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frayleThe Black Heart Camden, London, UK
6th November 2022
Frayle & Support: Famyne and Novere

After a week off to give the ears a rest it was back to the grind this wet Sunday evening to experience the delights of US band FRAYLE with support from FAMYNE and NOVERE. FRAYLE, I have a rudimentary familiarity with due to playing them on long van / train journeys over the past few weeks whilst on tour, but the other two bands I have come at blind. While the rain falls and the leaves swirl in the warmish wind outside let’s go into the blackened heart of the Black Heart and find out what all the fuss is about!


Novere

NOVERE are a London based band with a gloomy sound influenced by early Post Metal and with elements of Doom and Black Metal spooned in. Formed in 2020 during the early part of the pandemic, their recorded output to date only consists of the ‘Soulless Elements’ EP and a single called ‘Icarus’. NOVERE is Matteo (guitars), Dave (guitars), Top (vocals and bass) and Voi (vocals and drums).  For more information on NOVERE click on this link: https://novere.bandcamp.com/

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Music & Performance
I didn’t get into the venue until near the end of NOVERE’s set so I only heard the last two tracks of that set. From what I saw it was full on melodic Doom Metal that turns the ears to liquid but before they do that you get the melodic but manic caress of two guitars and a wide-eyed bass player who expresses himself like a tap in full flow. The drummer also took on the singing duties as well. I think one of the tracks was called ‘Icarus’. It was a well composed affair which switched between the heavy down low and lighter top ends and skilfully affixed the two extremes that sent you on a journey of textured, melodic and gritty aural experience. Note to self, must check these guys out further.

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light: 8
Total: 8 / 10

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Famyne

FAMYNE hail from the Cathedral city of Canterbury in Kent and were formed in 2014. They are named after an OPETH song “that’s been stylised by the band for various reasons”. Since forming and they’ve recorded two albums of dark fantasy doom metal, the recent ‘II:The Ground Below’ and 2018s self-titled ‘Famyne’. In 2016 they won Kent Metal 2 The Masses and went on to play at the Bloodstock Festival. FAMYNE is Chris Travers (bass), Michael Ross (drums), Tom Vane (vocals), Martin Emmons (guitars) and Tom Ross (lead guitars). For more information click this link: https://www.facebook.com/famyneuk/

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Music & Performance
Long-haired, bearded, and mostly tattooless. The vocalist was the only short hair onstage, Kohl eyed and wide he reminded me of a collision between Marc Almond and a cavernous well. His voice reminded me of voices from the SUEDE era, something in particular but I can’t quite grasp it yet… There’s a sentinel-like feel to the stage presence which would be allowed to assert itself more on a larger stage. The crowd just vigorously head bobbed, no old-school bending at the waist and thrashing your head until it nearly hits the floor. More restraint in the enthusiasm. 

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‘Defeated’ opens proceedings and this is where I get that SUEDE like itch I can’t scratch. Good track though with its meandering blackness. As the set progresses it gets earlier BLACK SABBATH in feel on the track ‘Solid Earth’. The punched drudge of the bass eliciting some air-bass on my part as the guitars noodle and weave in and out of the fabric like the expert needle of a sonic seamstress. And then we have the slow build of ‘Tremor’ that breaks into a tumult of hypnotic sounds and mouth shapes, it has a subtle sprinkle of the east about it that morphs into images of Pompei after Vesuvius had its tantrum! ‘Babylon’ from the new album ‘II: The Ground Below’ goes all QOTSA before ‘For My Sins’ from the same album completes an interesting set with a lopping and lolling metre that soars then dives, guitars sinewy and bass thick.

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Near the track’s end I feel like I’m being machine gunned into my individual molecules… that something particular I still can’t grasp! A good set.

Setlist
01. Defeated
02. Sloth
03. Tower
04. Solid Earth
05. Gone
06. Tremor
07. Babylon
08. Sins

Rating
Music: 8
Performance: 8
Sound: 8
Light:8
Total: 8 / 10

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Frayle

Cleveland, Ohio based band FRAYLE has been around since 2017. I’ve listened to them and I think they’re really good. This atmospheric Doom Metal at its finest that waxes lyrical about human emotions, religion, the depths of sorrow and the like. They’ve been busy since their inception and recorded numerous doomy tomes including the ‘1692’ album in 2020, ‘Live at The House Of Wills’ in 2021 and a cover of BAUHAUS’ ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ in the same year. FRAYLE is Gwyn Strang (vocals), Sean Bilovecky (guitars), Erik Mzik (bass guitar), Pat Ginley (drums) and Elliot Rosen (rhythm guitars). Check out https://www.facebook.com/frayleband/

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Music & Performance
I was just searching my memory for thoughts on last night’s show / ritual when out of the depths came the words: FRAYLE are like a bowl of sugar burnt gloopy porridge topped with berries when the track ‘Treacle & Revenge’ started playing on my Spotify. I can add treacly to my stodgy metaphor. And I don’t mean it in an unpleasing manner at all. The music, the delivery, the set length, and the atmosphere made for a satisfying bowl of sweet dark bitter stodge that filled the recesses of my head and kept it filled for a long while after the show / ritual ended. Also, I noted that witchcraft was at play because although there were four people on the tiny stage that stage was a larger space due to the positioning of the drums. Gwyn, replete in her crown of red thorns and long black dress was freer to breathe on the left side of the stage and the guitar of Sean Bilovecky had more space to weave in and out of the spaces. Erik Mzik having just enough wiggle room to throw those dreaded locks around the place like writhing vipers.

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The opening track ‘Things That Make Us Bleed’ started off proceedings with its bouncy down lowliness which facilitates easy on-the-neck head banging. And then we have the aforementioned ‘Treacle & Revenge’ which carries on the bouncy theme with a sneer and piercing eye. It’s almost TRIPTYKON in tone and cadence but with snowy crystal intonements topping off this package of aural loveliness. ‘1692’ lightens things for a few moments before going on the descent into that hole of matt black darkness. And then there’s the set closer ‘Darker Than Black’ which stood out because of its symmetry. I love the dulcet tones of that Scheckter bass! The set symmetry was 10 tracks, a perfect 10.

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Setlist
01. Things That Make Us Bleed
02. Treacle & Revenge
03. Let The Darkness In
04. All The Things I Was
05. Wandering Star
06. 1692
07. Dead Inside
08. Bright Eyes
09. Ring Of Fire
10. Darker Than Black

Rating
Music: 9
Performance: 9
Light: 8
Sound: 8
Total: 8.5 / 10

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All pictures by Claudia Black

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