It’s been a long time coming this one. Considering Primordial are based only a short hop across the Irish sea from Manchester, it’s been 18 long years since the band last graced us with their presence. When their 2 date mini tour of the UK was announced we were pretty sure that CackBlabbath would be in attendance, and when the support acts were announced as Winterfylleth and Hell there was no doubt at all that we’d be there..
First up were local favourites, Black Metallers Winterfylleth. Judging by the fact that the venue was already rammed by the time they came on stage their reputation as a punishing live act preceeded them, and that’s exactly how it turned out. Right from the opeining salvo of Mam Tor until the final notes of Defending The Realm this was a masterclass in proper, old school, Black Metal from a band who have built a substantial cult following by sticking true to their roots.
Don’t let their opening slot on the bill leave you in any doubt, Winterfilleth could have filled MohoLive on their own, and I can’t wait to catch them live again.
From the short sharp shock of Black Metal, it was time for something completely different. In between black metal from Minterfilleth and headliners Primordial, it was time for some theatrical “proper” heavy metal from CackBlabbath favourites Hell.
The band’s arrival on stage was shrouded in ridiculous amounts of dry ice, and it was two songs in before it cleared enough to actually see them. Hell have played some pretty big festivals recently, and have just completed a tour with Accept, so the cramped confines of MohoLive must have been a bit of a change of scenery, but it certainly didn’t stop them giving it 100%.
For all the scale of Hell and their music, this was one of the best performances I have seen from them. For all their arena-rocking qualities, I always feel that frontman David Bower is in his element when he can interact directly with the audience…
And this was an up close and personal show par excellence.
Any doubts I may have had about how Hell would fare in front of a Black Metal audience didn’t last long and I’m not sure who was enjoying it most, the audience or the band 🙂
Primordial had been brave in their choice of support bands, and after the blinders played by Winterfylleth and Hell they were undoubtedly going to have to go some to top what had gone before…
Now the only time I have seen Primordial before (bearing in mind it’s been 18 years since they were last in Manchester) was at Bloodstock, where they almost didn’t play. Frontman Alan Averill (more commonly known as Nemtheanga) had lost his voice, resulting in audience participation being taken to new heights in an unforgettable Black Metal Karaoke.
Well, there were no such problems tonight, and as the band opened up with Lain With The Wolf the two things that struck me were…
1) Nemtheanga is a big, scary looking bloke close up and
2) Primordial are f’kin incredible live
Yep, seriously, this is a band who grab your attention immediately, and just never bloody let go. I must confess I was a little surprised with the amount of interaction between the corpse painted frontman and the audience, as he apologised for the massive delay since they last played over here, and assured us that there would be no repeats of Bloodstock.
There is something special about how Primordial blend Black Metal with the celtic musical influences of their native land, it undeniably adds another dimension to their sound over more “traditional” bands. It’s a mix works well on record, but live it just lifts things to a whole other level of passion and intensity, driven along by the tribal rhythms and soaring, emotive guitars.
In the intimate confines of MohoLive, Nemtheanga was outstanding as he prowled the stage a demonic, scary and intense presence.
Brilliant. just Brilliant.
By the time Primordial got to the awesome No Grave Deep Enough , only three songs in, it was clear that this was one of those special nights, the gigs that you just know you are going to remember for a long time to come.
I don’t remember seeing three very different bands put in three such jaw dropping performances in one gig before, it really was that good.
See you in 2030 guys.