My first metal concert of 2016 was at the Underworld in Camden, North London on January 22, to see The Black Dahlia Murder, supported by French death metal band Benighted and UK slam favourites Ingested. It is an exciting time to see The Black Dahlia Murder, as they are currently touring on the back of their seventh full-length studio album ‘Abysmal’, released on September 18, 2015.
For fans of brutally aggressive and heavy music, this was quite the bill to kick off 2016, with all three bands receiving plenty of positive acknowledgment from those in attendance, although the crowd energy definitely did increase more and more as the night went on. Ingested took to the stage first, delivering their expected mix of incredibly extreme metal to the audience who had amassed by this point. It wasn’t a surprise to see that the room was not packed by this point, although Ingested did receive a pleasant response from the crowd. Speaking of their setlist, it was composed mostly of the band’s three studio records released thus far.
Benighted were up next, following a quite impressive musical display from Ingested. The energy of the crowd for the French death metal group was significantly greater, with a mass of people circulating around a central pillar holding up the ceiling inside the Underworld. Despite being relatively unfamiliar with Benighted’s discography, the sheer power and adrenaline in their performance made up for my lack of knowledge about the band and left me surprised at just how much carnage a quite underground band could stir up. This was a great way to have Benighted’s live debut in London, in their own words on-stage. Their setlist that night included tracks such as “Experience Your Flesh” (which followed an opening slice of “Collection of Dead Portraits”) in addition to other songs such as “Carnivore Sublime”, “Defiled Purity”, and “Asylum Cave”, before bringing the proceedings to a close with the track “Jekyll”. This was an admirable performance given by a band treading in unexplored waters, to put it one way, and a fine preparation for the event’s headlining act.
The last group to play that night was of course The Black Dahlia Murder, perhaps America’s most important melodic death metal band when it comes to contemporary extremity in music. Seventeen songs were performed by the Trevor and the boys, including many fan favourites such as “What a Horrible Night to Have a Curse” and “Funeral Thirst”. Some new picks from album #7 ‘Abysmal’ got some attention, including the title track and the popular “Vlad, Son of the Dragon”. Every song appeared to strike a chord with the audience and their reception of the band was quite something. As the set drew to a close and the mighty instrumentation of “Miasma” roared out of the PA, a huge circle pit rotated around the previously mentioned central pillar, leaving no one stationary.
In conclusion, The Black Dahlia Murder were incredible and showed me why they are considered to be one of the shining lights of extreme music in the 21st century. Sublime.
Check out our gallery of photos from the gig here.