26th February 2012
Review by James Anthony Price
Photos by Andre Purvis
It was a pretty mild night here in the Capital for day 3 of the Decimation Tour, But the atmosphere inside was red hot.The London Dingwalls is a small (although some may say Intimate) venue,but Is layed out well in terms of mosh pit,bar toilets,viewing balcony etc,Staff are friendly and all the merchandise stalls were well stocked with all the usual goodies bands try to flog to the punters.Decapitated Were touring new album “Carnival Is Forever” and Aborted “Global Flatline”
After various sound checks the first band took to the stage roughly on time (give or take 10 minutes) to a half full crowd. Although listed as being cyanide serenity we actually got The Heart Machine. A new band to me and one who finding information on seems incredibly hard.(research only bringing me an indie band from Florida) Dressed in normal street clothes (apart from the guitarist who appeared to have my nans tee towel wrapped around his bonce) these 4 small guys didn`t exactly cut an imposing figure on stage,,although they did play with skill and gusto.
Musically a very dated version of Mid naughties style metal core interspersed with melodic crooning Ala Maynard James Keenan,It is a shame they chose to play such generic material as they have musical skills in abundance,The vocalist had an impressive high range to his melodic vocals and during the heavy parts he had a superb low growl worthy of the best of them,he didn`t miss a note,The guitarist was able to carve out some terrific fat riffs,they have the skills,they just need to work on the song writing.This will come in time I am sure they are only a young band with a handful of songs.
The crowd seemed to agree with this sentiment,barely moving during the set,The odd head nod here and there but similarly not disgusted by what they were hearing either.The final song of the night starting off in a thrashy vein definitely getting the best reaction of the set,leaving the small crowd underwhelmed but happy. Sound wise Clear and crisp,all instruments easily able to be picked out,and a great volume level.
After a brief Interlude Belgium Death grind Legends Aborted took to the stage And by fuck they were up for this!They started off motionless as New album opener “Omega Mortis”`s twisted,eerie sound scape filled the room,whispered spoken words intermingled with random sound effects really ramped up the tension…Then They were ready!
They absolutely ripped through new album title track “Global Flatline”,with a sound that bulldozed the crowd.These Belgium’s don`t fuck around and are a savage proposition.Vocalist Sven “Svencho” de Caluwé Stalks the stage like a man possessed,His shaven head a nice contrast to the other band members long metal locks,that were put to use in some spectacular hair twirling head bangs.
He engages in some jokey banter between songs mainly revolving around his own songs over the top subject matter,specifically the ones involving er “Ladies Parts”The Combination of 2 genres often can end up a bit flat,but here they really take the best of 2 worlds and make them into something bette, all the speed and anger of grind mixed up with the sick savagery and heaviosity of death metal,made for a happy metal crowd .
The set is tight and focused with maximum passion and technical proficiency from the band.Halfway through the mosh pit is in full flow with bodies going everywhere This chaos even erupts onto the stage where Svencho`s mike is damaged and we lose vocals midway through “Dead Wreakoning”. Not that stops him singing,Dodgy Equipment be damned this guy is built to scream his lungs out From low guttural grunts to pig squeals and a nice mid level roar.
The 10 set performance is a mix of songs taken from albums as far back as 2003`s “Engineering The Dead” Right up to new release “Global Flatline” although obviously the majority come from the newest. The songs all mix together well and show that the audience fully endorses their new release. Great sounds and musical performances from the whole band make this scribe keen to see Aborted as the headliners soon,superb gory stuff.
2) Coronary Reconstruction
4)From A Tepid Whiff
5)The Holocaust Incarnate
6)The Origin of Disease
8)Sanguine Verses (…of Extirpation)
9)Threading on Vermilion Deception
10) The Saw and The Carnage Done
We then move on to the headline act,The mighty Decapitated! Technical Death Metal Titans from Poland. For many people this was the first showing of the newly reformed Band.Obviously owing to the 2007 Tragedy many people rightfully expected this band to give up but no! they have come back all guns blazing.
This tour is also accompanied by a new album “Carnival is Forever” and rightfully takes up the majority of the set list tonight,with a few older classics thrown in for good measure.Save for Wacek “Vogg” Kieltyka It is a brand new band and so many people were eager to see if they had what it took,I`ll keep it short,hell yeah they do!
Technical Death metal by its very nature can be cold,clinical and sometime even soulless. Fine on record,that is what is required and wanted from the genre,but in a live setting it has the potential to bore one to tears as fretwork wankery and relentless blast beats whilst a technical marvel don`t exactly engage your soul in a passionate and exciting way.Decapitated negotiate this hurdle with ease,tearing these songs and the crowd a new asshole with their savage performance,From opener “The Knife” right through to The finale their “hit” song and fan favourite “spheres of madness” They don`t let up for a second.
The brilliance of this performance is that not only do they show you can play this style of music with raw passion and soul,but amazingly they don`t get sloppy and forget the finesse and delicacy such complex music requires and they play each song harder,faster BUT equally as skillfully as they do on record.
Vogg is noted in saying he wanted to record the new album in an organic way and so they recorded the new album live.This approach has paid dividends,because instead of just producing an album that is as polished as the queens best silver and full of studio tricks,they have produced something that can be played where they truly come alive,The stage! The new rhythm section comprised of Kerim “Krimh” Lechner on Drums and Touring Bass player Konrad Rossa,form the backbone of the band and they are tight as a Nuns Fanny,Blast beats and low end being delivered in style helping to enhance Voggs Godlike Guitar skills.This man Is Decapitated!
He is to Decapitated what Steve Harris is to Iron Maiden,No Higher praise can be given than that!. All eyes of course are on new Frontman Rafał “Rasta” Piotrowski,as always the singer is going to get the most attention,and he lives up to the former members skills with ease,although touchingly he is wearing a “Wake the Fuck Up Coven” t-shirt as a mark of respect to his Recovering Brother in Metal. He is a force to be reckoned with Delivering songs old and new in true death metal style,dominant ,belligerent and powerful,he even engages in some crowd surfing,without missing a word! The new Album has been received well and all the crowd seem to know every word to every song already, probably reassuring the band that it has gone down well,Nice for any band let alone one that has suffered like these guys.
They end of course with Their most famous song “Spheres of Madness” Leaving the crowd happy (if not a little deaf) and no doubt eager to see what these new guys are capable of next Time they visit these shores.If judged on this Performance Decapitated are in for one hell of a great future,which will hopefully make up for all the dark times in their past.