The world is very much a different place than it was back in the day. The ability of streaming, social media and the like it makes it easier than ever to be able to listen to music but not necessarily support the artist. With this in mind the focus has been brought to the detail surrounding tours, offering a more eclectic line up in recent days.
29th October 2015
London, Kentish Town
Support Bands: Herod, Voivod, Napalm Death, Obituary
Herod take to the stage as the early doors of The Forum are opened and the public begin trudging in. A shame that the band aren’t playing nearly to the amount of people that will be here by the second act but nevertheless the bunch do put on a good act though with tonight’s retrospective line up in mind seem to be slightly out of place.
First of the big four tonight arrive on stage in typically strange fashion our Canadians Voivod kick things off in brilliant style tonight. With singer Snake prowling the stage, flanked by both guitarist and bassist who retain a boundless sense of energy. Flitting from the side of the stage all the way to the other side all the while performing Piggy’s incredibly complex riffs. Newer songs like the Target Earth ripper “Kluskap O’Kom” see’s a greeting of approval from the crowd.
As frontman Snake becomes increasingly odd throughout the performance his style matches both the intensity of the music and it’s oddity making him to be an excellent ring leader as the band move into classic”Chaosmöngers” ensuring that all is done in fantastic sci if tongue in cheek. Even debuting a new song at tonight’s performance it seems to be over all too quickly. Nevertheless for those who did witness the latest unpredictable madness that is Voivod destruction, regardless of whether they are in the Underworld or in a slowly packed out Forum the band always give their 110%. A fantastic beginning for the evenings performances.
After a quick change around Britain’s most visceral band hit the stage. Having released their new record Apex Predator earlier this year Napalm Death continuously prove the age old adage that age is simply but a number. As the ominous introduction of “Apex Predator – Easy Meat” rolls in, the band slowly build anticipation becoming the metaphorical predators of the Forums Easy meat. Pioneering a sound that still to this day is just as destructive the band are like no other and with tonight’s line up being absolute pedigree’s of the Death Metal genres contesting for top dog Napalm Death come incredibly close to blowing everyone else out of the water.
Our wind him up and watch him go Mark “Barney” Greenway arrives on stage and immediately sheds his charismatic, school boy persona, becoming the real vehicle of the band’s aggression. The agile banshee moves through newer tracks “Smash A Single Digit” with ease, throwing back to the classic “You Suffer” comically chastises the seated area in a typically british fashion of “keep up!” like a professor keeping it’s class on its toes. The caustic sound that this band embodies can be too much for some yet tonight the four are greeted with animalistic rage that only Birmingham’s finest can conjure up. Bludgeoning the audience with renditions of “On The Brink Of Extinction” but it’s the arrival of Harmony Corruption classic “Suffer The Children” that sees convulse as one. As the crowd toss bodies over the barriers the band showcase more new material with “How The Years Condemn“. Culminating with the finale of “Adverserial / Copulating Snakes” the firmly make their mark. With a status as reliably devastating you know what you’re getting yourself into and tonight as we see the band exit the stage the sentiment will never be questioned.
Displaying a different angle of tonight from the variety of the pedigree acts. We arrive to swamp ridden mangroves of Florida greeted by Obituary. As the incredibly quick changeover is completed and the lights dim. All but John Tardy. Arrive on the stage, breaking into instrumental introduction of “Redneck Stomp“the band’s no nonsense sound immediately hits the audience with the subtlety of an atom bomb. As an increasingly anticipating Tardy is seen side stage the singer is let loose as the band rip into “Centuries Of Lies“. The monstrous mass of hair towers over the audience delivering John Tardy’s calling card, that haunting howl. Nevertheless it’s the sheer cohesive sensation of the band tonight that really shake the rafters.
Delivering pitch perfect precision the band throwback to the years of Slowly We Rot with the faster paced “Intoxicated” showing that though the Death Metal snail might be have made its bed in the sense of groove the band can still thrash. Along with a performance of “Don’t Care” the band are absolutely on fire tonight. Ensuring that the snare is at ear shattering levels the songs resonate in our audiences craniums. Tracks like title track “Inked In Blood” cause a stir nevertheless it’s the classic of “Slowly We Rot” that sees the security worked hard. Vomiting out members of the crowd the Tardy brothers remorselessly drive the behemoth home. Seeing the likes of “Find The Arise” go down just as well as true highlight of the bands performance the pneumatic “Visions In My Head” shows that Obituary are here to stay and once again contested each bands place on the bill tonight.
Stating that “Shouldn’t you have all gone home by now? Why are there so many of you?” The quintessential dry wit from our Jack Dee of Death Metal comes from Jeff Walker. Fully into the swing of the Carcass‘ performance the band are met with a heroes welcome. The haunting leads of “1985” slowly envelop the Forum in tandem with “Unfit For Human Consumption” blasting through the speakers. Our abhorrent abattoir keepers are once again back, celebrating their second year since their now eponymous comeback album Surgical Steel first entered the lives of so many Death Metal lovers the band are positively beaming, despite the tongue in cheek remarks that ensure that you know the band are from Liverpool. As screens darken and we hear the introduction of spoken word section “If visible identification is not possible” as the crowd positively explodes in perfect time with Dan Wilding‘s blasting beats of “Incarnated Solvent Abuse”.
With such an arsenal with them Bill Steer and co have a multitude of choice at their finger tips, lightly moving between albums we’re treated to a brutal “This Mortal Coil” followed by one of the most confusing choruses in recent memory helped by the large screens and ghoulish projection of numbers behind the band “The Granulating Dark Satanic Mills” is once again a huge hit. Nevertheless the classic’s are incredibly hard to beat as its shown with “Corporal Jigsore Quandary” reaching out to the bloodsoaked hearts of the audience. After a final hello from “Mount Of Extinction” it’s clear that every single member of the audience knows what is coming. Finishing with an absolutely explosive “Heartwork” the slick surgeons bid us a bloody adieu once again and once again proving that they among others are the pinnacle of Death Metal.
Without the need of proving themselves each band brought to the fore an element of nineties Death Metal, making for a well rounded and truly devastating evening. Making it poignant that though twenty five years might have passed and the world is an incredibly different place the bands are still alive and kicking harder than they have ever before. For tonight even if it was a couple of hours embodied the entire ethos of nineties Death Metal movement. A testament to the true talent of all these bands here tonight.