Employed to Serve
Employed to Serve have turned into a well-oiled, mosh machine since I last saw them. The band has now turned out one of the most intense metallic hardcore records and their live performance is just as visceral. What’s instantly striking about the band is despite their possessed display of on-stage antics, they’re a seriously tight and well-rehearsed act. The band does a magnificent job of stirring the crowd into an early frenzy and put on one of the best shows that UK hardcore has to offer. This is an excellent beginning to an excellent evening.
Daggers were a bit of an odd choice for this bill and the crowd definitely reciprocated this feeling. The band plays an almost free-form type of doomy hardcore that often dips into sombre moments of respite before beating you over the head with a nasty, sludge-ridden riff. Sadly, the band’s quiet/loud dynamic moved back-and-forth too frequently to allow them to gain any momentum and this became a pretty underwhelming performance, especially considering how well Employed to Serve had ignited a lot of energy for tonight’s proceedings.
My word, have Svalbard have become something special or what. The band plays a wonderfully euphoric yet punky form of post hardcore that’s big on fast-paced drumming and beautiful, glittery, guitar leads. There’s a gorgeous atmosphere about Svalbard’s music which is very rare in heavy music and despite the band clearly pouring their heart and soul into a very loud performance, the whole thing just feels very uplifting. Svalbard are an outstandingly unique band and tonight’s performance has me super-excited for their upcoming debut album.
So this is it, the final Pariso show. Pariso always felt like the UK hardcore act that would last and while they’ve certainly had a bloody good innings, tonight’s performance makes it instantly apparent how much people are going to miss them. The room is absolutely packed and the moment the band start playing the crowd ignites. Pariso’s special blend of down-tuned metallic hardcore is still one of the most unique sounds to come out of UK hardcore and the band is firing on all cylinders. Vocalist Mazz incites some of the most furious mosh-pits I’ve seen at the Camden Unicorn and he does it with a wonderful humility and appreciation for the audience. An all-star cast of the band’s friends make it on stage with Sammy and Justine from Employed to Serve doing a fantastic job of keeping the moshers satisfied and there’s even a surprise appearance from Kerouac’s Thom Denson who looks absolutely dangerous on stage. Despite some mic problems which were bound to happen with the sheer number of people screaming into them, Pariso’s farewell is a visceral, sweaty celebration of one of UK hardcore’s most beloved acts and despite the sadness of seeing them go, they give their fans one of their defining performances.