SCREW @ Underworld

Underworld Camden
30th May 2012
Written by Keita-Eiri Uesugi
Photography by Lorna Ransome

The Abyss
Cursed Hurricane
Ancient Rain
Gather Roses
Wailing Wall
Raging Blood

Zansatsu Fiction

Try as hard as it could, the onslaught of rain could do little to dampen the spirits that surged into the tiny venue that is Underworld, Camden.

An amicable numbered audience, from the PSC fans taking the first couple of rows to everyone else milling behind there was space for all, the crowd spreading out towards the back. They don’t have long before chanting commences, the lights dim and the band takes the stage.

As far as sound quality goes, you could tell there was a few difficulties. Throughout “The Abyss”, “DEEP SIX” and “BRAINSTORM” is was difficult to distinguish where one song ended and another began. Not only that, but Byou's vocals could barely be heard over the roaring of instruments fighting it out in the background... even the drums can be little heard.

Everyone seems energetic though, the whole room ripples with energy as Kazuki and Manabu throw out some thunderous riffs and the whole world appears to be jumping to the beat elicited from the speakers.

A moment that stands out however, was the leads through “Cursed Hurricane” to “Ancient Rain”, when at last, Byou could be heard, but also, with a slower pace to the music, it was easy to decipher the songs and the instruments from one another. And poignantly so, this would lead to a firm favourite of “Gather Roses” which, with its swinging bass lines and catchy riffs, the crowd of course toss themselves into the song like no tomorrow.

But after those first few songs, it would seem that the sound would continue in a continuous blur from one song through to the next. There is no doubt at all, that the setlist is a wonderful selection of their music new and old, however, when one songs blends into another and with each sounding so similar, the end of the set rolls round so quickly that before you know it, it's almost over.

In a quick space of five minutes, the band returns to the stage for a two song encore (consisting of “Scarlet” and “Zansatsu Fiction”) that sadly, ends up sounding like heavy white noise straight through to the end. The headbangers all seem to appear to grow weary as they continuously throw themselves into another round of lurching their heads back and forth. But in this mix of heavy songs, the energy in the crowd is still completely overboard and not a single soul stops for breath.

As far as venues go, Underworld is most well known for the closeness between musicians and fans; because of this, the band was able to interact with the crowd at an intense level. Sadly, lighting was not the best, and the sound, although the bass trembled through your body, was not overly well defined. And as far as security went, there was little to none for the safety of the masses. 

All in all, the live was a good change of pace for the UK. The setlist had a good choice of songs which everyone seemed to enjoy, even if it was predominately thrashy and heavy. It was a good live, notwithstanding it's problems but with the happy faces of the leaving crowd afterwards, it's obvious that all had a good time, band included.