Review by Paul Castles, Photos by Rich Thompson
Aaaaah, Barcelona… The much-loved sun-baked Mediterranean city famous for Las Ramblas, silky football at the Nou Camp and that towering cathedral that for some reason they never quite got round to finishing – all that and Cerebral Effusion!
Well in my book you can keep the beaches the shops and Messi and co, just give me the Basque brutalists who proved superb headliners on a savage night of death metal at The Flapper in Birmingham.
Full marks to AWB Promotions for putting this power-packed package together, first up from which were Liverpudlian loudmouths Colpocleisis. The crowd was not exactly queuing round the block when these scouse slammers took to the stage but those who made the early start enjoyed a belligerent ear bashing.
Man-mountain frontman Marc Mullin could probably perform any stunts for Hagrid should they make a new Harry Potter film but on the small Flapper platform he pretty much filled it not only in stature but in personality too.
With songs about microwaving babies, Colpocleisis look like missing out on the Merseyside Citizen of the Year award but their stomping death and grind fury, enhanced by Marc’s Pighead-style porky squeals were the perfect way to get things moving.
A whirl of the fingers at one point to beckon forth a circle pit may have only attracted three volunteers – so more of a triangle pit really – but it perfectly summed up their get up and go ethos. Colpocleisis are welcome back in Brum any time and their debut album later this year, Fallopian Fallout, will be worth checking out.
Next up were local mob Spawned From Hate, whom any regulars around the Midlands’ underground venues are sure to have encountered at some point over the last couple of years.
Their EP Accelerated to Butchery (reviewed here) pretty much spells out the blood and guts filled grind in which they execute with the consummate mastery of a medieval hangman. With three guitarists rooted to the spot there’s just about space for singer Dan to cavort on what’s left with his venomous verbals bouncing off the walls like a rubber ball.
With the triumvirate of guitars generating more buzz than a convention of honey growers , Spawned From Hate kicked up an almighty fireball of a sound, superbly captured at their blistering best on songs such as ‘Deceit’ and ‘Force Fed Liquescent Decay’.
Next up for Spawned From Hate is a slot on the excellent Death to Cancer bill at the Black Heart in London on 2 July.
Full marks also to Dan who was wearing two hats on the night, promoter as well as performer. Dan’s AWB Promotions deserve every plaudit going for bringing a steady stream of underground acts to the Midlands.
And while pats on the back are being handed out like trifle at a kids’ birthday party, top marks to Moses who more than earned his supper in his role as guitarist with both Colpocleisis and Spawned From Hate.
One man metal machines sometimes work but on other occasions things go a little awry. That was the unfortunate case here with Atonement. This one man band was plagued with tech issues which inevitably diluted the impact of his performance and quite clearly was a source of pained frustration to him.
The momentum only briefly dropped though as the arrival of London warriors Omnipotent Hysteria set the mercury rising faster than a greyhound out of the traps at Perry Barr.
This was the first Midlands show for these southerners whose debut album, Abattoir of Slain Deities, is out next month. From what we could tell on bestial blasts such as ‘Ubiquitous Subversion’ and ‘Ectopic Contagion Vessels’, Omnipotent Hysteria have a healthy future ahead in the grind and deathcore fields.
The singer looks like a fella on a health drive at the moment and his FitBit would have have been pleading for mercy towards the end of his riotous attacks which on a couple of occasions saw him step off the small stage to continue his vocal attacks on the floor in the midst of what by this time could loosely be called a pit.
By the time they reached closing number ‘Abbatoir of Slain Deities’ the Flapper contingent were fully immersed in the stifling sound sweeping around the room.
Headliners Cerebral Effusion may have been guilty of spending a little too long twiddling knobs before they finally deemed everything suitable for the start of their performance, but with a little nudge in the right direction from the patient man behind the mixing desk, they began their headspinning death metal onslaught.
Frontman Cosme is a towering presence who hugs his bass upright so that he can almost tune it with his teeth. Having already had our senses remorselessly pummeled to a pulp it was difficult to see how these Spaniards could add anything else. This they they most certainly did though, dropping blastbeats that threatened to open up the floor like a cream puff.
With songs from albums such as Smashed and Splattered Organs and Impulsive Psychopathic Acts the ferocity levels were kept raised to the heavens throughout.
Cosme’s barrel deep delivery is a shuddering tool with which to beat you as Cerebral Effusion ripped through a throbbing set of skull shredding intensity to put the seal on a classic death metal night at The Flapper.