Frustratingly, I reached Camden late due to a massive train delay, meaning that I completely missed King Parrot and Prong. I’ll need to rectify this in the future by checking out King Parrot’s stuff. As for Prong, Snap Your Fingers Snap Your Neck was THE jam for 14 year olds with a Bevis and Butthead obsession back in my day, so I am doubly annoyed.
Oh well. I’ve seen Exodus before in Athens some years ago, but my overriding memory was of them being punishingly loud, to the point that it has difficult to focus on the songs. This time though, they are sublime. I was never much of a fan, but it’s impossible to not be won over by them. Zetro Souza is a hell of a frontman, amiably chatting about how they love London, why metal solidarity matters and how we should all fuck shit up with the next song. He speaks to the denim- clad misfit in all of us and it works. A pit is formed swiftly and the sequence of Blacklist, War Is My Shepherd (dedicated to Lemmy), Bonded by Blood and The Toxic Waltz land with crushing force. They own the evening in my opinion.
Obituary on the other hand don’t really do audience banter and stage presence. They are the aural equivalent of the Swamp Thing. Their sound is muddy and filthy and steamrolls over everything in its’ path. There is a tendency to look at old school death metal as something made by easygoing Americans who like BBQ and horror movies, but I have to say that this band looks pretty intimidating. Hair in front of their faces, bathed by a sickly green light, they are the soundtrack to sinking in a tar pit. Slowly. They do play their awesome cover of Celtic Frost’s Circle of the Tyrants though, so I it’s all good.