Heralding from California, American four-piece THE FACELESS graced this side of the pond for an eight-night tour including one appearance at the ever-cosy Camden Underworld. Along for the ride tonight are OSIAH, SWORN AMONGST and JONESTOWN.
JONESTOWN are first to enter the fray; whilst the crowd isn’t huge, it’s respectable for early doors (6PM) and a cold night in London. Bringing the groove and dirty riffs, the Brighton four-piece seem almost put out by the reception that they receive. Calling for “more participation”, the present audience does what it can to make the band feel more welcome. A short yet undoubtedly heavy set has the room suitably acclimatised for the other bands to come.
SWORN AMONGST takes to the stage next and appear far more comfortable than their predecessors. Their set is full of energy and has the crowd almost unanimously rocking their heads; their performance is polished and well practised – the group of five evidently gel together and they’re a welcome addition to the night. Riffs that hit hard and solos that fly around the fretboard seem to bring the audience alive, whilst it’s already grown substantially the number of people singing along and actually taking part brings it home. THE CLEANSING is probably the track that receives the best response from the crowd, but ultimately it’s frontman Darryl Jones‘ tribute to the late SHIELDS guitarist George Christie that gets the largest applause of the night so far.
OSIAH takes the venue to another level. The previous two bands have yet to incite a mosh of any kind, OSIAH see to that with ease. Deathcore ridiculousness ensues with their impressive stage presence, incredibly down tuned guitars and some of the most epileptic on-stage strobes the audience may have seen. Whilst the lighting is less than helpful to the photographers, it brings the crowd to a fervent sea of bodies – drinks fly as well as legs and arms. If they weren’t warmed up already, they are now. Gurn central.
By this point, The Underworld is now comfortably (or rather uncomfortably) filled. People vie for a spot nearer the stage and casual conversation brims between the headline band, who are in the middle of their soundcheck and those on the front row. The anticipation in the room is huge – some people are surprised that the band even arrived. Jokes aside, many people are really very excited to see what THE FACELESS have to offer. What they provide leaves some of the crowd happy, some of them less so. A relatively short set (for a band of their calibre, anyway) is plagued with technical difficulties – their mac-based bassist refuses to function for The Spiralling Void, resulting in them abandoning it altogether. The crowd aren’t too happy about this but seem sated at when the band offer Ancient Covenant as an alternative. Technical problems aside, there are other issues with their set that need to be addressed. For a band touring on the other side of the planet, guitarist Michael Keene’s solos and clean vocals aren’t perfect sadly – whatever the reason, it simply brings down the whole performance on this particular night. At this point, the drunken crowd decide to start a profane chant that amazingly, the band return and apparently fully endorse. It’s evident that their new drummer Bryce Butler is incredibly talented; rhythm guitarist Justin McKinney also keeps to his side of the stage and produces a seemingly flawless performance. THE FACELESS return to The Spiralling Void almost as an afterthought and close their set which has been unusually varied in quality. Hopefully they can rectify whatever issues they were facing for the rest of their tour, which concludes in Nottingham on February 9th.
Check out our photo gallery from the action in London from Rhys Haberfield Media here: