Review by Chop
Tonight’s opening band, and most local of the night, was Masochist from Yorkshire. Having reviewed their EP earlier in the year (Ed: here), the opportunity to compare and contrast with a live performance was intriguing. Well, let’s just say any misgivings that may have arisen from their studio output certainly weren’t evident as they pummelled away relentlessly on stage. Slower slamming sections were a welcome interlude to the ferocious, blast-beating, brutal death metal that formed the majority of their set. Suitably repulsive song titles were introduced with tongue in cheek dark humour, the pick of the bunch preceding the penultimate track – “we’re going to give you a bit of Yorkshire culture. This one’s about Peter Sutcliffe, or saucy Pete as we know him…” Subtle, guys, subtle. About as subtle as their set, half an hour of non-stop aggression and grot. Apparently this was their first time in Brum; you’d have to hope it won’t be too long before they’re back.
Coming from somewhat further afield were Natron from Italy. After lengthy line/sound checks, they adopted a somewhat different approach during their three quarters of an hour of technical death metal. That said, that description sells them short, as their set was interspersed with sections from the speed thrash and brutal death metal realms. Underpinned by a clinical rhythm section, with intricate basslines accompanying the savage yet compact drumming, the platform was set for the twin guitarists to shred away to their heart’s content. Personally the guitar tone could have been somewhat dirtier, but many would disagree. If Dying Fetus, Decapitated, or Death are your thing then Natron should be on your go and see list when they next visit these shores.
Sweden’s Deranged have been going for over a decade now, so their polished yet punishing set should have come as no surprise whatsoever. Let’s again start with the rhythm section, drummer seemingly intent on blasting himself into hospital, jackhammer high velocity double bass work defying the laws of human endurance, alongside a five string bassist who made his complex patterns seem ridiculously easy. Add a supremely technical guitarist, equally adept with either a seven or eight string Ibanez , and you’ve got a potent package. But then you need to top that off with a vocalist whose guttural outpourings were so intimidating that few on the circuit can match his impact or presence. They played for just short of an hour, with hardly a let up, track after track of brutal death metal hitting home savagely, song titles constantly conveying the band’s malevolent intent. Keep your eyes peeled for future live appearances – if you like your death metal from the Cannibal Corpse, early Carcass, or Amputated school of butchery then they’re tantamount to unmissable. A stunning end to a quality gig, just a shame that the attendance was so pitiful. Midweek and close to Christmas this may have been, but the three bands who worked their bollocks off, not forgetting the staff and crew from the venue, plus of course promoters Chris and Tracie, deserved far better support.