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Pestilence/Rebaelliun/Damim at Underworld, London - live review

Dutch death metal veterans hit a feverish pitch

Formerly Dam, London death metal mainstays DAMIM [8] walk the fine line between forward-thinking, inventive death metal and sheer skull-rattling viciousness, and they do it very well. It’s been more than 10 years since their last album but a new song introduced as Cannibals – but which may end up as Decadents or Amalek – bodes well. The recently revitalised REBAELLIUN [7], on the other hand, are all about the savagery. Their brand of ferocious death is all face-melting blastbeats and chainsaw guitars. Unfortunately for them, sound gremlins undermine what would have been a powerful start. The first couple of songs are reduced to triggered bass drums and a background guitar. Eventually it’s sorted out and they turn in an impressive set of unrelenting aural violence. Since they first graced our shores 25 years ago, legendary Dutch deathsters PESTILENCE [8] have split, reformed, toured, split and reformed again. Backed by a new set of talented musicians, Patrick Mameli is touring a set heavily drawn from Malleus Maleficarum and Consuming Impulse; both are essential albums for any serious death metal fan and three decades on these songs still stand up. Rather than the band’s later jazz-fusion metal, this is their earlier, classic thrash-tinged DM with hooks aplenty, delivered by a band that really seem to be enjoying themselves. Patrick himself looks positively delighted to be touring and the likes of Chronic Infection and Out Of The Body retain their raw appeal after all this time.