support Beneath The Massacre + Trigger The Bloodshed + Ignominious Incarceration
author EW date 02/12/08 venue Underworld, London, UK

The omens were not good for this Cryptopsy gig. It was a bitterly cold Tuesday night in the month of December, a month when everyone's wallets feels the pinch even disregarding the spiraling recession Britain is heading into. The Canadian death metal legends last album, "The Unspoken King" was massively slated upon release and the two times I'd seen the band live, both with their iconic but now departed iconic frontman Lord Worm, I went home disappointed. And to make matters worse I got to the train station to find my train was cancelled cos some knobhead decided today was a good day to die on the train tracks. Bloody, fucking great. Were it not for my obligations to the site and Trigger the Bloodshed for getting me on the guestlist I would've turned round and headed for the warmth of home at this point, but I toughed it out to bring you this...

Ignominious Incarceration

Arriving by the sounds of it a few minutes into Ignominious Incarceration's set I first briefly checked out the merch stall (nothing bought), headed to the bar (Guinness bought) and went to check out the band. It's hard to know what to say about such a band when firstly I've only heard their two songs up on myspace prior to the gig and any sense of atmosphere is nigh on impossible with such a paltry turn out. II are not the worst 'deathcore' band I've heard (wait for that) as the breakdowns don't feature so heavily as is often the case and the band put on an admirable performance for so few in attendance, but I'm afraid I quickly tire and head for the sanctity of the bar.


Trigger the Bloodshed

Now obviously I don't know TtB well enough despite having interviewed them, reviewed their debut album "Purgation" and live reviewed them previously, because every time I see them or their picture all the band members seemed to have changed. Maybe I'm wrong but with a bassist who cannot have been old than 14 and a drummer barely pushing legal drinking age, this band is pretty darn extreme for their lack of experience, but as I sense many in this scene tend to believe these days, 'extreme' doesn't necessarily equate with 'interesting' or 'good'. I remember being awestruck by TtB's heaviosity upon our previous meeting but tonight it just didn't seem as convincing. Okay a busy stage performance we were treated to but it all seems a bit fake - there is no way Max Blunos can blast that fast without OTT-triggering going on and the feeling of violence for violence's sake soon kicks in as song after song, with little to distinguish between the lot, explode past in a frenzy of hyper riffs and guttural growls. Fun for those who like the extremity turned to 11, but a little more variance wouldn't have gone amiss boys.


Beneath the Massacre

Returning to the stage area from the bar to watch this absolute joke of a band was a mistake I might never live down. Beneath the Massacre are so full of macho beatdowns and so lacking in any musical passion or direction it hurts to think I paid nothing to see them. I was feeling so sick after 2 songs I retreated from where I came. In that time however I realised that BtM are the worst 'deathcore' band I've heard because if one dissects their songs they all sound the same, nothing of theirs benefits from any purpose and minus beatdowns you are left with a mess of uninteresting riffs that don't fare well against their recorded output. Clearly relying upon studio tricks to reach a level not high enough to hurdle corpses, I will be a happy man to never hear this band again.



Strangely given how the night was proceeding thus far I wasn't tempted to leave, some good Irish stout and a good friend proving more than they’re worth. But could Cryptopsy rescue the night from earning the unwanted tag of being my worst gig of the year? Against all odds, and a barrage of haters on the WWW, Cryptopsy pulled the gig back from the brink of near-catastrophe to a level where one could go home reasonably happy with events. Thanking the soundman would be a good start; previous Cryptopsy shows had been ruined through horrible muddy sounds. But credit must go to Flo Mounier and his troops for persisting along with what must be a difficult tour, playing to half-filled venues that were packed not 3 years ago. Relying very heavily on older material, with all the classics one could wish for from piece de resistance "None So Vile" and little to nothing from the last two records, Cryptopsy at least won back some loyalty from those in attendance, though greater trust in the new material however controversial it has been would have at least gained further credence from myself. New vocalist Matt McGachy was good both as a growler and frontman, willing to work up a small crowd that had dwindled considerably by the time the band returned for one song encore "Phobophile" to a mere few dozen, after just a 45-minute set. And no need for the worm-eating theatrics of his insane predecessor it must be, to the delight of some of those at the front I’m sure.

In the prevailing conditions Cryptopsy pulled one out the bag this frozen London night, earning themselves the right to live to see another day. Quite where they go from here though is a mystery I'm not even sure band leader Mounier knows the answer to but on the basis on tonight Cryptopsy aren't dead yet.


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