Susperia / Red Harvest

13 October 2006

Camden Underworld, London

Tonight`s bill also featured Slit and Grimfist however the early start meant missing both.

Last time I caught Red Harvest at the Underworld they were playing to a packed out venue at the Inferno Festival launch event. The stifling heat and claustrophobia of being packed in that evening, really presented the perfect atmosphere for the band`s intense performance. Tonight, with Lacuna Coil playing a sold out show down the road, the Underworld is pretty sparse, but to begin with Red Harvest`s aural assault was as devastating as ever.

Antidote gave way to the dense, slothful soundscape of GodTech, with the piercing eyes of frontman Jim Bergsten looking as psychotic as ever. First impressions of new song Icon Of Fear is that the band are picking up where they left off with Internal Punishment Programs, with the track akin to a deadly infection. The set peaked with Absolut Dunkelheit with Lars Sorensen`s keyboards, which where draped with camouflage netting, doing battle with Bergsten and Ketil Eggum`s black metal guitars, creating a wall of noise as furious as standing in a wind tunnel.

However, the effect of the powerful opening appeared to wind the audience with the net result that the performance seemed to go into meltdown. There is an inherent repetitiveness to Red Harvest`s industrial tinged metal and the creeping apathy across the crowd seemed to bounce back from the band.

Red Harvest set list:

Antidote / GodTech / Icon Of Fear / GGFH / Absolut Dunkelheit / Hole In Me / Internal Punishment Programs / Cold Dark Matter / Beyond The End / Mekanizm / Omnipotent

"I must be the unluckiest man in the world" proclaimed Athera, who had just been struck down with a cold virus, but was apparently still up for the fight with his vow, "No f**king virus is gonna stop my rock`n`roll show!"

It seems Susperia are cursed with such bad luck. When supporting Testament at their sold out reunion show, their sound made it difficult to work out which song they were playing and then Testament`s was crystal clear. As stated Lacuna Coil were playing a sold out show, and at their first UK show five years ago they shared the same bill with that band together with Nevermore, In Flames and Dimmu Borgir. Something of a dream bill now and all with the exception of Susperia have moved onto much bigger things.

The faithful here are in the know on what an excellent album Susperia`s Unlimited is and The Coming Past is an early testament to this. Previewing two new songs, it`s More that made the immediate impression, with some thrash-tastic riffing hinting that the band`s forthcoming album may be the one to finally get them their due respect.

Alongside these, Devil May Care is as near to a ballad the band stray and, whilst being a long way from a love song, the fact that it encouraged the first stage dive of the night perplexed Athera, "You guys pick odd songs to dive to".

Whilst Cyrus and Elvorn caught attention with the down picked guitar riffs, as usual its bassist Memnock who is up front fighting for space with Athera. With his fingers speeding across his six-stringed bass` fretboard he was right in the faces of the front rows desperately beckoning for a response. Those here did respond well and the band didn`t seem to let the low attendance blunt their performance.

However, as hard as he battled, Athera`s cold came back to haunt him during my personal favourite, Situational Awareness, with the singer taking on the chorus in a lower register. By the closing cover of W.A.S.P.`s Wild Child, it was like he`d been gargling glass.

Susperia hit the Underworld with a powerful show and it`s to be hoped more people will be here to witness them when they next return with a new album and without Athera`s cold.

Susperia set list:

Beast By Design / Chemistry / The Coming Past / Petrified / More / Devil May Care / Situational Awareness / The Clone / Home Sweet Hell / Anguished Scream (For Vengeance) / Wild Child



Red Harvest