Deathcrusher Tour 2015

Metal pioneers converge for an exhilarating masterclass

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The only non-‘name band’ and playing a very short and early set to a largely empty Forum, openers HEROD [7] clearly have their work cut out.

In fact, their moody, progressive and slow-burning take on the sludge template fares surprisingly well, eliciting a decent reaction from the small crowd. Strangely, it turns out that VOIVOD [9] also hold a lot of surprises. Not only are they on earlier than expected (cue many cries of “I can’t believe I missed Voivod!” through the night) but they also avoid some of their more obvious numbers. What’s more, a fair few grind/death metalheads present have evidently not checked the band out before, which is another surprise in itself. They turn out to be an excellent choice for this bill, though, their bouncy yet technical and detailed compositions proving uplifting and invigorating rather than crushingly heavy. This appearance reminds us what a great band they are.

Napalm Death get in your face

Napalm Death get in your face (Image credit: Ester Segarra)

Of course, NAPALM DEATH [8] have some of that same punk/metal hybrid spirit to them, but needless to say, they are an infinitely heavier and more aggressive proposition. Mitch Harris is missing tonight, but otherwise this is Napalm as we know them: tight, twitchy, exhilarating, fast and in-your-face.

Such dynamics only serve to make OBITUARY [8] stand out more. With their crushingly heavy riffs and moody, doomy songwriting, the American death metal legends’ slow pace and swampy guitar work is more accentuated than usual and perhaps because of this they really hit the crowd hard, becoming contenders for best-received band of the night.

CARCASS [9] have been a regular sight onstage since their return a few years ago and have become one of extreme metal’s more dependable outfits. The benefit of their experience is apparent both in their confident handling of the stage and the tightness and fluidity of their playing, which manifests not only in the controlled riffing and exquisite leads, but the ease with which they move back and forth through their varied discography. Indeed, despite their evolution from brutal goregrind through to hard rock-influenced melodic death metal, they manage to create an impressive sense of continuity, with only Keep On Rotting In The Free World from their underrated album Swansong raising eyebrows.