Decapitated

support Beyond Creation + Ingested + Lorna Shore + Viscera
author RUB date 08/03/20 venue VoxHall, Århus, DEN

My initial thought about the gig in question was: “what a massive line-up!" But then I realised it was going to take place on a Sunday – “ouch!” With the thought of this possibly damaging the turnout and, with that, the atmosphere, I nonetheless quickly made up my mind to attend, as there was simply no way I was going to miss out on the headliner, especially as they had even managed to bring with them a varied plate of interesting death metal acts, meaning that this could actually turn out to be quite the show. Without any knowledge of the first band, I thus venture into the surprisingly packed venue, considering which night of the week it is.

All photos courtesy of Anders Teibel


Viscera

Viscera

Very heavy and very brutal — if you disregard the scarce use of clean vocals in the first few songs — is how I would describe this four-piece from the United Kingdom (for some reason their bassist David Archer is not here tonight). Their style is definitely deathcore very much in the vein of bands like Whitechapel, with their breakdowns making a deep, chugging noise and served as relentless blasts on the spectators just as proper deathcore should do. This technique is utilized in a pretty decent manner, and it even sparks some movement in the front in the form of both headbanging and moshing. The majority of the crowd, however, resorts to stationary spectating, with little engagement other than a few applauses here and there. And as a result, movement by the two guitarists, Adam Bell & Ross McLennan, is a rare sight, too. They seem deeply focused on the riffing, shredding and various solos, so instead the focus shifts to lead singer Jamie Graham, who apparently used to front Heart of a Coward. He does a great job, and is definitely the main thing to take away from this concert. But at the end of the day, it is still quite clear that there is no profound new genre twists or anything overly exciting about Viscera’s music. They do the job they came here to do, but I would be surprised if they earn any new fans in the process.

5


Lorna Shore

Lorna Shore

Just like the first band, Lorna Shore is a quartet without a bass player, but when you have as many strings as these guys do, it’s probably not that big of a deal. The recipe is identical to that of Viscera’s: heavy and brutal, with plenty of breakdowns and pig squeals, and, of course, a fast pace like you would want your deathcore to have. The excessive usage of breakdowns and high-pitched squeals works well, but it gets to be somewhat pointless and redundant when it is utilized in every single song. The deployment of these is a funny gimmick, albeit Lorna Shore don’t strike me as a band that would use it only for the purpose of raising the level of brutality. I wouldn’t exactly call it tedious, mind you, because just like the first band of the evening, these heavy and brutal rhythms really do the trick for most of the crowd, where plenty of people are doing their best to break their necks with headbanging. To me, however, it is quite boring to listen to and watch, and to make matters even worse for me, something very noticeable is off with the gig as well. Lorna shore’s newly added lead singer Will Ramos really has some trouble with his microphone, which keeps scratching and generating feedback, which does nothing to support his otherwise impressive growling pipes. What’s worse, no attempt is made by the sound engineer to fix the issue either, which is really a shame, given that the group plays a much better show than their counterparts in Viscera, save for this major point of irritation in my book.


Ingested

Ingested

“Horns in the fucking air!” is the rallying call from frontman Jason Evans, as this quartet from Manchester takes the stage. Again, we’re dealing with another deathcore ensemble, but this time around the music seems to be mixed with a more straight-up death metal vibe in the vein of Dying Fetus and Suffocation, which makes their set more varied than the previous two acts’. Sadly, however, the drumming seems to be a little out of sync, as whenever the double pedal starts pounding, it sounds sort of jumpy, like the haphazard popping of corn. Skipping beats unfortunately makes the soundscape sound sloppy and generally not very tight, which is a shame, as the band is otherwise doing a pretty solid job. What speaks in this favour (after a failed attempt of opening up the floor, which remains empty for quite some time), people seem to be warmed up and ready to party. The headbanging gets better and more visible, and as a result of that, the band’s movement too. What must be highlighted as well, is how Ingested utilize the breakdowns to a much better extent than the previous two bands. And even better, after a few songs the drummer finally sounds like he’s warmed up, with his double pedal action improved dramatically. And as a result, the mutual relationship between band and audience becomes beneficial, winding each other up, and the audience is even invited onto the stage at one point to initiate several attempts at crowd surfing. This final attempt at trying to make a good impression pays off, and must be rewarded as such.

7


Simon Girard of Beyond Creation

Beyond Creation

At last — a definite change in genre. This technical four-piece, now finally featuring a bassist, plays a progressive brand of technical death metal, and to no one’s surprise, he bass guitar has more strings than I can even count, and enjoys a prominent presence in the mix. The band’s guitar fretboards are utilized to maximum effect by both Simon Girard and Kevin Chartré, as they plough through one progressive and atmospheric piece after another. Where the former three bands tried to be as heavy as humanly possible, Beyond Creation try to engulf the listener into a web of captivating and tightly played progressive death metal. I’m not going to argue which genre is better, but the energy level amongst the crowd definitely takes a blow here, albeit people still seem to enjoy the concert. With so many progressive elements included, Beyond Creation ironically feels like a breather band before the main act; it’s not that they don’t have brutal or aggressive songs (delivered flawlessly), but their style just seems sort of out of place this evening, taking the first three bands into account. This is underlined by the fact that when Girard on the vocals makes a half-hearted attempt at getting a circle-pit going, the crowd remains unresponsive to his commands. This is a decent gig, but also rather forgettable knowing how well I’ve witnessed this band performing on previous occasions, and also in the bigger picture, as the main act is about to leave the entire venue in ruins, as it turns out.

7


Decapitated

Decapitated

This band needs no introduction. Their experience and their position as a headliner are instantly solidified in the way they conquer the stage and the crowd. This is also clear from the sound mix, in which every instrument is on point, and every musician tight and packing enough punch to grab every listener by the throat from the very first chord. As there had been some issues with the drumming earlier this evening, the drumming is indeed something that catches my attention from the first song — you wouldn’t know that this is a session drummer unless you actually looked it up. But of course, it isn’t just any average Joe manning the barrels tonight — it is Ken Bedene of Aborted, who was kind enough to help out the Poles on this tour, and judging by his efforts, he could easily have been playing with the group for years. And speaking of years, that’s what it takes to get that on-stage experience that frontman Rafał Piotrowski, with his signature long dreadlocks, has. He commands the audience in a manner that leaves little room to stand still, and the front rows are quick to mosh. Even though I would still deem Decapitated to be a technical death metal band on the account of the older stuff they play live, they manage to mix it up nicely by incorporating plenty of groove, which is of course also showcased on their latest records. This ensures plenty of banging heads, and lots of horns in the air too. The atmosphere and level of intensity is kept high throughout the entire gig, which is impressive given that it is a Sunday, and when the fan-favourite “Spheres of Madness” is aired, the throttle is pressed all the way down to ensure that everyone gets a final shot of enjoyment as a result of this show of force by the Polish icons.

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