Night of the Angry Swedes
Entombed, Nine, Disfear and Cerberus @ The Camden Underworld, London, 3 October 2003
by: Jackie Smit
With the notable exception of this year's _Inferno_ record, much of Entombed's post-_Wolverine Blues_ output has been fairly disposable; and while they are still clearly the biggest draw on tonight's four-band line-up, my primary motivation for being in the Camden Underworld is the rare opportunity to catch the Tomas Lindberg anarcho-punks Disfear in action.

First on the bill though are Milton-Keynes based metalcore bruisers Cerberus. Having already impressed me this year on their split-CD with fellow locals Seethe, they continue to establish themselves as ones to watch with a decent performance. Although at times exhibiting the symptoms of a band in development, "Necromancer" and the eponymous "Cerberus" sound particularly excellent. Even though they could stand to incorporate some more on-stage activity into their act, the very fact that these guys are all yet to celebrate their twentieth birthdays, and still manage to outperform a fair number of their elders, is worthy of ample amounts of praise.

Be it in At the Gates, Lock Up or Disfear, Tomas Lindberg's natural propensity as a frontman is as striking as the uniqueness of his trademark rasp. Kicking off with "Powerload" from their excellent _Misanthropic Generation_ opus, Disfear take to the stage like fire to a forest, playing with the kind of venomous rebellion that would send bubblegum punk dribble like The Distillers run scampering for cover. While a large contingent of the audience is surprisingly oblivious to their efforts, a good number gather at the front of the stage -- myself included -- to shout along and bounce along to such unpretentious, straightforward stompers like "An Arrogant Breed", "Desperation" and "Never Gonna Last". Closing off with the title track from their latest offering, Disfear are undoubtedly the highlights of this evening's bill and it is truly a shame that this fact seems to pass many of the ridiculously staunch audience members by.

Riding a wave of good reviews and industry hype, Nine should by rights tear the house down, but sadly their brand of rock 'n' core proves decidedly tepid, and isn't helped by the fact that the band seem almost disinterested in performing at all. Playing several tracks off their "Killing Angels" and "Lights Out" discs, Nine may have the support of such illustrious names as Daniel Bergstrand, but this does not save them from falling flat on their faces this evening.

Eventually Nine exit the stage, which leaves it up to Entombed to get on with business as usual, and even though they play cull their setlist from mostly their last three records, they nevertheless deliver a massively entertaining hour of metallic mayhem. LG Petrov stalks the stage like a demon-possessed incarnation of Ozzy Osbourne, as the band churn out enthusiastically received renditions of "Retaliation", "Eye for an Eye", "Out of Heaven", "The Fix Is In" and "Public Burning". While the onstage energy does compensate for the lack of inventiveness of Entombed's newer material, it is the presence of such classics on the setlist as "Stranger Aeons", "Abnormally Deceased" and "Hollowman" that serve as the highlights of their show. And ultimately this reinforces the notion that even though Entombed aren't the band that they once were, they are definitely a live prospect that demands attention.

(article submitted 20/10/2003)


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