Live Review: OHHMS - New Cross Inn, London
16th April 2023
Support: Mountain Caller, Coldbones
Words: Julian Pepper
Photos: Jacob Schwar
Over the weekend of 15/16th April I witnessed six bands play great live sets and provide ample evidence that the UK metal scene is truly alive and kicking!
Following on from Dvne the previous evening, Sunday saw a trip to New Cross in SE London to see another great bill of Coldbones, Mountain Caller and OHHMS play at the New Cross Inn, which seems to be a gig venue of choice again after a few years!
It’s a venue I really like and the huge glass windows at the front provide the spectacle of seeing locals stopping and staring wide eyed at the sonic mayhem coming from within!
Intended openers Coldbones are having technical/IT issues, so Mountain Caller step up to open proceedings. I first encountered the mesmerising instrumental sound of Mountain Caller in the Black Heart during Desertfest a few years ago and have been a huge fan ever since! Paul from OHHMS mentions later that he got chills the first time he saw them and that’s exactly how I felt too!
Kicking of proceedings with 'Beyond This Black Horizon' from second EP 'Chronicle:Prologue' the trio of Claire Simson (guitar), El Reeve (bass) and Max Maxwell (drums) slide straight into their heavy post rock groove and look to be having a great time. Both 'A Clamour of Limbs' and 'Dreamspirals' from the 'Chronicle II: The Truthseeker' album take the audience on a magical musical journey full of progressive interludes and heavy passages.
Having been in the studio in January we’re also treated to a couple of new tracks, one of which is called 'Daybreak' if my memory serves me correctly and the second is being played for the first time! Both sound great on first listen and definitely whet the appetite for the forthcoming new album!
Being the troopers and true professionals that they are, Coldbones overcome adversity and technical issues to play a short but superb 20 minutes set. I haven’t seen them before so was looking forward to hearing more of them, however the Kentish trio of Jordan (guitar), Nick (bass) and drummer Max put everything into their set.
'Flooding of the World' and 'Collapse' from previous album 'The Cataclysm' sound huge. However, it’s new track 'Breathe' that really grabs the attention. Starting with some melancholic and clean guitar before the introduction of a superb heavy riff, this is a great example of how instrumental post rock should be done! I look froward to more new material and a longer set in the near future!
With new album 'Rot' OHHMS have changed direction both musically and lyrically, moving away from lengthier progressive songs to shorter, punkier horror influenced tracks. With the exception of final track “Anchor” from the 'Cold' EP and 'Alive' from previous album 'Close', the set consists of all new material.
Starting with 'Eaten Alive' and then going straight into 'Let’s Scare Jessica to Death' and 'Blood Feast', this is the most energetic and alive (yes, I know!) that I have heard OHHMS in a while. They seem invigorated by the new songs, with vocalist Paul and bassist Chainy in particular balls of energy throughout.
The sound has been great in the venue all night, and this continues through OHHMS set as they pummel their way through most of the new album, with the swagger of 'The Mephisto Waltz' and heavy sludge fest that is 'Swamp Thing' being stand outs. Encoring with the lengthier 'Anchor' is a great move, reminding us all that OHHMS are superb at the longer more progressive jaunts that have been their calling card in the past and who knows, may well be again in the future. In the meantime, though, this version of OHHMS is sounding pretty darn awesome and horrific!