Obscura, Fallujah and more at O2 Academy Islington (2019)

O2 Academy Islington (London, UK)

Obscura, Fallujah, Allegaeon, First Fragment
  As human beings we love to complicate things – even when we're trying to […]
By Anton Sanatov
February 8, 2019


As human beings we love to complicate things – even when we're trying to make them simpler. Perhaps facility is just too often considered to be the prerogative of mere mortals, whilst the serpentines of intricacy lead up the mountains of the Gods; and that is why mere existence is not enough – for a challenge always awaits acceptance.

In Metal, there are plenty of skilled instrumental warriors who can pound their sonic hammers with the might of celestial delinquents, yet once you step into the ranks of Technical Death Metal, the required level of skill can reach into the heavens and beyond, and on that Friday night in Islington, London, I believe that the angels got an earful from some of the finest disciples of the Tech Death gospel this side of paradise.



As I stepped inside the venue, Montréal's FIRST GRAGMENT were already introducing the gathering crowd to their method of groove.



This had to be one of the most proficient opening acts that I had ever seen, for as the band dug into their licks, the spittle from the mouths of devout Tech Death enthusiasts was all but filling up their emptying beer cups.



Up next, Colorado's own ALLEGAEON stepped onto the stage to take the grey matter into their own hands.



Flexing their chops as well as the crowd's cerebral muscles, the group sent the room's molecules into overdrive with their brand of eloquent chaos and melodic enlightenment. Riley McShane (the band's vocalist) in particular, spread his charisma across the room like an orator of Homeric times, as the band played classics like "1.618" and introduced their upcoming album "Apoptosis" with their latest single "Stellar Tide Disruption".



The atmosphere then grew in intensity of divine proportions, and as the ripples within the cosmos created paths between the stars and the earth, FALLUJAH arose from the ashes of the scorched stage to drop a meteoric blast smack down in the middle of this sonic congregation.



The band's distinct blend of interplanetary melody and savage brutality shook the crowd into multiple dimensions, before yanking them back to reality with codas of hypnotic serenades.



Before the smoke had time to settle, from the shadows of tinted, crepuscular lights, OBSCURA arose like the mighty serpent of the underworld and slithered onto the stage to cries of sheer elation and fanatical commitment; as every soul within the audience coveted this existential moment and etched it into their lives.



As the band destroyed the concepts of time and matter with their mind-bending, musical alchemy, one had to wonder whether the theological had indeed entwined with scientific principles to create a world of pure, unbiased, unadulterated harmony.



That night was more than a showcase of talent and flair, and it went beyond gusts of dry ice and flashes of penetrating lights. The atmosphere was charged with something beyond intangible, beyond the black and white. For as you stood there, amidst the devotees of this expansive genre,  you could almost feel the density of your surroundings thicken with calculations and the metaphysics of your being shake, and as the crowd absorbed these otherworldly metamorphoses, I'm sure they too would never be the same again.



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