Live Review: Mastiff with Black Groove & Yersin at The Black Heart, Camden, London (27/03/24)

Easter is around the corner, the London exodus is in full force, and a chilly Wednesday night in Camden feels more like a Saturday. Such is the appealing nature of this show. The North has invaded the Big Smoke (mostly) for a riotous night of heavy noise at the Black Heart, and it is heaving from the very start.

A start that comes in the form of eye-watering and arsehole-clenching brutality. It’s Yersin, who despite being a band for around ten years, are making their London debut tonight. How in the holy f**k has that happened? How is it possible that they’ve never been dragged kicking and screaming down South? Thankfully, they’re here now and making sure everyone in the Black Heart remembers them.

A three-piece that smash the likes of death metal, crust punk, and black metal together into something truly feral sounding, Yersin make some serious noise, drawing from their latest album ‘The Scythe is Remorseless’. An album that firmly put this band on the UK metal map, and an album that proved to be a triumphant showcase of who and what they are.

Like most bands though, studio releases are just one part of the package, and that massively applies to Yersin. They’re a band who thrive in the live environment, confidently intense, but with a measured approach that tells you they’ve been doing this a lot longer than you might first think. They’re so smooth, even while hammering out serrated metal, and the sea of banging heads confirms their hefty noise goes down very well in the venue.

Thirty minutes is just not enough Yersin, and even though they make every second count, it’s over far too soon. Most are feeling breathless, most are desperate for more, and most will be back the next time Yersin come careening our way.

Black Groove are up next, and whereas there’s personal familiarity with the opening band and the headliner, that is not the case with this band.

Hailing from the Southeast of the UK, their online presence says they play chaotic sludge metal, and they live up to that promise emphatically here. Whereas I may not be too familiar with them, there are plenty of hardcore fans in attendance who are going nuts for what they have to offer. For good reason to, as their brand of sludge metal is filthy sounding, and makes you feel like you’re sinking into a swamp. Which, while very appealing most of time, is a bit of a energy sapper tonight. Especially when you’re gearing yourself up to go a bit wild for the headliner.

Black Groove had a job to do, being sandwiched in between Yersin and Mastiff, and they did it well. A strong impression was made.

Speaking of impressions though, it’s f**king Mastiff and you know how this goes…

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If you know anything about GBHBL, you know some of us are all in on this band and continue to be blown away by the quality they exude. We’ve seen them loads, we’ve played their new album ‘Deprecipice’ to death already, and we’ve had the pleasure of chatting to them a couple of times over the years. They’re a band who get better and better, year after year, and deserve as much attention as possible. So, we’ll certainly continue to try and give it to them. Not just from a ‘professional’ perspective, but from a personal one too.

When you like something a lot, you want to shout about it, but you also want others to join in with you. So, to the surprise of no-one, I loved this show and it’s up there as one of my favourite Mastiff shows ever.

A major factor for this, is because it’s the first time I get to hear music from Deprecipice live, and these songs are as beastly in the flesh as they are on record. These songs, mixed with songs from across the Mastiff record spectrum, are made even harder in the live environment because of the manic pits that keep erupting. Dangerous as f**k, but a whole lot of fun, it’s a Mastiff show, and you should expect both. You will get both, and the Black Heart is a sweaty mess come the end of their amazing set. It’s insane that 45 minutes goes by this fast, but there is no stronger sign of quality than having a show fly by.

The new stuff fits seamlessly alongside the old stuff too, and Mastiff have become near machine like when it comes to playing this music. As fantastic as they are on record, live, is something else.

Did I want more? Of course, but I always want more. It just means the next time they’re in town, I’ll be back in that crowd to enjoy the hell out of Mastiff again. In fact, let me fantasy book a run of shows based around playing Deprecipice in full. It really is a phenomenal album.

The highlight of the show? It’s hard to pick just one, but Harry Nott of Burner joining Mastiff on stage (sparkly jacket and all) for a fantastic live version of Serrated is up there.

@gbhbl Mastiff live in London at The Black Heart, Camden. #theblackheart #camdentown #livemusic #gbhbl ♬ original sound – GBHBL


  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Mastiff with Black Groove & Yersin at The Black Heart, Camden, London (27/03/24)
  • Mastiff - 10/10
  • Black Groove - 7/10
  • Yersin - 9/10
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