Conan had nothing else in mind but to destroy. Getintothis’ Mark Greenwood sought shelter and was witness to a metal apocalypse.
Arriving at the Zanzibar, Getintothis are quick to note that the door and bar staff are extremely welcoming and friendly. We immediately feel at home in a venue that has plenty of character.
It’s refreshing to be stood in a space that offers an alternative to those squeaky clean, corporate kind of bistro joints that besmirch urban music scenes. We merely have to blink at the barman and he throws us a can of Red Stripe, a crucial ingredient in aiding our assessment of the metal on offer tonight.
Coltsblood at Zanzibar, Liverpool
First up are Coltsblood with a blackened brand of devastating doom sludge. The sound is excellent and Coltsblood immediately hit the spot with tracks from their unnerving Beyond the Lake of Madness E.P.
The vocals aren’t your normal kind of over-growly sneers but feel honest, pure and genuinely anguished against a background of cockroach infested bass and breezeblock rhythms. Occasionally, a bleeding guitar stands out, scratching dark symbols onto a granite headstone of power sludge.
Coltsblood’s final number drives a heavy stake through the heart of the Zanzibar, a brutal full-stop which terminates a masterful set from the three-piece.
Nikharsag at Zanzibar, Liverpool
Unfortunately Burden of the Noose haven’t shown up tonight and our own infallible brand of investigative journalism can’t uncover why.
Nonetheless, Ninkharsag deliver their brand of brutal yet melodic black metal to a responsive Zanzibar crowd. Ninkharsag aren’t exactly our cup of tea when it comes to metal and perhaps they’re a little bit too over technical and intricate.
That said, three songs into their set the band start purring like a well-oiled death machine and we soon find ourselves nodding our heads to an opus that gets better and better.
When Ninkharsag open up the throttle and replace melody and structure with dark aggression they are a formidable force to be reckoned with. We must also point out that their Essential Salts of Human Dust 7-inch is a metal masterpiece.
Conan at Zanzibar, Liverpool
The Zanzibar is buzzing in anticipation of Conan. The three-piece are one of the heaviest bands Getintothis have ever heard, drawing obvious comparisons with Eyehategod.
However, conceptually, Conan offer something different and we adore their caveman battle doom. We soon find ourselves hopelessly drowning in heavy shower of sludge, with the Liverpool barbarians smashing through a tight set of cannibalistic anthems.
Their barrage of primal riffs and driving tempos are supplemented with roaring vocals as the audience are savagely pulverised into submission. In fact, Getintothis are so obliterated that we still can’t work out how we got home.
Conan deserve to be at the pinnacle of an international metal scene and they induce the same excitement that we felt back in 1984 when first hearing Warhead by Geordie metal gods Venom or Cetic Frost’s Dethroned Emperor. Yes, Conan really are that special and we strongly urge you to join them in their bloody and violent road to metal subjugation.
Meanwhile, let us rejoice in a muscular Liverpool metal scene that is alive and throbbing on tonight’s evidence.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Tomas Adam.
Further reading on Getintothis:
Conan open Skyhammer Studios for business.
GIT AWARD 2013: Nominee profile – Conan
Liverpool’s gig calendar 2013: Guide to essential gigs not to miss the rest of this year.
Getintothis selects Merseyside music’s top 25 tracks of 2013 so far.