Malevolent Creation + Anaal Nathrakh + Diamanthian + Towers Of Flesh @ The Asylum, Birmingham – Thursday 21st June 2012

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Review by Chop

Hot on the heels of the explosive Wormrot gig, the latest Sirius Promotion had a suitably mouth-watering line-up, an intriguing concoction fusing old and new exponents of the heavier forms of extreme metal.

Towers Of Flesh opened proceedings with a clinical display of blackened death metal. As a band they were ludicrously tight, ferocious rhythm section combining with slicing guitars to devastating effect. Topped with suitably aggressive vocals they powered their way through their début album – in entirety minus the classical outro – stylishly and brutally. Looking more assured on stage with each performance, Towers Of Flesh delivered an electrifying opening set. Rumour has it that the new album has been written, it’s darker than its predecessor, and work in the studio will commence soon. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements later in the year.

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Where Towers Of Flesh fused black and death metal, Diamanthian opted for a somewhat different extreme metal pairing. For the early part of the set you’d have thought they were straight from the old school or brutal regions of death metal, with Deicide, Obituary or Cannibal Corpse being obvious reference points. It was all a matter of frenzied velocity, chaotic soloing, and furious blasting. Suddenly though things changed as the tempo altered markedly; slower sections of immense power that approached funeral doom pace being unleashed as a total contrast to their earlier pummelling. Much as the individual sections worked, the somewhat schizophrenic nature of this death metal/doom metal alliance became somewhat confusing. That said, on another night, with another line-up of bands, I’m sure they’d be more than entertaining. Can’t fault the musicianship or the delivery of their set, but it just didn’t work for me tonight I’m afraid.

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Anaal Nathrakh’s arrival on stage heralded the first pitting of the night, although with the attendance still being disappointingly low, the usual ferocity of crowd adulation was somewhat diminished. Dave Hunt prowled around the floor like a caged animal during the band’s lengthy intro, prior to taking to the stage and orchestrating another fine example of what extreme metal is all about. Announced mid-set as Mick Kenney’s homecoming gig, and with an invitation to join the band at Manzil’s afterwards, Nathrakh powered through their stint in trademark fashion. Dunc’s inclusion in the band on bass added a new dimension to them visually, otherwise it was a case of business as usual as they delivered a faultless set. Unfortunately the mass stage invasion during set closer ‘Do Not Speak’ met with a somewhat mixed reaction from security, despite Dave’s efforts to assure that all was well. That aside they were as stunning as ever, and I’m shuddering already at the prospect of the carnage they’ll stir up when they anchor the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock in a few weeks time. Can’t wait!!

Set list; ‘Drug-Fucking Abomination’, ‘Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes’, ‘More Of Fire Than Blood’, ‘Submission Is For The Weak’, ‘In The Constellation Of The Black Widow’, ‘Do Not Speak’.

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To conclude the evening it was time for a trip down memory lane. I still remember my shell-shocked reaction after hearing Malevolent Creation’s devastating début album The Ten Commandments back in 1991. Oh the days of vinyl…drifts off nostalgically and misty-eyed…. Despite my love of that album, and indeed their subsequent work, astonishingly I’d never seen them live before tonight, so they had a lot to live up to. Good news is, that apart from the set length, they were just as good as I’d hoped they’d be. Setting up as a three piece old school death metal band is a brave move, but they sounded massive, scarily tight, immensely powerful, and topped off with searing vocals that were top notch. Selecting highlights is tricky, but the immense steamroller of a riff during ‘Coronation Of Our Domain’ along with ‘Multiple Stab Wounds’ and the self titled closer just about shaded it. Two criticisms – perhaps they missed a trick not opening with ‘Premature Burial’ and being on stage for only forty minutes was nowhere near enough for a band with such a back catalogue. All things considered Malevolent Creation were worth the wait – hopefully it won’t be another twenty years before I get to see them again.

Set list; ‘Manic Demise’, ‘Slaughterhouse’, ‘Infernal Desire’, ‘Living In Fear’, ‘Coronation Of Our Domain’, ‘Multiple Stab Wounds’, ‘United Hate’, ‘Antagonized’, ‘Malevolent Creation’.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Ace review here. glad you enjoyed the bands over all with little to dent your faith in us.

    In terms of attendance we busted our balls for this one and with the calibre of the two headliners we had hoped for an extra 30-40 ppl. as such it was still our biggest gig to date in terms of size and attendance… plus a few biggg names came our way. result

    fair cop on the set times. something to look at in future. constraints on curfew put us at a disadvantage. trying to balance towers getting a good turn out for their set after the inevitable rush for many people coming to work, with extending set times for the bigger bands was diffinatley tricky

    i wasn’t there a great deal of time but highlight for my night was seeing good pals towers of flesh standing up. What i saw of nathrakh made me grin from ear to ear!

    Cheers again chop

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