Witness Hazy Doom and Premium British Sludge
After a long week and longer Friday, it wasn’t a bad idea to end the day by attending these the BRUME and GURT gig at a Amsterdam’s Butcher’s Tears brewery. The weekend of August 17 this year was Butcher’s Tears’ 5th birthday anniversary, and after a DJ session throughout the evening, the two bands would reign during the later part of the night.
For those unfamiliar with the bands, premium British sludge warriors Gurt hail from London and have been around since 2010. It was their first time back in Amsterdam in four years, so fans’ anticipation was potent. On the other hand, it was Brume’s first show in the city, and as a fan since their first EP Donkey, I was stoked.
I had arrived right before Gurt was about to start – perfect timing. Without warning, Gurt’s nasty guitar tone lashed out. The combination of Gurt’s crunchy guitar tone with Gareth Kelly’s insane and often high-pitched shrieking vocals reminded me at times of the mighty Buzzov•en. There was a fine dose of southern influence in the riffpartment too that Eyehategod worshippers would dig. This equation formulated sludge metal that was both devastatingly slow and heavy, and at other times upbeat, punk-infused, filthy groove. I’d like to get back to and emphasize Gareth’s vocal, because this guy’s vocal range was insane. Maybe I’m a sucker for higher pitched unclean vocals, but his ease at his range made it seem effortless.
It might be relevant to keep in mind that the live music shenanigans at the brewery are located in a slightly long but narrow space. I suck at space measurements, but you get the point, it’s not big. Few things in life (if any) beat a metal show in a tiny, intimate and hot area. After Gurt’s battlesludge, I was amused to pass by the merch table and find Satanic cats on an item or two of theirs.
Following a beer and pizza break in between, it was time for Brume! I remember discovering Donkey while lurking online somewhere a few days after its release. Something told me to check it out and I’m glad I did, because that EP grew on me in time.
As expected, Brume’s sound live was crushingly slow and heavy. The guitar and bass soaked in fuzz with a commanding sense of riffing. Vocalist / bassist Susie McMullan’s reverb drenched vocals effectively contributed to the band’s own, hazy doom metal sound, making it even dreamy at times. Having been around since 2015 with a catalog consisting of 2015’s Donkey and 2017’s full-length Rooster, the setlist consisted of tracks from the two releases. Having lost track of time, I don’t remember how long they played, but as a fan of their studio recordings, the live emulation was incredible – the songs sounded awesome, even heavier and fuzzier – leaving the crowd in headbang hypnosis. Towards the end of the set, Gurt’s vocalist Gareth joined Brume providing dirty, raspy backing screams.
All in all, both bands were top notch. It was a late evening of good metal, beer and folks. Even bumped into someone who’s never been to a metal show (or metal in general), who gambled checking out the bands and was totally psyched about the music after the show. Highly recommend going to see both of Brume and Gurt if they’re passing by your city.
Below you can view photo footage of the event by the awesome Henk Bakker.