I recently joined Church Of Void, Dark Legacy and Tor Marrock on their two-date UK jaunt, which saw them play shows in London and Manchester. Was it a good time? Damn right it was!
October 15: The Fidder’s Elbow, Camden
Following a rather hectic day, involving flights from Poland and a train ride from Liverpool to London, I eventually made it to the venue in time to get briefly acquainted with the bands before Welsh openers Tor Marrock took to the stage.
Playing their own brand of cellar metal, this time the band was playing as a three-piece due to one of their guitarists not being able to make the shows but nevertheless they took it in their stride and despite this, it was still a very tight and together performance from the three members. Tor Marrock’s music is very powerful so I was uncertain about whether they would be able to recreate it with a man down, so to speak, but needless to say they still delivered regardless and the way each member gave the performance everything they could was a real joy to watch.
The third and final act to take to the stage was Finland’s Church Of Void and the first thing you need to know about a CoV show is just how utterly unpredictable they can be. The performance began simply enough with the members stood with their backs to the audience as the introduction to their set played out, but the dynamics soon changed as frontman Magus Corvus sauntered from the back to the front of the room and joined his bandmates onstage.
A very involved performer, he seemed to spend more time off the stage than on it, whether that was by interacting with some of the people in the room by singing at them or even giving them his microphone to hold whilst he explored elsewhere, or simply choosing a place in the room to position himself in to perform from – such as laying down on the chairs at the side of the room, or half-climbing up one of the ceiling joists! At one point he even left the venue and had a chat with someone stood outside!
Of course, Church Of Void’s set wasn’t just governed by one of the member’s performances, and the other four members who remained on the stage (at least for the most part) also put on a very visually engaging show. It was clear from the way they presented themselves that they were giving the show their absolute all and it was a joy to witness – the way they moved about the stage and interacted with each other was magical and they communicated with one another with ease and comfort – and the way the set ended with nearly everyone off the stage was excellent! It was just a shame the turnout wasn’t better.
October 16: Star And Garter, Manchester
We left London just after 10am with the best of intentions of making it to Manchester in plenty of time, with a possible stop somewhere for some sightseeing/photo-opps along the way, but fate was against us and after an extremely slow-going journey with a good chunk of it spent crawling along the motorway, we rolled up at the Star And Garter in Manchester with barely enough time for soundcheck!
Up next was the mighty Archelon, and they put on a striking performance that was meaty and substantial. The four-piece really showed what they were made of and it sounded massively tight and together, with the band moving as a unit and had an easy and relaxed vibe amongst the band members onstage. A particularly good element to the performance was the use of extra percussion, where a floor tom was brought onstage for use by one of the guitarists – what a way to leave an impression on you!
Following Archelon was Dark Legacy, who had somehow built on the performance they had given in Camden on the previous night. There was a level of urgency to the set, almost, and you could really see the sheer effort that was going into this performance, whilst the show at Camden was good, this was on a whole different level. Whilst the attendance wasn’t too good numbers-wise, Dark Legacy still managed to get a bit of participation from the people in the room, getting people to chant the introduction of “666 feet under” back at them for their track At The Graveyard, which was great to witness! It was an all-round excellent show from the band and you can be sure that I’ll be keeping my eye out for future shows from them – whether that is overseas or here in the UK!
Bringing a close to the night was Church Of Void and although this time I went into the performance with a little more knowledge of what to expect from what to expect from their show, it was still an utterly unpredictable show from the band – which is arguably one of the best things a show can be. It’s always good to be kept on your toes, not knowing what would be around the corner, and although the set itself was fairly similar to the one in Camden, the performance from the five members was anything but!
On this night, Magus took somewhat of a shine to the photographer Phil, who was tasked with documenting the night’s proceedings, often grabbing his shoulders from behind whilst he took a shot, and getting so close to the lens that it would have been surely impossible to get an in-focus shot, but that’s one of the things that makes a Church Of Void performance so engaging – the interaction with gig-goers is surely second to none.
Something that was testament to a good performance from the five-piece is that no matter what is happening around them, musically it’s difficult to spot even a single misplaced note (one broken string from A.D. aside!) – Church Of Void always give 100% with their shows and it pays off. From the spot-on guitar solos, to the powerful drums and rumbling in-sync bass, this is a band that not only gives a visually engaging performance, they’re also musically tight from start to finish, which is surely everything that a person could want from a performance.
If you’re looking to see a band completely on top of their live game with some brilliant music to go with it, then you really need to head down to a Church Of Void show. What an incredible pair of gigs, with strong performances from all bands every night. To those who didn’t come down, I have one simple message for you – you missed out!
Church Of VoidStar And Garter, Manchester - October 16th 2015
Photographer: Phil Vidamour