You’d think we’d be sick of seeing Wallowing this year, but honestly, we can’t get enough of the sci-fi extreme metal group. They’ve had one hell of a year, releasing their phenomenal album ‘Earth Reaper’ and playing up and down the country. It’s the kind of run that turns all kinds of heads, and the future for this band couldn’t be brighter. Especially when they continue to delight, amaze, and shock in environments like this.
They are not like the headline band, but they are also not so different, hence The Dome being nice and packed when they take to the stage. The crowd is made up of diehard Wallowing fans and those curious to see what these figures in these strange outfits are about.
Those people find out quickly that Wallowing are all about noise, fascinating and enticing noise that threatens to bust eardrums. The members of Wallowing are as insane looking as always, throwing an inordinate amount of energy into their sinister and suffocating sound. The lights and smoke creating a sense of being in another dimension, all while horrible creatures howl at you through the trippy haze.
Wallowing seem so comfortable on stages of this size, and while it’s only been about six months since we saw them headline the New Cross Inn, they have grown so much more confident in that short amount of time. The impression from those who are experiencing them for the first time is a mix of fascination and horror, and it speaks volumes that those we spoke to were both impressed and confused. It is often the initial takeaway from experiencing Wallowing in the flesh.
We love them, even more when they play live, and once again, they delivered an unforgettable experience that is ugly and abrasive, but stupidly captivating. Very nearly a show-stealing performance.
Nearly, because Ithaca are on incredible form tonight, playing their seminal album ‘They Fear Us’ in full and making it a very special event with a flowery stage show, a special beer on sale for one night only, guests galore, an immense feeling of togetherness, and even a marriage proposal. Yes, it’s that kind of night.
It’s been a little over fifteen months since we saw Ithaca arrive with their headline show at the room below (Downstairs at the Dome formerly known as Boston Music Room), and it speaks volumes about their growth that they are now playing the larger space above. A space that is double the size. Not only that, but this show is nearly sold out (it might have sold out in the end) and it feels it.
For good reason too, as few can deny the brilliance of 2022’s They Fear Us album, and it’s more than deserving of getting an airing in full. Especially as Ithaca have perfected how these songs sound in the live environment and each member is performing at their absolute best. Tracks like The Future Says Thank You, the title track, Camera Eats First, Fluorescent, and Hold, Be Held, sound grander and more intense than ever.
Resulting in chaotic pits, yet everyone has a smile on their face. Which is very much the tone that Ithaca encourage. This is a safe place for everyone, and few bands embody the authentic welcoming spirit as strongly as this band.
It speaks volumes about this show, that when it ends, there isn’t a mad rush to the door. Everyone stands about, hoping for a bit more. Ithaca could have just restarted the album again, and it would have still been delightful. Yet, there is no feelings of disappointment that it is over. Ithaca promised an unforgettable night, and that is what they delivered. The hype for this band is real, and this growth is only going to increase as they move forward. What comes next? Who knows, but it’s going to be unforgettable, just like this show was.
Ithaca & Wallowing at The Dome, Tuffnell Park, London (25/11/23)
Ithaca - 10/10
Wallowing - 9/10