It was a busy Sunday evening in Camden Town, as The Jazz Café prepared to host an eclectic array of music. Joining Cellar Darling in support roles were fellow Swiss band, Appearance of Nothing, and Blackpool’s very own Blanket. Entering the venue, it was clear it was going to be a good night. The intimate venue was packed to the rafters, with both floors teeming with gig-goers, all excited for the night’s proceedings.
Taking to the stage first, were prog-metal band Appearance of Nothing, who were playing tracks from their new album In Times Of Darkness, which features Anna Murphy on vocals for their first single ‘Storm’. Anna would later join them to perform the dark and heavy track, with vocalist Omar Cuna and Anna’s lyrics rising over the crunching guitar, thundering drums, and dreamlike synths that play behind them. Appearance of Nothing have a sound that is familiar, in the vein of Opeth or Dream Theater, but has a unique edge that clearly makes it their own. In the latter half of the performance, Omar called his partner onto the stage and popped the question. Much to the relief of the singer, and I think everyone in the venue, she happily said yes. So far a great start to the night!
Up next are Blackpool ambient progressive rock band Blanket, who are also supporting a new album, How To Let Go. Blanket represent a bit of a contrast between the more metal infused offerings of Appearance of Nothing, and Cellar Darling. Referring to themselves as a Cinematic-Emo-Visual-Art-Rock Band, it is hard to argue, as they opened up a languid set that stretched on into the evening. Measured and deliberate in their structuring, the band created a soundscape for the audience to ride upon, as they prepared for the main event.
Cellar Darling have had something of a meteoritic rise since forming in 2016 after leaving Eluveitie. Going from strength to strength, the band was touring in support of their latest epic, The Spell, released earlier this year. Known for incorporating heavy metal, folk, classical, and progressive music, Cellar Darling stand out among the sea of today’s melodic metal bands. Using a custom built electric hurdy-gurdy, and transverse flute, Anna Murphy brings that extra ingredient that truly makes this band a joy to behold live.
Opening with ‘Black Moon’, from debut album This Is The Sound, the band made their way through a selection of songs from the album, entrancing the audience and whipping them up into a frenzy before starting on the journey into their current album, The Spell. Choosing to start with ‘Pain’, the band quickly worked through many of the tracks off the album, which weaves a tale of a young maiden who falls in love with the personification of Death. Through haunting melodies and lyrical storytelling, the band brought a dark fairy-tale for the modern age to life, over the course of their exceptional set.
After leaving the stage briefly, the band returned for the Encore, and singer Anna Murphy gave the audience the option to make a request, which opened up into the surprise song of the night – a cover of Queen’s ‘The Prophet Song’. This stunning rendition of the classic track was made wholly their own by the bands brilliant musicianship and interpretation of the song. Playing on right up until the last minute, the band gave every ounce of themselves to the crowd, and closed the night on an absolute high. Should you ever have the chance to see Cellar Darling perform live, you should definitely go along. You will not be disappointed.
Cellar Darling Set List
(Sleep – intro)
Love PT II
(Death Pt II – outro)
While you’re here, why not check out our review of Cellar Darling’s latest release The Spell.
Written by: Erik De’Viking
My Global Mind – UK Editor
Erik De’Viking is a London based freelance music journalist. His musical interests include music in all its forms, and he is constantly on the lookout for new bands and genres to discover and later preach about to the masses.