When The Raven Age decided to create their special “Noctem Mortis” (Night of Death) headline evening, it was probably to celebrate finishing their European support tour with Alter Bridge and Shinedown – little did they think it would later sandwiched between finishing Europe in Brussels the night before, and carrying straight on with them again on their UK arena tour the next night!
The band’s fans who filled the Dome on a wet Friday night were unsurprisingly ecstatic about the thought of more opportunities to see their idols on bigger stages – however short their support set. Here tonight though, TRA, owned the stage. A theatrical start to the evening with a procession of hooded monks and a raven-headed man (or woman – difficult to see under the mask!) wound their way through the crowd to the stage and introduced the Night of Death show with an allegory of the Black Death plague in medieval times sweeping across Europe and into London. Any similarities of their tour schedule were completely coincidental!
Launching into ‘Fleur De Lis’ the band took to the stage and the evening kicked off properly. Frontman Matt James immediately working the packed crowd right at the front of the stage (no pit or safety barrier at the Dome tonight) whilst the twin guitars of George Harris and Tony Maue prowled the stage and used their risers to get up and in the fans’ faces.
The last month of European touring with arena-filling bands must have helped the boys further hone their own style of melodic metal and stagecraft. The lightshow tonight was particularly impressive for a small (500 capacity) venue and designed specifically for this special show.
The tracks came thick and fast, drawn from debut album ‘Darkness Will Rise’ and this year’s release ‘Conspiracy’, barely giving the beat engineers of drummer Jai Patel or bassist Matt Cox a breather.
The crowd responded well to every song from their ‘local’ (well west Essex/east London) band, enthusiastically singing, moshing and cheering, whatever the tempo.
Matt J thanked their patron bands for the opportunity to unexpectedly carry on touring and wished Seven Dust’s Morgan Rose a speedy recovery, and hoped the fans would be happy with the upgrade from the Tufnell Park Dome to the O2 Dome next week!
The set ended with fan favourite ‘Angel In Disgrace’ from their 2014 EP and then 2019’s ‘Seventh Heaven’. Stage photos with the crowd and their horns, the band then retired to the merch stands to meet their faithful following – before hitting the double-decker tour bus parked outside the venue for the overnight drive to Nottingham and another chance to up the crowd from 500 to 5,000+
Fleur De Lis // Stigmata // My Revenge // The Death March // Surrogate // Salem’s Fate // Promised Land // The Day The World Stood Still // Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier // The Face That Launched A Thousand Ships // Bloom Of The Poison Seed // Betrayal Of The Mind // Forgotten World // Grave Of The Fireflies // Angel In Disgrace // Seventh Heaven
Photos: Jon Theobald/131 Images
Words: Jon Theobald