – this was all brought to an apocalyptic conclusion with the devastatingly heavy Flatline

Opening with a faded heartbeat which transcends into a failing life support alarm – many of tonight’s songs were further embellished with small sound bites and soundscapes which really added to the songs color live, a really creatively cool touch which certainly wasn’t lost on me.

Sadly, no cover of Sacrileges The Captive and I was dismayed not to hear Surrounded by Death amongst the set, but it was truly taught, power driven, old school death Metal show at its finest and that in itself gave the whole ensemble a magical life of its own – a greatest hits if you will, and would make an arguably perfect playlist for any true fan …

I hope to see them play again very soon, easily one of my top ten gigs of all time – S23

You can catch Memoriam live next this March in Copenhagen !!!

Power Metal – Doomtrodon New Demo Track

Power Metal – Doomtrodon New Demo Track

We take a quick detour from our usual fare of ‘Plastic Deth’ to introduce something, we at the S23 HQ have been quietly waiting for a for a while now – the first track from Doomtrodon’s upcoming ’68 Demo’ …

If your not up to date on the current ‘Metal Zeitgeist’ then let’s bring you screaming up to speed …

Doomtrodon is a new band based out of west England and are on guitar ‘Geezer’ drummer ‘Gav’ newly acquired vocalist ‘Matt’ and on bass, the inimitable ‘Biz’ !!!

Sound familiar – well, as I posted elsewhere this evening …

… check out Doomtrodon’s demo track Vampyre Ratt from there ‘68 Demo’ – that driving bass line, alongside those tortured vocals, pummeling drums and gravel rough buzz saw guitars is by none other than artist extraordinaire Simon Bisley …

Simon ‘Biz’ Bisley is famed for his incredible illustrative body of work, including Dredd vs Batman one shot ‘Judgement on Gotham’ – cover art for Doom Patrol, his groundbreaking Slaine, ABC Warriors for 2000ad and much much more …

Whilst not his first foray into music, his art has also graced Danzig’s EP ‘Thrall Demon Sweat Live’ as well as working with the Misfits vocalist extensively on his own comic line.

You Can hear the new track by hitting the link below

New Demo Track ‘Vampyre Ratt’ from Doomtrodon’s ’68 Demo’

This is a powerful and promising start, Geezers solid guitar work with riff heavy hooks oozes confidence.

You can also give another track, ’68’ from Doomtrodon a listen here !!!

Gav’s precision drumming pins it all down, and with extra greasy groove domination from the Biz’s incredible bass line, quite possibly motivated by his underlying skill at the drums, it’s great to see him switch instruments here.

All ably led by the tortured growls and screams of newly added Matt, that’s not to say there’s no lack of melody to what he’s delivered here, but it has its own nightmarishly tortured charm.

Doomtrodon to me personally sound like a really much needed and refreshing take on British Grind and Doomcore with a healthy nod to influences such as Sabbath and Motörhead – without sounding plaid or routine, I’ve quietly observed rumblings and movements over the past few months on their FB page and it’s been impressive to see what has slowly unfurled and evolved, it clearly is genuinely passionate and genuinely professional going concern, more importantly a labor of love which has finally come to fruition.

Whilst no genuine music hack, more over, just a die hard enthusiast- as I’m sure many of you are aware I’ve long been a fan of the many heavy genres of music, including Metal, Hardcore and Punk – of late much has left to be desired of new music in general, and after several plays Doomtrodon’s new track has left me exceptionally excited for what’s to come …

I’ll certainly not dare to pigeon hole them into a genre or cast too many similarities to their own brand of swaggering heavy groove laden doom – but any fans of Crowbar, EyeHateGod, Bolt Thrower or even the Obsessed would happily see this band stand proudly alongside them as contemporaries – high praise, maybe but they’ve surely got the punch and heart to put British Heavy Music back on track …

If your local they are due to take the stage this Saturday, May 12th at Oxfords O2 – someone pick me up a shirt !!!

Supporting Death Remains – you can pick up tickets here !!!

Again the underground has delivered, and it’s this original and fresh take on the genre that’s certainly reinvigorated my faith in new music – anyhow, enough from me – tune down, turn up and sab out – S23

Keep up to date with more from Doomtrodon here on there FB page: https://m.facebookn.com/doomtrodon/

NEW DESIGN – S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ Skull Tee

In NSW ‘Navy Blue’ with the classic ‘Beer Mat’ on the front and custom ‘Plastic Deth’ Skull Art sporting the now infamous ‘Ranger’ diamond on the rear, by S23 himself – you can now sport you OG S23Familia Pride on or off the field – S23

Available in Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XXL-Large and XXX- Large here: http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-plastic-deth-skull-tee