GIG REVIEW: Destruction, Flotsam & Jetsam, Enforcer & Nervosa Live at Camden Underworld, London
It could be perceived as fairly obvious to the people that know me personally that thrash is by far and away my favourite style of metal, as groups such as Kreator, Exodus, Anthrax, Slayer and more are some of my top bands when it comes to this genre of music. This then makes my experience of seeing Destruction all the more enjoyable, as the German thrash gods were supported by special guests Flotsam & Jetsam, alongside opening acts Nervosa and Enforcer.
The wait outside the venue was accompanied by a strange man raving through a megaphone about political suppression and conspiracy malarkey, but the real action began with Nervosa. Female fronted bands generally get marked down as gimmicks, usually due to the reliance on appearance over musical talent. Nervosa are very different, with the singer/bassist proudly sporting a Venom shirt as she barked her bands’ style of thrash with a very black metal vocal at us in the audience. A very welcome way to start off the night. Enforcer was up next. Being from Sweden, the particular influence of old school metal with tinge of melodic death metal definitely seeped into the kind of thrash that they were performing, although in retrospect I feel that they suffered a bit as a consequence of performing after Nervosa. Still, a respectable set nonetheless.
Following Enforcer was 80s thrash legends Flotsam & Jetsam, albeit one of the bands that didn’t make it to the big leagues such as Metallica and Slayer. The audience that had assembled, however, gave the group somewhat of a heroes’ welcome, although age is definitely present in the band and the consequential effects of what that can do to a group of musicians in terms of the quality of live performance was definitely evident. I still enjoyed Flotsam & Jetsam, and they deserve credit for performing as well as they did with the obvious barriers in their way.
The main draw of the night was German metal kings Destruction, who are without a doubt one of the finest bands the country has ever produced. This was my first time seeing a band from the Teutonic big 4, and they did not disappoint one bit. With a setlist that fortunately equaled out the classic songs from records such as Eternal Devastation, as well as material from their newer releases like Under Attack, the Underworld was so full of people that navigating the room was difficult to do at times. The highlight of the set for me was ‘Nailed to the Cross’. The crowd was on fire, although not literally, which made the set even better.
It is gigs like these that make writing about metal so worth it, as every now and again you see a show where both the bands and the people gathered to watch said bands are so undisputed passionate about the reason why they’re all there to begin with. Every band that performed felt like they were headlining due to the crowd reaction, which is not something you see often. Thrash just rules, it really does.