Since the sad ending of Whiplash Promotions a couple of years back, Liverpool has managed to keep a thriving scene going but had missed the big names that had previously visited Merseyside. Now Deathwave Entertainment have stepped into that gap and done a fine job in bringing those name acts back to the area.
After interviewing a couple of bands in the opulent surroundings of the nearby Philharmonic Dining Rooms, The Magnet venue tonight was a thoroughly different affair. A mixture of Art Deco décor and displays of Star Wars figures seemed an interesting aesthetic, add to that an evening of extreme metal and you could be mistaken for spending the whole evening walking round confused by all of that being mixed together.
The first two bands were local supports for this show. Both Project Mess and the fantastically named Horsebastard (never fails to raise a smile, even after knowing about them for a few years) offered up a chaotic grind noise and also drawing a decent audience. It was great to see the headliners taking their chance to check out the other acts that wouldn’t be on the rest of the tour with them. Project Mess offering up a hell of noise for a two piece, and Horsebastard vocalist Chris stalking the crowd choosing to face them eye to eye rather than joining the rest of the band onstage. The night off to a great start.
Abhorrent Decimation are one of the many up and coming names from the UK, and the London five piece used their set to show their credentials really well. Combining old school death metal with a modern, more technical edge, they played material from their ep as well as new tracks from their upcoming debut album, and showed a lot of development between the different sets of material, the newer tracks featuring more cleaner guitars and melody but still retaining that heavy sound.
With a brand new vocalist and missing their bassist through injury, you could have forgiven Cancerous Womb for not being at their best, or even pulling out of this show / tour, but it is testament to their dedication that they not only carried on, but also produced such a fine performance. Another vocalist that chose to stay in the no mans land between stage and crowd; they culled their set from their two releases to date and showed why they are held in such high regard. They seem to be doing everything right and playing shows like this despite recent obstacles will only earn them more respect, especially as they on to festivals and the US later in the year.
Finally, it was time for Benighted. With the band packed tightly onto the small magnet stage, they started off with the first track from most recent album “Carnivore Sublime” and quickly rattled through one of the most impressive sets I have seen for some time, with the band producing and barrage of impenetrable noise that took all the fine set s from tonight and threatened to blow them all away. The band have been on a great run of form over the last couple of albums, and their live show takes that up another couple of levels, with Julien’s vocals on a par with Travis Ryan (of Cattle Decapitation) for range and being able to switch between styles seemingly so effortlessly. Easily one of the best extreme metal bands out there at the moment, It’s just a pity that more people weren’t here t witness it, but hopefully it wont be too long before they come back over the channel to make another appearance.
Photos by Stephen Fallows.