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Blaze Bayley, Obzidian, Divine Chaos @ The Underworld, Camden, London (UK)

BLAZE BAYLEY / Obzidian / Divine Chaos
in Saturday, 28 May 2016 at The Underworld Camden
by Anton Sanatov

Metal is a genre of integrity. It is a movement, a blistering force of shared values and commitment to delivering freedom to the masses. From the core and through the atmosphere it transcends age and background, image and sensibilities, and shoots that red-hot spitball of righteous led across the dystopian lands of modern days.

It doesn't matter if your reach one or many, for waves will be made even from a single stone; and that Saturday night, even though a mountain shed its boulders into shallow waters, it was heard across dale. Down in The Underworld, in London Camden, the crowd was scarce, but those who were there packed the thrashing resolve of a stampede in an open field. And this was in no small part due to the fidelity of three bands (headlined by BLAZE BAYLEY), whose restless expression of clear-cut brutality and its flawless execution continued to prove this genre’s endurance and make the glass plated skyscrapers shiver from the underground.
DIVINE CHAOS were the first to rattle the ground. The thrashers from Slough dived barefoot into the rivers of boiling blood and unleashed an old-school Thrash Metal assault upon the bowels of the club; delivering a solid, energetic set that surely kept people talking about them - and sending some to the merchandiser. And as much as the night was a great showcase for bands in their entirety, the frontmen truly stole the show. And at that particular instance, we had the opportunity to watch Benny F take charge of a scant crowd and lead it into a Metal storm like a troop of thousands; all the while demonstrating that he is not only a likeable and engaging frontman - and a great guy - but a talented vocalist as well, delivering his growls tirelessly and with exceptional conviction.

Before the smoke had a chance to settle, OBZIDIAN took to the stage to give their hand to the obliteration. After raising their banners the band settled into slick lascivious grooves intermittent with thrashing madness; almost an homage to such greats as PANTERA. Vocalist Matty Jenks, after showing considerable amount of appreciation for having the opportunity to support the legendary headliner, left his own mark on the night with crazed mannerisms as well as light-hearted moments of silliness, all the while belting out phenomenal banshee screams and demonic gutturals that even had one of the more "seasoned" members of the crowd worshipping at the bands altar.

And then, when the clock's turned to 9:30, we were graced by the monolithic presence of Blaze Bayley. Blaze took to the stage slowly, like a revered king animal, basking in the chants of the crowd calling out his name. And like a preacher of a futuristic revolutionary resistance, he serenaded the eager crowd with post-apocalyptic sermons from his latest release "Infinite Entanglement"; with promise that the latter record is merely the first stepping-stone in what is to be a trilogy of albums. Bayley delivered his vocals like the established professional that he is, lacing every note with feeling and devotion. The intensity of his performance was only emphasised by his fierce grimaces and raised fists of power; an uncompromisable presence. The band too held their own and played the songs with proficiency and zeal.

And even though the venue was far from capacity, those who came out to The Underworld that night had a chance to witness strength and resolution, legacy and its constituents. For those who were there that night saw Metal at its most unalloyed…and they were all a part of it.

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