After blowing us away at Arctangent Festival earlier this month, Swedish hardcore outfit ‘God Mother’ are in London for the closing leg of their first UK tour accompanied by the equally devastating ‘Ilenkus’.
The Dev 25/08/2018:
We arrive at The Dev, in time to catch the second half of 'Pupil Slicer'; it has been almost a year since we last saw the young death metal trio supporting 'Abhorrent Decimation', and it is a welcoming site to see them play to a larger crowd than before. It is a shame that the Londoners don't seem to have garnered the success of some of their recent contemporaries, but is reassuring to see that they are still plugging away with their technically efficient and well oiled death metal. Next up, 'Jim Fontaine' bring their mix of hardcore and metal to the stage. Sounding like 'Cancer Bats' without the eccentricities, 'Jim Fontaine' bring a bunch of enjoyable riffs to the table but there isn't much that sticks and we find our attention starting to drift after a few songs.
The evening really starts to pick up pace however when 'Dead Hands' begin to play. Raising the bar significantly, 'Dead Hands' are a wonder to behold; combining all the best aspects of hardcore, mathcore and thrash together into something that is wholly original whilst playing with the intensity of a band in a venue three times the size. Guitarist Debbie Gough is an absolute demon with a six-string, shredding along at blinding speeds alongside drummer Harry Shaw. Richard Phillips is a thoroughly entertaining front man dressed in a white 'Girls Aloud' t-shirt and short shorts that leave very little to the imagination, Phillips leaps and bounds across the venue before asking everyone to help by lifting up bassist Dan Mogg and crowd surfing him down the pub for one of his final shows with the band.
Not only do 'Dead Hands' succeed in warming up the crowd, but the night has now seemingly changed from a regular gig to a battle of the bands as 'Ilenkus' refuse to be upstaged. Opening the set with vocalist Josh Guyett diving off of the bar into the crowd, 'Ilenkus' perform an absolutely devastating set, during which Guyett rarely spends a moment with his feet on the ground as he crowd surfs, hangs from the ceiling and even climbs on top of the fire exit. Having already blown us away at Arctangent a week before, 'Ilenkus' cement themselves as a sonic powerhouse that are not to be reckoned with. With the bar set at an extraordinary height and a clearly anxious and annoyed venue staff, the tension in the air before 'God Mother' play is almost too much to bare. Like 'Ilenkus' before them, 'God Mother' have already blown us away with their Arctangent performance and they are not willing to let the their Irish touring partners steal the limelight from their first UK tour. Straight from the outset, 'God Mother' throw everything that they have at their unsuspecting audience in what proves to be one of the most wildly intense hardcore shows that we have ever had the privilege of attending. Vocalist Sebastian pours his heart into playing a set to remember, but it is clear that the management of The Dev, do not share his enthusiasm as they do their best to cut the set short. Needless to say, their attempts are futile as muting the microphone just encourages the band to turn up their instruments and upon being told that they only have one song left to play, the Swedes smash all of their songs together so that it is impossible to tell when one song ends and the next begins.
Two shows in two weeks is enough to cement us as die hard 'God Mother' fans and we cannot wait for the Swedish quartet to return to British soil again in the hopefully not too distant future.
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