Decapitated + Aborted @ HMV Institute (Library), Birmingham – Friday 24th February 2012

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Review by Chop

Another day, another early door, another curfew gig. For the record, Cyanide Serenity had been replaced by The Haarp Machine. Screaming kids + public transport = missed them. Sure I’ll see them in due course…

The Library was filling up nicely by the time Aborted took the stage. Promoting current album Global Flatline they were as fast and technical as you’d expect. Pitched somewhere between deathgrind, technical death metal, and brutal death metal – the joys of sub-genres eh? – they were more than slightly reminiscent of a cross between Origin and Dying Fetus. Yet again the sound engineers had come up trumps, the overall sound being crisp yet punchy to aid their efforts to the maximum effect. Hugely proficient as they were, song differentiation became difficult. From a musical perspective the guitar tone was close to perfect, fat yet slicing, and the drummer was clearly a great technician who possessed a ridiculously fast pair of feet. Add hardcore vocals and massive beatdowns and you’d have thought it was a recipe for success. To a degree it was – it just all got so samey and predictable. Another day I’m sure I’d be waxing lyrical about them, but tonight I couldn’t shake off a feeling of indifference.

Have a glance through Decapitated‘s history and the main theme that will return again and again is adversity. That they battle on undaunted – and play gigs this good – is nothing short of remarkable and inspiring. They’d have been well within their rights to have called it a day on numerous occasions, but why would they when they can unleash performances of this standard? The opening riff alone contained more technicality than many a band can muster in an entire career. If fast, intricate, savage, technical death metal is your thing then there are few on the circuit that can top these guys. Quite how they combine such ferocity, with immense amounts of groove, is beyond me. I have but two criticisms of their performance; they only played for an hour, and they occasionally sounded thin when the (lone) guitarist was soloing. That aside this was about as exhilarating as death metal gets. Put simply, Decapitated combined punch-in-the-face viciousness with remarkable finesse and made it all look almost routine such was their efficiency. Long may they continue. If there is any justice Lady Luck will smile on them favourably for the foreseeable future and bestow the sort of trouble-free run that they deserve.

Setlist: ‘The Knife’, ‘Day 69’, ‘Pest’, ‘United’, ‘Post(?) Organic’, ‘Mother War’, ‘Homo Sum’, ‘404’, ‘Winds Of Creation’, ‘A View From A Hole’, ‘Spheres Of Madness’. Encore; ‘The First Damned’

Click here to read Jason Guest’s review of Decapitated’s Carnival is Forever and his interview with guitarist Vogg