Decapitated, Aborted & Betraeus At Moho Live, Manchester – February 27th 2012

I love the Moho as a venue. I love any venue that you have to go downstairs to enter. This particular basement is unique to most as it has a staircase in the middle of the floor and pillars The low ceiling makes the space seem even smaller and when a decent crowd is gathered then it can become very chaotic and it always seems to have an excellent atmosphere on gig nights like these.

First up were local boys Betraeus. An impressive crowd had gathered for this home town show and it was cool to see everyone heading to the stage when they started, rather than hanging back at the bar as happens to most opening bands. The band have recently gained a lot of publicity after being picked as band of the day on such diverse websites as Terrorizer and The Guardian, and judging by this brief set, such praise is thoroughly deserved. The band crashed through their half hour in excellent fashion, the set drawn from the recently released EP “Towards The Sun” and left a lasting impression, make sure you catch them on their May tour.

Aborted were next, and following the recent release of their latest critically acclaimed effort ‘Global Flatline,’ they were ready to take things to the next level. Often hidden behind a thick veil of fog, with only the silhouettes of the band visible in front of the lights at the back of the stage, they set out to pummel the crowd with an unbelievable noise.

Staying just the right side of too loud to be distorted, they spent the best part of an hour rallying the crowd to start pits (which they seemed to be fine starting by themselves) and spewing out track after track of filth and deprivation. The almost robotic drumming of Ken Bedene drove the band along at an awesome speed, with him smiling making it look as though it was the easiest thing in the world, with Sven de Caluwé directing things from the front, getting the fans involved and worked up more than they already were. Things were starting to get a little sweaty.

Before this show I had only seen Decapitated once, supporting Morbid Angel as a very young band some years ago. Since then the Polish death metal crew have had to deal with a hell of a lot of tragedy and misfortune, most recently the plane crash that saw the band have to cancel their appearance at last November’s Damnation Festival. This meant the crowd was even more eager to see them, and they proved the prolonged wait was worth every second, with an amazing set that rivals anything in all the gigs that I have attended.

The sound was just about perfect, and the only thing I can say that was negative about the show is that it didn’t seem long enough, even though the band played a good fifty minutes. Vocalist Rafał “Rasta” Piotrowski spent a lot of the night getting up close and personal with the crowd and winding up the already excitable mass even further. After racing through a set chosen from their extensive career, the closing trio of ‘Winds Of Creation’, ‘View From A Hole’ and ‘Spheres Of Madness’ very nearly brought the venue crashing down, such was the noise that was being expelled from the amps.  The crowd almost refused to leave when the house lights came up, so the band were forced to come out and play one last tune before everyone went home knowing they had witnessed some thing a bit special. Easily in top ten bands I have seen, maybe even top five!

One further thing from the night, a couple of fans have been travelling to several of the gigs collecting money for former vocalist Covan, who has been in a coma since the accident which took the life of Witold “Vitek” Kieltyka back in 2007. Over the course of the tour they have collected around £500 from fans that wish to do their bit to help. You can still donate by going to www.wakeupcovan.com, which will give you all the information for this worthy cause.

Aborted setlist:

Global Flatline – Coronary Reconstruction – Meticulous Invagination – From A Tepid Whiff – Expurgation Euphoria – The Holocaust Incarnate – The Origin Of Disease – Sanguine Verses Of Extirpation – Threading On Vermillion Deception – Dead Reckoning – The Saw And The Carnage Done

Decapitated setlist:

The Knife – Day 69 – Pest – United – Post Organic – Mother War – Homo Sum – 404 – Winds Of Creation – View From A Hole – Spheres Of Madness – Long Desire Dementia

Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal

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