Sturmtiger + Scumpulse + Christgrinder + Exquisite Ending @ Scruffy Murphy’s, Birmingham – Sunday 19th April 2015

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Review by Jason Guest

Sundays: lazy breakfast, worship the lord, Roast dinner, and then Scruffy Murphys for black metal and beer. Ah, tradition. Well, except without the “worship the lord” bit, obviously. That’d be silly. But not as silly as spilling beer whilst nearly falling down the stairs to catch the dying throes of Exquisite Ending’s set – a black-clad, corpse-painted beast howling “kill yourself!” into the mic over a wall of noise and feedback. Nope, nowhere near as silly. Given what I’ve heard of the band and what little I caught, it looks like I missed a compelling set. Next time.

And so, beer slightly diminished and mood marginally agitated by missing the optimistic message of the opening band, it’s the duty of the Midlands’ pulverisers of piety Christgrinder (Facebook, Bandcamp) to lift my spirits. Not that they are aware of the sheer weight of this burden of course, but with the mightily impressive Whence Cometh Evil? recently released (and reviewed here), this problem is half-solved. Now a four-piece, Christgrinder are consummate musicians and chuck out a tight and impressive set blackened with the blackest of extreme metal and the blackest of humour: “This is a song about being raped, killed and raped again, it’s called ‘Raped, Killed & Raped Again’.” Thirty-seven-seconds later, we’ve got a good idea about how that might feel. But it’s Sunday and of course, religion is on trial and this eve, these four smartly suited judges, jurors, and exuberant executioners did gleefully slay the ancient beast.

Scruffys 19 April 2015Spirits lifted, beer restored, and Christ grinded, it’s now up to Edinburgh’s Scumpulse (Facebook, website, Bandcamp, YouTube) and their crustpunk-infused black metal to continue killing Sunday. With such cheery topics as drowning, suicide in socially and financially depraved urban estates, a bleak future amongst the misinformation-fed proletariat, and disappointment, disillusion, and unremitting aggression towards politicians, kill they do. Frontman Ross Necro – all tattoos, dreadlocks and band patches (including a couple of Birmingham’s finest – Napalm Death and Fukpig, no less) – has a bark as vicious as the band’s biting riffs and hammering, d-beat vitriol. With bassist Matt dishing out backing vocals, together they fortify the vicious nature of the music and the set. Having never heard of Scumpulse before, when it was announced that they were to replace Nolti Nan Gana Nan Nolta (Facebook), checking them out proved a pleasant surprise. With an album soon to be recorded, I suggest you do the same.

So where do we go after suicide, deity destruction, and social angst? War, that’s where. And so twelve years in and their first full length World at War 1914-1918 released last year, Sturmtiger (Facebook) deliver a set that is a full-on and ruthless assault. Their penchant for all-things war fuelling every cutting riff, every blasted beat and every wicked word, Sturmtiger don’t let up. At all. Ever. Intense from start to finish, this three piece’s set is heavier than any tank, bigger than any army, and louder and more destructive than any bomb. A barrage of violent and merciless black and death metal, Sturmtiger don’t just finish the evening off, they utterly destroy it. This evening we’ve brought about our own exquisite demise, Jesus is pâté, the mundane has been wiped out, and everything else has just been blasted to bits. Sunday is now officially dead. Hallelujah!