July 17 marked a night of dark and heavy black metal in Manchester and it almost seemed apt that the show took place in the dark and grim underground basement of Sound Control rather than the upstairs room, as it fit the overall mood quite well.
Ninkharsag kicked off proceedings and it was a good start to the night. However – and I’m not sure if this was down to a decision made by the venue or band – the smoke machine was far too excessive after the first song alone, and by the third or fourth song it was nigh-on impossible to see the band, which was disappointing because it meant they weren’t able to connect with the crowd all that well as a result. The songs were excellent, and the room was filled with people headbanging and windmilling, but it was just a shame the smoke machine got out of control.
Up next was a much more visible Burials, who gave a strong performance from start to finish. The music was excellent, even if the sound quality and levels weren’t too great at times, and their vocalist Derek a was a great performer in the way he introduced the songs. It would have been nice to have a bit more movement onstage but it was an overall good performance in general from the threepiece.
Funeral Throne took things up a notch, projecting a wall of sound and energy at the crowd as soon as they started to play and you could tell the crowd was into it because there was a mosh pit going at a very early stage of the set! The amount of energy and movement onstage was phenomenal, and the power behind the vocals was particularly substantial. Funeral Throne played a massively tight set with plenty of opportunities for the crowd to get involved – to cut a long story short, they absolutely slayed it.
45 minutes after their scheduled slot, Inquisition finally took to the stage for their first ever performance in Manchester and as the evening progressed, it was almost unbelievable about how much noise the band could make, if you consider they’re just a duo. They launched into an aggressive and powerful set right from the word go and the crowd fed from Dagon’s every word. There was so much energy in the room, both from the crowd and band members alike, which was incredible to be a part of, and a particular highlight was Desolate Funeral March.
It felt like they had more to give as the set came to a close after just 45 minutes but as it was 15 minutes past curfew, that may have been a deciding factor – however it was quite disappointing all the same, as in some respects it felt like the night was only just getting started. It was a good night in general, but it could have been better.