Vomitory/Aetherian The Underworld, Camden Sunday 8th October 2023

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I love coming to Camden for gigs, especially for the more extreme bands. Camden is a pretty liberal and cosmopolitan area of London but to see the faces of the people as hundreds of metalheads descend upon them makes me laugh but that laughter would soon disappear.

It was an early start and unfortunately, I missed Skaphos but from the buzz and conversation, they were pretty good. Athens-based Aetherian graced the stage and pounded out some superb melodic death metal with the superb ‘Starlit Shores’ being a highlight.

The band I wanted to see were Vomitory after reviewing their latest release ‘All Heads Are Gonna Roll’ which is an absolute banger of old-school Swedish Death Metal.

The four members sauntered onto the stage, all were imposing, with their long hair, long beards and tattoos – I felt we were being invaded by the Vikings again. Opening with the title track of the album they went straight into ‘Stray Bullet Kill’ before ‘Terrorize.Brutalize.Sodomize’ they stopped just short of sodomy, but it was close! New songs ‘Piece By Stinking Piece’ and the awesome ‘Ode To The Meat Saw’ were huge then we got older ‘classics’ ‘Regorge In The Morgue’, ‘Rebirth Of The Grotesque’ and ‘Redemption’. It was crowd participation time on ‘Raped. Strangled.

Sodomized.Dead’ before the crushing final number ‘Chaos Fury’. Vomitory showed how it’s done and I for one am glad that they decided to reform because they are at the top of the Death Metal tree in my humble opinion.

I have attended The Underworld for years and literally hundreds of gigs and I’ve always had a great time I was due to stay and catch headliners Vader who are celebrating their fortieth anniversary.

However, on this night I was left utterly disappointed and angry at the behaviour and poor attitude of the staff and even more so the crowd. Since when has it been acceptable to barge through people and usurp the space being used by people much smaller? I saw females being pushed and jostled.

I understand some people like to mosh, but others don’t and those that don’t stand away from the mosh and don’t expect to get pushed and shoved. The staff at the venue were unhelpful and uninterested.

The attitude of the Vader crowd was disgusting. On several occasions I had to remonstrate with some of them for queue jumping, pushing and barging, so I left not wanting to get myself into an altercation. I apologise to the wonderful Claire Harris at Nuclear Blast for arranging my pass, but I wasn’t prepared to put myself on offer and run the risk of getting myself into bother plus I was holding some very expensive borrowed camera equipment that I didn’t want to be damaged. There is an etiquette at gigs, it’s unwritten, but those of us who go to gigs all the time respect those unwritten rules.

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