Aversions Crown + Psycroptic + Within Destruction + Hollow World + Hadal Maw @ The Cathouse, Glasgow

Date: Tuesday, 5th February 2019
Review By: Pete Mutant

Aussies, lots of Aussies were on the list for tonight. All but one of the bands hailed from down under so I can only imagine what the tour has been like so far. They’re sacrificing their summer after all, swapping the sun and ridiculous warmth for some sodden cold on a predictably rainy night in Glasgow.

Most of these bands (all bar one) were fairly unfamiliar to me, as my main reason for seeking this gig out were the mighty Psycroptic. I’ve been a fan for years and I’ve seen them a couple of times before but, also, I was lucky enough to get to review their latest release, ‘As The Kingdom Drowns’; a belter of an album no less. It was a co-headlining tour with both Aversions Crown and Psycroptic doing full sets on the night.

The back up came in the form of Hadal Maw, Hollow World and the only non-Aussie band on the bill in the form of Slovenian slammers Within Destruction. Three bands I had not much insight into and, unfortunately, I was unable to gain further insight due to a mix-up with the press list which led to Mick from Aversions Crown coming to collect me. Cheers Mick.

Sadly I missed the whole set but I caught the set of the next band, Hollow World [3.5/5] who were playing to a reasonably populated crowd. They were fast with a good flair for technique as the groovy, flowing riffs pounded out. “How you doing Glasgow, you sexy cunts?” rang vocalist Ben Roberts and the crowd roared back in response. There was plenty of energy coming from the band who were hammering out tunes hard, trying to work the crowd up into a frenzy.

Ben Roberts had a rapid set of vocals to match with the frenetic pace that the band was playing at. They could be a bit progressive at times too, so it wasn’t like every song sounded the same either, they just weren’t anything particularly superb. Still very enjoyable though, especially the track ‘Systematic Refinement’, which was the penultimate track of their set. It was a good start to the night and next up we were going into a rather different realm, the realm of slam.

I was looking forward to seeing Within Destruction [3.5/5]. They were really the wild card on the billing for the night as they brought something entirely different to the table. They brought in some of the slam kids too, mixing up the demographics of the crowd. The crowdkillers were also mixed in and as the band played on, the arms and legs of these amateur mixed martial artists would sporadically flail wildly during the slamming breakdowns.

The music was pretty savage with the triggered blasts being a focal point that added to the ferocity of the music. Vocalist Rok Rupnik was throwing out the ‘bree’s and was doing his best to coerce the crowd into showing more battle. There was a mini wall of death towards the end of their seven song set as the youths in the crowd looked to channel all of their raw aggression and use it to propel themselves into each other. The slams were pretty brutal after all, so it was understandable for all this to be going on and the band were lapping it up until the end.

Next up was the main event for me in Psycroptic [4.5/5], as I had been waiting a few years to see them once again. They opened up with the opening track from their latest album in ‘We Were The Keepers’. This was expected as the band were promoting the new album and we were going to get a reasonable chunk of it tonight. Just seeing Joe Haley shred away was a sight to behold but the rest of the band were slaying as well. Things were very tight and there was plenty of power in the newer songs.

There were some older songs too, with ‘Carriers Of The Plague’, which went into my favourite track, ‘Euphorinasia’, so that was me well and truly satisfied early on. The crowd was having a blast too as we were getting a true feast of metal here and Psycroptic were owning the night. We went back to the new album for ‘Directive’, which had some exceptional guitar parts, especially in the breaks. Vocalist Jason Peppiatt seemed to be enjoying himself and was really animated when driving out the screams from within. Of course, the rhythm section was tremendous as well, with Joe Haley’s brother David being an absolute titan behind the sticks. It was all going very well.

We went back to their self-titled album for the fairly jazzy track ‘Cold’, which had that brilliant riff in it which is just so absorbing. To end their set, we went back to the new album for the title track, which brought some darker atmosphere to the music. It’s a massive sounding song which was delivered to the audience with great force and was a strong way for the band to end their set. That was just what we needed and it would be hard for anyone to top, and there was only one band left to try.

Aversions Crown [3.5/5] were our main event for this evening and the crowd was as full as it was going to get. They opened with ‘The Breeding Process’, so the focus was on the heavy from the start. The drumming was pretty spectacular as the blasts pounded mercilessly and the rest of the instruments clattered together. There was that deathcore vibe going on, but they were fairly powerful.

There were lots of breaks. Breaks upon breaks and many shifts in tempo going on. The crowd were into it and many heads were banging as the songs kept coming as ‘Prismatic Abyss’ went into ‘Ophiophagy’. Some of the music was a little too frantic and some of the more nuanced features were lost in the mix. Drumming was quality though, as the band thundered on and grew more open and reactionary to the crowd.

Some of the band members were getting very into the night’s fever and during ‘Hollow Planet’, bassist Jay nearly launched himself into the audience who were clamouring to get to the front. The penultimate track, ‘Odium’, was another stomper of a tune which brought us to the final serving of music for tonight in ‘Erebus’. It was a solid finish to the night and the crowd seemed really satisfied with the feast of music that they have consumed this evening. It was a pretty stacked billing with some nice variety to keep things interesting throughout the show. Psycroptic should have headlined, but Aversions Crown put in a great effort and the crowd really enjoyed them, so there’s some justification right there. The Cathouse served its purpose and a good night was had. I’d be back there the next day for Obscura, so it was shaping up to be a rather heavy week for Glasgow. The kind of week that I like.

Setlist:
Void
The Breeding Process
Hybridization
Prismatic Abyss
Ophiophagy
The Soulless Acolyte
The Oracles of Existence
The Glass Sentient
Hollow Planet
Odium
Erebus

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