Since the release of Die Ego debut album Culto, one thing that really drew me was blasting it in my ears, which formed the wonderful prospect of hearing this live. The follow-up, 74 Days Staring At The Void Album, cemented this idea. Finally, the planets aligned, and a trip to the New Cross Inn was arranged.
Die Ego – Saints Of Death
New Cross Inn, London – 23 October 2023
Words And Photography: Steve Ritchie
It was worth the wait. One of the inspirations for joining the MetalTalk team was to discover new bands and artists who stray from the classic rock style that I had immersed myself in for far too long. Die Ego were one of three ‘smaller’ bands on my must-see list.
I love their attention to detail. The audio and visual presentation of 74 Days is great. The video for The Executioner is well thought out. Tonight, both bass and guitar players had floor-mounted white lights to battle the New Cross Inn’s dark and often red lighting.
Their set was short but oh so sweet. As I predicted, the instrumental 74 Days title track played as an intro, the guys with their back to the crowd. Gabe Scapigliati beckons everyone forward, and Die Ego smash into Son Of Devotion.
The reaction is immediate. It’s a wet Monday night, with a bus replacement service for me if I don’t leave by 10 pm. A good portion of those who were there are taken in from the go, and a pit begins.
Speaking to Scapigliati before the show, the bass/vocalist is quietly spoken. But strap a five-string around his neck and put him in front of a mic, and he is a monster. That vocal is spitting with power.
The Serpent Bearer follows, which is immense. We all get to join in the hey hey’s. Diego Fardel’s solo is great. For the style of music on offer tonight, it is a Jackson guitar evening. That Fardel’s choice of weapon is a Les Paul gives the sound a rounded polish. Again, that attention to detail.
Culto follows. Drummer Edoardo Mariotti is so great to watch and hear, and his style on this track is exceptional. Again, the guitar is inspiring.
There is no need for in-between song chat as Die Ego rip through their set. Anger Is Yours has Scapigliati stretching his lungs. The vocals are both guttural and soaring, the screams matched by powerful chunking guitar. We get to join in the ‘fuck, fuck’ with the band.
Gabe introduces Consumed By Mediocrity, a song about bad relationships, and we are off again. That riff is awesome. Mariotti masters the subtle speed changes, and the latter slowdown comes across wonderfully. The bass comes across as atmospheric, and as the solo finishes, the end of the song is met by big cheers.
We end on The Executioner. You can see the video and read the story behind the song here. It’s got a great intro, and the pit is on the go again. The thing to look forward to in the performance is the breakdown. Diego said it would be hypnotic, and he was not wrong. It’s the tempo which makes it. I was expecting it to run for a couple of more minutes, but with four bands tonight, it’s a tight schedule.
It was worth the wait. I thoroughly enjoyed their short set, and one punter I spoke to afterwards who had not heard of the band loved their set. Awesome.
Saints Of Death
Choices, choices. Saints Of Death travelled to the New Cross Inn from Canada. The question was, do I stay and watch and then get the bus replacement service home?
Another Guinness followed. It seemed a bit disrespectful to bugger off home with the band travelling so far. It’s a band I know nothing about, so I was coming into this fresh. The four lads are made up and sporting the clothes you would not wear the first time you meet your girlfriend’s parents.
A twin bass attack, four and eight strings, with a guitarist and a drummer, are presented. It’s an engrossing set, the balance between the thundering basses and guitar on tracks such as Doom 5.1 standout. Stop the war and buy shit. We are one race, the human race. That’s what we are talking about here, and yep, I’d go for that.
It’s loud and in your face, but there are some catchy as hell parts. “Everyone’s born… Everyone dies…” makes a great chorus. Singer/8-String player Twan Holliday is huge. Blood Vendetta is great. Saints Of Death are working hard and get everyone on board.
Repentance and Angels And Demons are good. Holliday ‘crosses’ the audience. We love it, and for a Monday, this is really good.
“Are you still with us?” You Can’t Run follows. It’s got a great riff and finds drummer Bretton Melanson working exceptionally hard. A stomping pit develops, backed by an excellent ripping Rex Caravello guitar solo. It raises the pain noise levels, but in a great way, and the song gets a great response from the crowd.
God Of Thunder shows off the guitar. What a riff and what a whammy bar solo. There is shredding, too. The guitar really shines here. “Fuck off KISS,” I wrote in my notes. I’m not sure why. Makeup, heels and costume, maybe. But these warriors of the wasteland get us believing on a gloomy Monday night in London.
Soldiers Of Metal closes the evening. The eight-string bass is removed, leaving just Mike Hales covering the lower end. The band tell us how happy they are to be over here from Canada. It’s a loud finish, with plenty of jumping going on. The singer’s hair is flying in the wind from the fan, and there are devil horns shared around.
It’s a singalong to finish. Will we all do it together? Yep. All is good.
It turned out that tonight was a four-band evening. Respect to Everburn, who opened the evening. It’s a cool opening track, with a nice subtle change of pace in the middle and a cracking finish. Its appreciated by the audience.
Everburn are “not as face-melting” as the other three bands tonight, as they admit. But that’s ok. Stormwaters is a good song. They debut a new song they wrote for the evening, with the intention of being able to deliver something heavier. Their last song was good too. It’s a solid, tight and uplifting set.
Sanhedrin were good, too. A quick Facebook search suggests this is not the regular lineup. But the evidence tonight was good. The opening track finds the bass drum getting a good workout with a good unison bass line. There is lots going on, but its structure in chaos. The punters are happy with that.
There are some good songs here. The underpinning of bass and drums stands out. There is no stage setlist. Track three has a melodic start before the boom. There is a great solo in the middle, and the whole song builds very well.
We get an amp problem, causing me to write, ‘How many guitarists does it take to change a…’. It’s a brief interruption to the flow, but we get an extra rasp in the next couple of growling screams. There is almost a pit going. It’s an enjoyable set by Sanhedrin. Their drummer is wicked.