Anthemic metallers 36 Crazyfists were last month in the middle of a huge UK tour. With an impressive supporting cast of bands accompanying them, we sent James along to London’s legendary Camden Town Underworld to check out the tour.
First up, Man the Machetes (8) produce an energetic London debut with their singer Nikolas going for some lengthy journeys around the underworld. Musically, Kvelertak are a handy touch-stone to describe the basis of MTM’s music – a mixture of rock’n’roll melody and hardcore rawness there exists much more of an underlying melodic basis to Man the Machetes.
Unfortunately, Rocksins didn’t catch much of Thera (7) as we were interviewing Man the Machetes but the five minutes at the beginning and end of their set were entertaining enough and showed a strong grasp of contrast between light and shade.
Main support, Armed for Apocalypse (9) are a revelation. This is heavy metal at its most gut-wrenchingly savage. Stoner grooves are mixed with pure death metal brutality and bursts of thrashy speed. Imagine Arise-era Sepultura meeting Down and Cannibal Corpse in a bar fight and you’ll be halfway there.
Onto much-anticipated headliners for the evening, 36 Crazyfists (7) feel just a little bit hit and miss tonight. On the one hand the sound is fantastic, and songs like Bloodwork, At the End Of August and Rest Inside the Flames feel so compellingly vital. On the other hand though, THREE new songs are aired tonight. The choice to open with slow-burner Waterhaul (part 2) was also spectacularly ill-advised – especially following it with the voice ruining ‘At the End of August.’ What we are treated to tonight, then, is two sides to 36 Crazyfists. On the one hand we have the grin-bustingly brilliant side; the one that wrote Slit Wrist Theory and Rest Inside the Flames. On the other, dedicating such a large portion of their set to completely unheard of material was never going to turn out well, there’s just too much of a gaping hole in the middle of their set with none of the singalongs that typify the best moments of the evening. A mixed effort.