Test Dept finally played their long awaited London date following a family bereavement earlier in the year that caused them to reschedule. Performing mostly from their last studio album, ‘Disturbance’, they entered to cavernous, industrial quarry noises and gothic wailings punished by iron lashings and deranged brass, going into the military drum rolls and aggressive march of ‘Information Scare’, which saw both founding group members Gray Cunnington and Paul Jamrozy beating out sheet metal.

Jamrozy then took over on vocals for ‘Debris’ while Cunnington abraded a spring at the start of the track to create a haunted, desolate wasteland, before the glimmering chimes of hope came through for the rest of the song. They turned the spokes of the wheel to introduce ‘Gatekeeper’ – an ominous warning about fascism. Jamrozy played big bass drum on ‘Two Flames Burn’, the group finishing their main set on ‘Landlord’ with its scuttling beats.

After returning for an encore, Jamrozy dedicated one of the last songs of the set, ‘Eternal’, to his son Kyle, who tragically passed away earlier in the year, which had caused them to reschedule their show. He played horn and trumpet, emotively shouted out powerful, angry vocals. Test Dept also remembered other passed individuals including their album producer Ken Thomas for a final encore of ‘Speak Truth To Power’.


29/10/22: Test Dept @ The Albany, London.

Photos © E. Gabriel Edvy/Blackswitch Labs.

© Ayisha Khan.