Returning back to the fray with last year’s effort Bloodbath kicked the metaphorical dirt back into our faces. Enlisting Paradise Lost vocalist Nick Holmes to act as the band’s vocal pariah the band crafted an instant classic. Sporadically coming together due to the difficult logistical element surrounding the band, London was under communion for what would be a truly bloodthirsty night. Celebrating the most unholy of trinities Camden’s Electric Ballroom saw its floodgates open for the arrival of Death Metal’s filthy heroes.
18th December 2015
London, Camden Town
Support Bands: Ancient Ascendants, Aborted
Before the blasphemous ones are able to take to the stage however we were treated to English born Ancient Ascendants. Owing somewhat to the criminally early start time, due to yet another non descript club night taking place the show was a short sharp attack. Kicking things off we saw Ancient Ascendants deliver their brand of Death Metal with an impressive fanbase supporting, the band clearly show that they can hold their own at a larger show. With the support of their fans cheering them on the group worked the stage brilliantly making for a fantastic beginning the evening and not to mention winning plenty more fans in the process.
Veterans in their field, Aborted appear baring teeth, greeting the audience the flight footed Sven de Caluwé issues his signature deranged grin. Acting as a perfect embodiment of the unhinged, our frontman prowls the stage. Beginning with “The Necrotic Manifesto” proving though they might be celebrating their twentieth year as a band Aborted have not let up for a second. Once again solidifying their line up the band perform with new guitarist Ian for the first time in London. Bringing the caustic riffs one after the the guitarist more than holds his own, whipping out “Terminaton Redux” from the band’s forthcoming EP the strength of their new song writing is immediately apparent. Unfortunately however the track is slightly cheapened by the struggles had by the bassist as what were meticulous rumbles become a non descript hum. Eventually pulling it out of the bag the band are back on their feet for the classic “Fecal Forgery“. Unsure about the origins of the song it receives a truly uproarious response.
Before returning back to the new material for two minute blast frenzy that is “Bound In Acrimony” giving the younger audience a run for their money putting people through their paces in the pit. Nevertheless it’s the arrival of the bloodsoaked classic “The Saw and The Carnage Done” that gets all bodies flying tonight. Having written the song more than ten years ago it’s a testament to the band that tonight, years later they stand strong and despite the slight sound hiccup have delivered yet another devastating live performance.
Olympians of the Metal world, Bloodbath begin their slow take over with an ominous recording setting the scene perfectly for our morbid chapel. Passing the baton to Nick Holmes since the departure of Akerfeldt it would be understandable for the frontman to share some nerves. Yet as the rusty blades of “Let The Stillborn Come To Me” carve it’s way through the audience the singer works the crowd with the utmost command. Quietly confident, it’s clear to see that Holmes dons many guises and tonight reveals his more rabid of influences. Adding salt to our audiences wounds the frenecity of “Mental Abortion” see’s the crowd lap up new material. No doubt enhanced by the respective members’ musical history each musician performs pitch perfect renditions of the material. Hitting the nail on the head with those bulldozing riffs synonymous with the early nineties Death Metal movement. Cymbals crash in perfect time in tandem with the weighty guitar tone oppressing the audience. Jokingly announcing that “this is from one I didn’t sing on” the combination of the Yorkshireman and the four swedes couldn’t be a better suit. Coupling the dry wit of both the countries the band throwback to “So You Die” pleasing the crowd to no end.
Hopeful that it would appear in the band’s set list as the cold and calculating introduction rolls detailing her murder, “Anne” bulldozers it’s way into the venue tonight. Working brilliantly on both fronts the band prove they can indeed demolish if they so wish at a slower pace whilst also retaining the razor sharp attack exhibited in “Cancer of The Soul“. As the track finishes up with the spitting of “meeting you was such a delight-ah!” said with a deliciously sick grin it’s clear that perhaps I wasn’t the only one hoping for this new gem. Contrary to our previous group the band’s sound tonight works perfectly for the astonishing “Ways to Die” giving Nyström’s solos the clarity needed to cut down the opposition. With the band’s make up slowly peeling away they steal themselves returning for an encore featuring The Fathomless Mastery classic “Mock The Cross“. Mobilising their distinctive flattening sound once more the band blasphemous anthem with Holmes‘ rasp retaining identity that was perhaps not possessed before making for a particularly tongue in cheek rendition of “Eaten” another deliciously gruesome tale of a man’s desires to live up to the tracks name. After long toying with the audience Bloodbath decide to deliver final killing blow of “Cry My Name” sadly putting the audience out of the loving misery after having butchered their way through Camden tonight.
Born from a mutual love of Death Metal, Bloodbath are the genre’s unsung heroes. Convening sparingly when invited to the dance of death that is a performance from the band to pass up the opportunity would be sacrilege. Catering to varying audiences tonight, from the young to older members of the Metal community responsible for forming our opinion of now classic Death Metal era both were in a state of blissful insanity tonight. Bidding 2015 farewell from me Bloodbath couldn’t have been a better closer for a year that has well and truly shown Metal excellence.