Live Review: Krysthla, Colours To Shame & Zephyr at The Black Heart – November 6th 2015

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Venue: The Black Heart, Camden, London, UK
Date: November 6th 2015
Promoter: Chaos Theory
Krysthla Colours To Shame gig report

Let it never be said that there is a dearth of high quality concerts in London. As Rumour Cubes proved in August, Chaos Theory’s The Facemelter is one of the best nights around for live music, and its most recent iteration proved the point succinctly. While last time round we had ‘post-rock’ as the broad walls to house three unique bands in The Black Heart, this time round it was the heavier, more technical end of metal. Krysthla, Colours To Shame and Zephyr were up for the crowd to experience, each bringing their own take on this broad style of metal.

Opening the show are fresh-faced Zephyr, who per organizer Kunal’s introductory speech have been quick to mobilize themselves since forming earlier this year, and put out an EP which caught the attention of several prominent media sources [1]. Playing from this EP tonight, it’s easy to see why they got praised; the band offer a tightly-wound blend of progressive metalcore and melodic hardcore, with plenty of bounce to the riffs and a sense of melancholy in the melodies atop them. Vocalist Cameron Thomson embraces the space in front of the stage in true Black Heart fashion, bellowing in people’s faces and moshing with the eager up front, while his bandmates sway and pace back and forth. He comes across a little conceited, especially when uttering the phrase “We are Zephyr, remember the name”, but his stage presence suits the music, and their half-hour flies by. and the final impression are: if this is where Zephyr are in their infancy, then they are certainly worth keeping an eye on to follow developments. Stream their EP on YouTube. [2]

Colours To Shame are a prime example of how to band right. From the second the wrestling-style announcer voice proclaims their name over the tannoy as the band run onstage like rockstars, to the final pummeling riffs, the Glaswegians astound the crowd with their display of tech-metal. Caught somewhere Between The Buried And Me [3] and The Dillinger Escape Plan, the resulting concoction showcases one of the most rhythmically tight bands The Black Heart has witnessed this year, even when the band hit hyperspeed. Frontman Rory Doherty has a rasping shriek which sits atop the musical cacophony, even when pulling out bewildering tapping sections, and his bandmates are similarly instrumentally gifted. The band’s set is equal parts new and old: both sides of double-single Who Is The Fifth? run into the older ‘Chocomeegah’ and ‘In Search Ov Sasquatch”, running the full gauntlet from crazy and extreme to mellow and jazzy. All of this is extremely well-received, with several impressed expressions adorning the faces of those who walk out afterwards for much needed fresh air, preparing for the final metal onslaught. Stream their double-single on Bandcamp. [4]

In direct contrast to the highly technical approach of the band before, Krysthla shoot for brute force with thrashing levels of energy. Sheer groove dominates their sound, with flourishes of tech shining through in the solos and the shifting drum patterns. The band are seasoned vets, their time in Gutworm and Deadeye informing a strong stage presence, especially Adi Mayes with his hoarse yell as he stares intently into the crowd. The hardcore fans are clearly reveling in the rhythms, with the rest of the crowd nodding along appreciatively, except for one guy who’s miraculously nodded off on a bench to the side. After a while the Meshuggah-meets-Fear Factory stylings wear a little thin, but the band appreciate the audience’s warm response, and wrap up another successful Facemelter with a bang. Stream their single on YouTube. [5]

All videos credit: Thanks to Peter Junge and Chaos Theory Music.

Footnotes:
1. Kerrang!, Hit The Floor and Metal Hammer to name a few.
2. Zephyr EP stream via YouTube
3. Unabashed pun usage.
4. Colours To Shame double-single on Bandcamp
5. Krysthla single stream via YouTube

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About Author

Founder, editor-in-chief and general busybody of Broken Amp. Listens to almost every genre under the sun, but tends to enjoy most forms of metal, various sections of rock and punk, and a smattering of ambient and rap.

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