Northern Darkness II: Brominion Edition – Green Lung, Mars Red Sky, High Spirits, Weedpecker, Dawn Ray’d, Calligram, Kylver and Crowley @Anarchy Brewery Newcastle upon Tyne, May 6, 2023

Taking a musical step away from the NWOBHM and NWOTHM dominated Thursday and Friday shows, Brominion day three juxtaposed blackened blast beats with doom grooves and psych-outs.

Simon Rushworth and Rich Holmes were at the barrier, the bar and of course the merch stalls for another Rushonrock Brominion review…

Hometown heroes create early buzz

The graveyard shift is the perfect place for queens of the occult Crowley and it’s little wonder the fast-rising five-piece tucked into their late lunch slot with gusto.

All growling riffs and doomy stares, the most exciting band to emerge from the North East’s metal scene in years is riding the crest of a spellbinding wave.

And their witch’s brew of Sabbath-styled heaviness and foreboding lyrical heft rewarded those Brominions who’d shaken off the day two hangover and rocked up hell bent on more.

Rushonrock Red Hot Track Of The Week Something Wicked This Way Comes would send shivers down the spine of the sweatiest metaller.

And in frontwoman Lidya Balaban (pictured below), the creative force that is Crowley boast the voice to command a thousand covens.

Fellow locals Kylver don’t say much.

But why let idle chat stand in the way of cerebral progressive metal par excellence?

The instrumental pioneers have come a long way since dropping awe-inspiring debut The Mountain Ghost in 2015.

And their heady blend of Hammond-soaked doom and deliberately acute time changes gave the fast-filling Anarchy Brew Co crowd plenty of food for thought.

Kylver should have made a killing with their on-trend army-style caps — one of the day’s must-have merch grabs.

And their alternative soundtrack to the Coronation revealed the wealth of underground talent at the heart of the region’s diverse metal scene.

Blastbeats and black flags

When Rushonrock last caught up with Calligram drummer Ardo Cotones, the Brazilian drummer couldn’t wait to see Sodom rip through Dominion Festival.

Sadly, his dream didn’t come true.

But at Dominion’s salvage show, he didn’t seem too down as he annihilated Anarchy Brewery with a barrage of nuclear percussion.

Yet even his intensity was eclipsed by Calligram frontman Matteo Rizzardo, whose physical contortions and vocal violence created a searing audio visual onslaught.

Frantumi In Itinere, the quintet’s eviscerating new song, gave us a taste of the quintet’s forthcoming album. And on this on evidence, it could be something very special indeed…

Prosthetic labelmates and avowed anarchists Dawn Ray’d kept up the pace.

Vocalist/violinist Simon Barr, guitarist Fabian Devlin and drummer Matthew Broadley are a unique force in UK black metal, and their first stint in Newcastle was full of the passion and revolutionary zeal we’ve witnessed at the likes of Damnation Festival.

Their latest opus, To Know The Light, garnered praise for its maturity and musical ambition. The trio had been building up to that moment for years.

So unsurprisingly, Dawn Ray’d plundered that record for the likes of The Battle Of Sudden Flame, Sepulchre (Don’t Vote) and a jaw dropping take on Wild Fire.

Torching black metal orthodoxy never sounded so good…

Day tripping

On their way to Sunday’s Desertfest appearance, French psychonauts Mars Red Sky made landfall in Newcastle and gifted Anarchy a set of molten, technicolour doom: Jimmy Kinast’s bass rumble and Julien Pras’ low end riffery gave the beer barrels a good old shaking. Hell, their set might even inspire the Anarchy crew to brew an ale in their honour – our money would be on a 10% ABV DIPA with a CBD infusion.

But for many, the Bordeaux act would have been eclipsed by Warsaw’s Weedpecker: little known in the UK, the Poles’ cosmic close harmonies, Hendrix-like flourishes and stunning musicianship were revelatory.

After the twin attack of Calligram and Dawn Ray’d, the band’s astral voyage provided welcome respite.

They even brought a tambourine.

High end

Given this was the last date in High Spirits’ three-day Tyneside mini-tour, you might have expected the Chicago act to be a little jaded.

Well, you’d have been wrong.

Chris Black and the crew were as exuberant as they’d been when they rolled up at The Little Buildings on Thursday.

Seemingly all of Anarchy’s denizens sang along to the band’s very own Iron MaidenHigh Spirits – and the quintet blew any hangovers away with Another Night In The City, Full Power, Flying High and I Need To Know – among many others.

Their second home roared in appreciation.

Breathe it in

The pulling power of Green Lung: it’s a sight to behold.

Competition was fierce for a last-minute release of 20 tickets for this gig. And the purveyors of anthemic, folklore-inspired doom rock seemed delighted to be performing to a packed brewery.  

Bathed in green light and flanked by their medieval-styled goat banners, the five-piece demonstrated why they’re selling our venues across the country: this was a top tier heavy metal show, a place where fans could bathe in the Graveyard Sun, worship Old Gods and choose to Let The Devil In.

And in Tom Templar (pictured top), the Londoners have a frontman who’s ready for their next step up.

With a new record deal with Nuclear Blast now inked, that could be coming very soon…

Enjoyed this Brominion review? Check out our review of Brominion Day One here.

Read our review of Brominion Day Two here.

All photos © Adam Kennedy.