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The Underworld, Camden,London 29 February 2004

You know I think that there really is something stirring in London. There are definitely more youngsters going to gigs these days and that is Very Good News.

The crowd at Dragonforce was at least 50% late teens/early 20s and it was the same on this occasion for Soilwork. As I was interviewing Nightwish, I didn't manage to catch the other bands, but I certainly got a sense that the atmosphere had been just as intense during The Forsaken's set at the very least. The Underworld was packed (it must have been sold out) and down in the `pit' area in front of the stage, it was very hot and sweaty indeed.

There were two backcloths at the back of the stage and the drum stool was occupied by Dirk Verbeuren (drummer with French band's Scarve and Headline). Wearing headphones (I guess so that he could play to a click track or something) he really impressed, as did the rest of the band - and in particular Speed on vocals. In fact all the members of the band appeared to be in a great mood and certainly seemed to be motivated to play even better, by the fantastic reaction they got from the crowd.

The set began with an aggressive `Figure Number Five' and another track from the same album. After that they mixed things up very well, with the odd, older, faster thrashier tracks placed in amongst the more recent material. Personally I found that the material from Natural Born Chaos came off the best - but perhaps that has something to do with me being more familiar with that album.

Vocalist Speed was wearing a shirt and tie and looked like an American Police officer or security guard. He kept saying "You guys are fucking amazing" and `Hell Yeah' (the band have obviously been spending too long in the States). However, he was correct because the crowd were amazing making this one of the liveliest gigs I've attended in some time. One of the two guitarists was sporting a T-shirt from `The Darkness', but everyone on stage was having fun and they moved around as well as could be expected given the fairly cramped conditions on stage.

The main set came to a crushing end with `Black Star Deceiver', which a portion of the crowd had been screaming for and though they left the stage briefly, they returned to play a further 2 songs `Bastard Chain' and `Distortion Sleep', neither of which I recognized. They must certainly feel that they have an audience here who loves them (Speed commented just how well the crowd knew the lyrics of the songs) and so lets hope that next time, they can headline somewhere bigger and perhaps play outside of the capital again. If you like aggressive yet tuneful Death Metal, then do not miss them next time around.

Setlist (incomplete):

Figure Number Five, The Flameout, Like the Average Stalker, As We Speak, Rejection Role, Overload, Light The Torch, Sadistic Lullaby, Millionflame, Black Star Deceiver Encores: Bastard Chain, Distortion Sleep

Review: Charlie Farrell

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