June 28 marked an evening of dark and heavy music at the Lomax in Liverpool, and with headline act Fen not exactly known for playing frequent shows (least of all in Liverpool!) it was not a performance to be missed.
Scutum Crux started off the proceedings, and start things off they did! There was this wonderful energy and aggression to their performance, both musically and in the way they presented themselves. Singer/bassist Q-Nebullah was very much into his performance, snarling and yelling at the crowd, and the performance was reaching fever pitch when disaster struck and a guitar string broke. After a plea for someone to borrow a guitar or string, we were treated to an excellent bass solo/jamming session until things were all fixed and they powered through the rest of their set. A truly might opening to the night.
You might have thought that Scutum Crux would be a difficult act to follow after their strong opening but Ethereal more than stepped up to the plate. Sometimes you just know when a band is going to be good from the opening few notes and it was an absolutely mindblowing performance from the five piece. All suitably corpse painted up, it was an incredibly tight set from start to finish packed full of deliciously dark and heavy black metal that was made to bang your head along to. The set even finished with a mini mosh pit, which goes to show what sort of impression they made. Special attention must also be paid to their frontman, Naut; there is a definite difference between being a frontman and just a singer, and he was absolutely top notch, at one with the music as he moved about onstage and absolutely put his all into the performance – as did the rest of the band. Honestly, if Ethereal aren’t the next big thing in black metal, there’s something wrong with the world – there was that special something in their set that not many bands these days possess.
Up next was Thy Worshiper, who were sadly a bit of a comedown after the first two bands. After the extremeness of the first two bands, their music was a little more slower paced in comparison, without as much energy, and they subsequently felt a little out of place. However, their guitarist was a real live wire, performing with such passion and energy (at some points even playing his guitar with a bow!) but the same couldn’t be said for all the members, especially their female singer Anna, who seemed to lack confidence and stood in one place with her hair over her face, subsequently unable to connect with the crowd. The music itself was alright but it perhaps wasn’t as enjoyable as the other bands.
Headlining proceedings was the fantastic Fen and it’s almost difficult to know what to say about this band that will truly do them justice. Their music is beautifully atmospheric with stunning soft sections, yet is also crushingly heavy and both elements are blended together into one unholy mixture. It was an all-round excellent and blistering performance from the trio, who looked completely at-ease on the stage and like they were effortlessly playing, which was no mean feat.
It was a good mixture of songs and we were even informed that we were some of the lucky few that would get to hear a brand new song (the band has recently announced they’re working on their next album) and it began so jaw-droppingly heavy that all you could do was bang your head along in time to it, and in true Fen style there was this soft gentle part before they brought the noise once again – excellent stuff!
Closing with an older number, Exile’s Journey, it was a satisfying end to an all round memorable performance – and if the new song is anything to go by, we are all in for a treat when the new Fen album drops!