Review by Paul Castles, photos by Helen Moss
On a day when the rest of the Midlands were trying to cool down there was no escape for the steaming mass of sweat-mangled humanity who turned up at the furnace-like Asylum 2 to crank their necks to an outstanding triple header showcase of punishing death metal. To describe the Asylum 2 as hot barely scrapes the beads of sweat off the sweltering surface. We’re talking ovens! If you had the dough, yeast and water you could have made a loaf of bread in between acts.
On a night strictly for the committed, Kataleptic were first to clamber onto the stage. I’ve seen these boys a few times and they never fail to deliver. Refusing to make concessions for the mercury exploding temperature Kataleptic steamrollered their way through a set of pure savagery.
The Brummie barbarians are developing into a fearsome live act. The intensity levels almost burst through the low ceiling, the sound is tighter than a straitjacket and vocalist Matt has a gravelpit delivery that defies his young years. Among the standout tracks was the ferocious ‘Flesh’ from the band’s Through The Eyes of Carnality EP. Their debut full length release is one to look forward to when they get round to it.
Kataleptic deserve to be playing in front of bigger crowds and will get their chance when supporting the mighty Nile at Rock Zombie in Dudley on 14th September.
Flayed Disciple are not the kind of act to lessen the mood and the West Country madmen acquitted themselves well on the Asylum stage. These Taunton tyrants veer over to the realms of Slayer-style thrash, mixing it up with some death metal violence, to bring a melting mix of mayhem to the party.
Tim Whyte is the kind of frontman who looks like he was born on a stage, commanding your attention from the opening bars of set opener ‘Bring Down The Hammer’. Having won the Battle of the Masses’ Bloodstock competition a couple of years ago Flayed Disciple’s credentials are hard to question, and having supported Vader across Germany at the start of the year, the cider guzzlers are steadily climbing the rungs of the metal ladder.
Closing with the brilliantly named favourite ‘Ejaculate While Killing’, Flayed Disciple have riffs exploding from all angles and are back up the M5 for Beermageddon in Bromsgrove in August.
By the time headliners Blood Red Throne took to the stage the crowd was manfully – and womanfully – somehow still standing. With a new self-titled album to promote the Norwegians had no interest in showing any mercy. Although Oslo and Bergen are often linked with more black metal style bands, Blood Red Throne ably demonstrated that scathing death metal also has a place among the fjords and lakes.
When crashing into the fist-pumping cry of ‘Primitive Killing Machine’ Blood Red Throne did not lack for vocal solidarity from the fans. Although they’ve been through a few line ups over the past 15 years, two of the five members on the Asylum stage were there from the off – even if the drummer was more of a loan signing than permanent recruit.
What BRT arguably have now is the best line-up in their career and one that looks destined to take them higher up the mountain than they’ve ever climbed before. The fact that their new album – number seven no less – is self-titled is really a statement of intent that this is the point where they really start to mix it with the big boys. Bolt is certainly a dynamic frontman and the manner in which the three axe wielders went about their business, chiseling grooves of dexterity into the rhythm, shows a band approaching the top of their game.
On a night when everyone got a free sauna thrown in for the price of a ticket all three acts showed exactly why people will walk across hot coals for death metal.
All photos by Helen Moss, Abstract Photo