GIG REVIEW: MINSK, KOWLOON WALLED CITY & More Live at The Underworld Camden, London
As your resident doom reporter, I was particularly excited about this gig. Discovering doom in my 20s was a revelation, taking everything I liked about my teenage band trends to the next level in the direction I wanted them to head. This gig wasn’t expected to take it to the heights (or depths?) of doom, but be a cathartic and heavy experience none the less.
London locals Wren opened the evening, with a satisfying, dimly-lit introduction to the mood of the night. They felt the most raw of the night with a 90s feel to their tones, steadily feeding the crowd a mixture of slowly descending guitar tones and heavy doom riffs, accompanied by strong shouted vocals knocked back into the instrumental. The mood was serious as the musicians interacting very little with the crowd, and the music chugged. Bliss.
It felt as though Bossk would grace us with a post rock-influenced interlude from the doom; however I was mistaken. The mood gradually got heavier until an almighty onslaught of loud, strong riffs, shouting, and crashing drums hit the crowd. This night held four bands with an early curfew, and the short set times were definitely noted for this lot. Checking out their music, since this can pretty much all be summed up in the track “Kobe”. Worth checking out.
Kowloon Walled City held almost as much anticipation as Minsk. Opening with a heartfelt dedication to the singer’s father, the mood was intense and deep, despite being less melodic than Bossk. This band’s sludgey, roaring post rock filled the room thick, entrancing the crowd. The pace slowed, the tones lengthened, the atmosphere dispersed, and was brought back with crashing force.
Minsk filled the stage with more musicians than the rest, and the sound reflected this. A barrage was immediately thrown upon the crowd, the instruments coming together to deal strong riffs then dispersing into a waterfall of noise and shouted/growled vocals. For me, Minsk lead the way in layered, textured doom metal. There’s melody, occasional clean vocals, and touches of psychedelia, all to a backdrop of heavy force. This wasn’t a gig for a mosh pit, but everyone stood in their own fierce headbanging forcefield, gripped and led on a heavy, dark journey.
Minsk and their support led a journey of cathartic, heavy doom metal deep in Camden’s Underworld; never was there a place named more aptly for a gig like this!