Date: Wednesday, 13th February 2019
Review by: Pete Mutant
I’m starting to think that us Scots should be having a Polish memorial day after one beast of a musical week in this city. Of course, Glasgow has a wealth of Polish influence across the city and it’s a relationship I think that we should celebrate more often. Why not, as we had some of their best musical exploits selling out the QMU only two days ago in Behemoth, and tonight we had another massive gig to contend with as Decapitated are back in town.
This was really the ‘Anticult’ tour after that original tour was cancelled for reasons well known and best not dug up again. They were back and that’s all that mattered. They were bringing with them a spectacularly heavy supporting cast with English brutalisers Dyscarnate and a band I was unaware of in Danish death metal act Baest. It was shaping up to be an earth shaking night of thunderous music and there was going to be a sizeable crowd there in the Classic Grand to rise to the occasion.
The doors were slow to open as per usual at this venue – for some reason they can never open the doors at the set time – but that does afford time for the local metal heads of Glasgow to get an extra couple of drinks in beforehand. Once in the building, the stairs had to be traversed up a few flights to the doors to the main venue open up. There were a fair few bodies already there watching the first band tonight and you could feel the heaviness of this band blasting out from the word go.
Baest [4.0/5] were beasts and I think that’s obviously where their band name emerged from. They opened with ‘Vortex’ and you could hear the old school meeting the new school of death metal oozing from the band. It was thrashy and full of dirty breaks and early on people were starting to loosen up and get into the band. They all had some beautiful instruments in which to create such heavy music and they were all very proficient, which did justice to the tools of their trade.
Drummer Sebastian Abildsten had a tremendous sounding kit, with these blasts that were sending rapid shots of wicked vibrations through the crowd. We were getting some rapid snare action during ‘Marie (Magdalene)’ as the pace was rapidly increasing. Vocalist Simon Olsen was all about the horns and the crowd were throwing them on command. Safe to say, Baest were winning us over very easily with their performance.
They serve as a good bridge between the old school and new school of death metal, mixing American old school with the buzz saw tone of Swedish death metal. Not too dissimilar to modern acts such as Gatecreeper but with a little more going on in terms of variety. Take ‘Ego Te Absolvo’ as an example. There were some blackened death elements at the start there, so rapid, full of ridiculous chops and the riff near the end was poetically brutal. They ended the set with the mighty ‘Crosswhore’, which was a showstopper in itself. It starts off with a buzzsaw melody that combines with slow, hammering riffs to round off a quite excellent start to the night.
Ego Te Absolvo
Second on the list of tonight’s feast were the ultra heavy Dyscarnate [4.0/5], who I’d seen before in Vancouver of all places on the Bloodletting North America tour near the end of 2017. They’ve made a good name for themselves and there was a rather large crowd gathered to welcome the three piece. They opened with ‘Of Mice And Mountains’ and wasted little time in cranking up the heaviness. Vocalist/guitarist Tom Whitty was belting out the guttural commands, his neck burgeoning, looking as if it was expanding with the aim of world domination. His counterpart Al Llewellyn was providing the higher rasps to add variety into the mix, as there’s not too much variety from song to song.
A pit was started by a few in the crowd during the second track, ‘Cane Enable’, but things intensified as we got some variety in the following track, ‘Backbreaker’, when things got rather slammy at the end. They are superbly heavy and have plenty of hooks and chops which are executed so dramatically, but their songs don’t tread too far from the core of the main riff. Still, they have some titanic breaks that can blow all those in the vicinity to the far corners of the earth and the crowd, again, was loving it.
We got our first crowd surfer near the end of the set as ‘The Promethean’ was in full swing. The chops on this one were strong with some trademark switches which blasted away with some well measured blasts from drummer Matt Unsworth. It was really full on, but full on goodness, which brought us to the last track of their set in ‘This Is Fire’. Quite a djenty opening to this one, which had all the heads in the crowd rhythmically bouncing along. We got another crowd surfer as the pit continued and the band put in one last dose of malicious protein into the drive to the finish. It was more high quality and we were now well and truly prepared for the main event as Dyscarnate bowed out triumphantly.
Of Mice and Mountains
Traitors in the Palace
In the Face of Armageddon
Iron Strengthens Iron
This is Fire
Decapitated [4.0/5] were finally back on stage in Glasgow and we were all ready for them. As I said, this was basically the ‘Anticult’ tour and we were going to get a heavy dose of it from the start. ‘One-Eyed Nation’ kicked us off and there was an instant pit to meet it. Things dissipated a bit as Vogg brought out the atmospheric lead that is a standout feature in a lot of the modern era of Decapitated. The next track, ‘Deathvaluation’, had some of that irresistible groove which is another common facet of the newer stuff. The pits were growing to a massive extent and there was a circle pit that developed naturally during ‘Anticult’.
The energy all over the venue was reaching fever pitch and we got one of my favourites in ‘Post(?) Organic’, so it was time for some pitting for me and even a cheeky wee crowdsurf. I lost my phone, shat it a bit as I take notes during gigs, but managed to get it back; lucky me. The music was top notch now as we were mixing some of their previous works. A couple from ‘Organic Hallucinosis’, some from ‘Blood Mantra’ and some from ‘Carnival Is Forever’. We even went back to ‘The Negation’ for ‘The Fury’, so they were mixing it up a fair bit and we were lapping it up.
The crowdsurfers seemed endless, and we had local resident the Pit Troll on hand at the barrier to help assist the security with the workload. Not his normal retinue, but he managed to do some crowd control from the pits, then joined the pits and even crowd surfed. Must have taken 30 men and as many beasts of burden but it worked with barely a broken wrist suffered. The sound was pretty bang on without much lost in the mix. I was impressed with drummer James Stewart’s performance, who was filling in drum duties on this tour. There’s so much intense work there behind the sticks and he was smashing it so naturally, especially during the fill section for ‘Day 69’. Just brilliant!
They all were on form and vocalist Rafal Piotrowski seemed impressed with our display. Rafal said that we were the best crowd all year. Now, obviously, we’re only a couple of months in, but he seemed to be loving it and even said earlier that this was “beyond their expectations”. We were getting a hefty set as a reward but we were winding down until the band walked off then back on for the encore. Naturally, ‘Spheres Of Madness’ was to be our encore, and very happily so, as this song is one that got us all into Decapitated all those years ago. It’s a shame we don’t get more of ‘Nihility’ anymore, and this is something that everyone says, but we got something even older as the final song of the night in ‘Winds Of Creation’. That was me sold and I’m sure the rest of us were sold from the start of the night. An absolutely brilliant couple of weeks for gigs in this city and this was some way to cap off the run. Decapitated, Glasgow loves you so don’t hesitate in coming back as you are always welcome.
Kill the Cult
The Blasphemous Psalm to the Dummy God Creation
Spheres Of Madness
Winds Of Creation