Cult Of Luna - The Garage, London

Only the third week of January, and already it's going to take something pretty special to excite the Dark Hemyspheres corner of The Music Fix office more than this bill tonight. A veritable banquet of malevolent and atmospheric metal from the first strains to the last reverberations, all three bands are hypnotic, powerful and crushingly heavy.

Sheffield's Humanfly have dived headlong into prog waters on their upcoming LP, and opening tonight with 'Golden Arrows' perfectly encapsulates what the band are about. As unlikely as it may seem, these ten minute epics are bloody catchy whilst maintaining the heaviness and embracing the prowess of their new-found home.

The sight of Amenra on these shores is an all-too-rare one. These Belgium noisemongers turn in an awe-inspiring and brutally violent display of hardcore mixed with drone, made all the more harrowing by the fantastic monochrome projections that provide the sole source of illumination upon these shadowy figures.

Cult Of Luna have spent a long while crafting their latest opus Vertikal, and tonight affords them the opportunity to showcase a large slice of it for the first time. Centred around the twenty minute colossus 'Vicarious Redemption', it is the more immediate offerings like 'I: The Weapon' that come across best in the live setting.

The emphasis is a little too skewed towards the new album, as the few oldies we get are noticeably more welcome. 'Ghost Trail' and 'Finland' are a devastating combination, holding the packed audience rapt as this very special band move through the gears and unleash some of the most intriguing, dynamic metal we have been lucky enough to witness.

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