Live Review : Carnifex – Within The Ruins – Fallujah and Boris The Blade
11th December 2015, 11:00
Posted by Tristan
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Ten years on and Carnifex return to London to celebrate their ten year anniversary. Entitled the Decade of Despair tour the band have become a hallmark in the world of Deathcore and tonight will prove that they have definitely earned their stripes. With a new album set for a spring release next year the band are ushering in a new era of Carnifex. However before we can get to the meat and potatoes we welcome some fantastic support romight.

8th December 2015
Underworld Camden
London, Camden
Support Bands: Boris The Blade, Fallujah and Within The Ruins

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Bringing life to the party we move to Australia as our New South Wales friends, Boris The Blade, no doubt modelled on the classic Snatch character open things up. A good bar to set for this evening the material brings together elements from Hardcore to a more Deathcore breakdown approach. Though the band put on a great show with front man Daniel Sharp at play with the audience sadly the sound dampens things ever so slightly. Nevertheless that doesn’t stop the first circle pits of the night igniting making for a particularly vicious “Like Wolves” closer.

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A name that is on the tip of everyone’s tongue tonight however seems to be our second aperitif Fallujah. Previously having visited us with cohorts Dying Fetus it’s a testament to the band’s mouldable ability. As the decidedly bigger crowd congregates in front of the stage the first notes of “Starlit Path” ring through. Quite to mirror the complexity of the airtight performance the band give on record is nothing short of remarkable. Combining the age old combination of steadfast creative mastermind holding the technical fort Scott Carstairs acts as a beacon to the Modern Metal guitarist.

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Whilst vocalist and charmer Alex Hoffman bellows out vocals that dwarf everyone here at the Underworld tonight. Having a slightly longer set than previous it makes for the band to be a more enjoyable experience, peppered with material throughout the band’s exploratory catalogue from the barrage of “Cerebral Hybridzation” and even including a brand new track “Abandon” from the band’s forthcoming record. Which continued their trend of not only setting the bar high but completely revolutionising the band and their sound. Ironic that a music so technical is actually very organic in a live setting. Pulling off the scorching solo’s perfectly the band’s real weapon tonight is atmosphere. Drinking in the sections where the band coalesce to become one the audience are enraptured. Looking around in the crowd I see both audience and band smiling ear to ear. With a performance like tonight’s and such a distinct understanding of music theoretically and emotionally at such a young musical age, Fallujah will go far. Absolutely essential.

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Regressing slightly from the avant garde bathing that is our Bay Area proggers we move now back into the core, no pun intended, of what the evening is about, the breakdown. Having released their new album Within The Ruins are fighting fit, flying the flag for Modern Tech Metal sadly the band lack soul. This doesn’t mean to say that tonight’s performance is bad not by a long shot! With front man Tim Georgen having the audience firmly within his grasp the band conjure up some of the most devastating circle pits of the night so far but are lacking in that emotional capacity. No doubt due in part to the robotic element of their music the band are very much more focused on delivering a tight set, though I still don’t know how having one guitarist mirror the idea of a dual guitarists attack with pedals. Either way the crowd as absolutely loving it.

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Though admirable as their performance might be, for me personally it just doesn’t quite do it. Nevertheless their supporters down the front prove me wrong with renditions of “Invade” that send the crowd wild, before the arrival of fan favourite “Hegira” which see’s one of the night’s most convulsing circle pits. With the sheer amount going on the stage and the Underworld’s notoriously tempermental PA there are some elements that are lost on the band in a live setting leading to their sound be essential fairly non complacent. However the band emerge victorious with a riotous roar from their fans.

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It’s a well known fact that genres come and go among the Metal community. In the nineties we saw the eruption of Nu-Metal and all it’s dreadlocked glory. Moving later into the year 2000 the rise of Deathcore was on the up and up. A decade from their inception tonight Carnifex return to stake their claim as the true underdogs of the Deathcore scene. The instantaneous energy of frontman Scott Lewis is felt throughout The Underworld with the screams of new ripper “Salvation Is Dead“. Lyrics delivered with a sense of urgency and desperation are hurtled back at him the second the man gets on the stage. Bringing a sense of pride to the show the singer is simultaneously tender yet full of animosity.

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The band’s cult status as one of the most underrated bands in the scene seems to go hand in hand with their phenomenal live show. Commanding his legions to circle pit whilst the brutal guitar lines are laid down by Corey Arford along with the saddening yet scintillating leads, the band are positively brimming with aggressive misery. The nihilistic lyrics work fantastically in a live setting. Bassist Fred Calderon more of a blur than guitarist as he bounds around the room. Having finally eschewed the tough sound tonight Carnifex’s assault comes together making for the quintessential element of Deathcore, the breakdown, to be thunderously heavy. Thick with excitement the crowd are treated to a special, cherry picked ten year celebratory set list tonight. Making up each era of the band from the classics of “Slit Wrist Saviour” to newer anthems “Dead But Dreaming“.

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Despite the air of despondency in the man’s lyrics Lewis is positively brimming with enthusiasm. Manifesting itself in raw emotion the singer delivers an honest and slightly pained rendition of classics “Until I Feel Nothing” but it’s the final unholy trinity that see’s The Underworld truly exhaust its last breaths. “Die Without Hope” continues our theme of absolute hopelessness before fan favourite “Lie To Me” appears igniting roars of approval that ripple through the venue. Understanding that the people on this room are all here for one reason only seems to bewilder the modest singer. Yet when the final track of the night is introduced and the iron bound statement of “I didn’t choose hell, hell chose me” reaches ear shattering levels the understanding is universal. Carnifex may not have had the easiest career, dogged by ghosts of their tattered record label past, nevertheless tonight celebrating ten years of resilience the band proudly sit atop their perch. Leaving me and everyone in the venue with the notion that the band will always be the blood soaked kings of a genre which if they’re still in charge of. With a new album in works the band are setting out to deliver their most diverse record yet. Deathcore may be dead but tonight Carnifex most certainly are not.