Five bands from four countries converge on the Underworld to prove that extreme metal is truly a global phenomenon. First up are London band Anoxide who hit the stage with the force of a tsunami and with a charismatic frontman and armed with original tunes like ‘Omniscient’ they soon win over any doubters. Latest release ‘The Immortality of Faith’ is a real bruiser (and be sure to check out the great video) while the new cut debuted, ‘Manufactured Ignorance’, bodes well for the future.
Hailing from the Middle East are blackened death combo Crescent who’re making their UK debut tonight and they certainly make an impression. Like an Egyptian Behemoth they create a huge wall of sound that threatens to topple onto the listener. The soundtrack to a global apocalypse, their set is akin to a 30 minute artillery barrage but the band are not all about pure bludgeon. Drawing inspiration from Egyptian Mythology ‘Beyond the Path of Amenti’, from new album The Order of Amenti, evidences an intelligent use of light and shade as a quieter mid section only serves to make the heavier passages more brutal.
A spooky intro tape sets the scene for Dāmim before a furious blast beat breaks the calm like a huge door opening on Dante’s Inferno. Self described ‘purveyors of cathartic existential outrage’ and that’s a pretty apt description as the bass and drums lock in together to create a huge sonic structure and, by wasting little time between songs, adds to their sense of urgency. Constantly shifting musical gears just when you think things can’t get any faster they press harder on the accelerator. Featuring ex Akercocke man Nathanael Underwood on vocals and guitar the band have a real pedigree and ‘Descendent of Amalek’ from new album A Fine Game of Nil is a definite set highlight.
With an old school sound that reminds me of Schizophrenia-era Sepultura Brazilian thrashers Krisiun are an extremely likeable band of three brothers. With plenty of shredding on offer it’s all very air guitar inducing as ‘Blood of Lions’ initiates the first stage dive of the evening. Undoubtedly Moyses Kolesne is a guitar maestro but I feel the addition of a second guitarist in the live environment would give their sound an extra depth. But that’s only a minor detraction as Krisiun proceed to deliver a master class in metal as ‘Black Force Domain’, ‘Descending Abomination’ and ‘Timeless Starvation’ are fired off in quick succession and raise the level of insanity in the pit. The title track from their third album, Works of Carnage, is the perfect set closer and ensures they bow out on a high.
The impact of tonight’s headliners Deicide on extreme metal cannot be overemphasised. Their 1990 debut album Deicide was a game changer and since then they’ve released consistently good records which explore the extremities of death metal. With little fanfare they open their set with ‘Dead But Dreaming’ and the floor erupts in a sea of moshing and headbanging. At once simple and powerful it’s the perfect way to start a Deicide show and the carnage increases as ‘When Satan Rules His World’ and ‘Scars of the Crucifix’ follow in quick succession. Glen Benton is surely the quintessential death metal frontman and thankfully he’s lost none of his voracious viciousness as he overlays ‘They Are the Children of the Underworld’ and ‘Once Upon the Cross’ with his inhuman growls.
What elevates Deicide above their peers is the technicality of their songs and keeping them in a three minute time frame ensures they have an energy that is more attuned with hardcore punk. Tonight the twin guitar attack of Kevin Quirion and Chris Cannella play the fast, complex and overlapping riffs of ‘Oblivious to Evil’ and ‘Dead But Dreaming’ almost note perfect, even as a line of stage divers await their turn to launch. It’s a set is tailored for the long time fan as early classics like ‘Trifixion’ effortlessly rub shoulders with latter tracks like ‘In the Mins of Evil’ and ‘Kill the Christian’. Having a metronomic, fleet limbed drummer like Steve Asheim ensures a Deicide set will always end on time but not before fan favourites ‘Sacrificial Suicide’ and ‘Homage for Satan’ drain the last drops of energy from an appreciative crowd.
Reviewed by Peter Dennis.
Deicide Set List:
Dead by Dawn
When Satan Rules His World
Scars of the Crucifix
They Are the Children of the Underworld
Once Upon the Cross
Serpents of the Light
Seal the Tomb Below
Oblivious to Evil
Dead but Dreaming
In the Minds of Evil
Kill the Christian
Homage for Satan