Undeath + Celestial Sanctuary + Casket Feeder @ The Craufurd Arms, Wolverton – 31st January 2023


Having had the same line-up for nigh on seven years, local band Casket Feeder display an obvious chemistry and that becomes immediately apparent. Blending death metal and hardcore to great effect, they’ve a sound that’s not recommended for those with a frail constitution, but for those made of sterner stuff they get the evening off to a punishing start. ‘Sentenced To Death’ and ‘Mask Of Sorrow’ (two cuts from latest album Servants Of Violence) make the perfect coupling and initiate plenty of mayhem in the pit. Bathed in blood red light, Casket Feeder deliver a tight set which bodes well for their appearance at this summer’s premier metal jamboree, Bloodstock.

Using Tenpole Tudor’s ‘Swords Of A Thousand Men’ as an introduction sets just the right tone for the arrival of Celestial Sanctuary, but it’s the ball of glorious feedback from which they appear that truly foreshadows what is to come. Tonight’s set is largely culled from their debut album Soul Diminished and it is the first track from that record, ‘Rid The Gormless’, which opens the set and gets the blood pumping. With a sound that’s full of squealing guitars, thundering drums and guttural growls they turn the circle pit into a swirling maelstrom as all sorts of mayhem erupts centre stage. My only (minor) complaint is the band’s insertion of samples between songs which (in addition to the Tenpole Tudor track) takes up time that would be better spent on another cut from Soul Diminished. It’s certainly worthy enough.

The mainstream media keep pimping rap and grime, and often at the expense of other genres, but as the healthy ticket sales for Undeath’s debut UK tour prove, there’s an insatiable appetite for death metal. Hailing from the northern portion of New York state (Rochester) turned out to be a boon and the band’s relative isolation helped them shape a unique sound and their admixture of technical death metal and visceral hardcore has found them leading the charge as the scene comes to global prominence once again. With little fanfare Undeath hit the stage and launch straight into ‘Rise From The Grave’. Like a serial killer dismembering a steaming corpse, the band play with a precision to ensure that when the rhythm section lock in, it’s with the force of a ten-ton hammer.

Vocalist Alex Jones cuts the most affable persona offstage, but once he picks up a microphone a strange transmogrification occurs and he becomes the very epitome of a death metal vocalist. Controlling the crowd like an evil ringmaster, he incites the assembled throng into ever more rowdy behaviour and they’re only too happy to respond with plenty of moshing and stage dives. Songs titled ‘Necrobionics’ and ‘Chained To A Reeking Rotted Body’ recall those halcyon days of 1992, but the pure energy and brute force with which they’re delivered place them firmly in the present. We opened with the title track from their sophomore album, so it’s fitting that the title cut from debut long player Lesions Of A Different Kind should bring the set to a close and it’s a monstrous rendition that ensures no one leaves disappointed.


Undeath Set List:

  1. Rise From The Grave
  2. Lord Of The Grave
  3. Necrobionics
  4. Fiend For Corpses
  5. Enhancing The Dead
  6. Grave Osmosis
  7. Brandish The Blade
  8. Bone Wrought
  9. Chained To A Reeking Rotted Body
  10. Lesions Of A Different Kind