Big Business @ The Key Club, Leeds, 21/11/2014

+ Black Moth + Blacklisters 

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When The Cockpit in Leeds closed down earlier in the year after 20 years in the business, it was a day of sadness for not just myself, but for many. The venue had been a hub for indie and rock in the city, hosting many gigs across the years which indeed saw many bands pass through en route to greater arenas. Sadly, it was deemed beyond economical repair and so the venue, situated underneath the busy railway station and affectionately resembling an air raid shelter, was closed down to perhaps the surprise of some. Indeed it was held in high regard and anyone who ever passed through that venue’s doors for a show will attest to that.

 

It seems endemic of the fate that seems to await many rock and alternative venues in this day and age, but in true testament to the adage that rock will never die (unless you’re Gene Simmons of course), venues tend to spring back up, in the big cities at least, and this is true of the Key Club, launched by former owners of the Cockpit, itself located where resided the club’s former Bassment and Subculture venues, in which I saw Darkest Hour years ago, and played as a member of a band respectively. Not much has changed about the place, bar the stage being moved from the back of the venue to the front, and a balcony overlooking the main floor now walled over, so you can’t see who’s off for a quick slash any more. Not that you’d want to anyway. Still, it holds some good memories for me and so I’m happy to see it back in use.

First up tonight are Blacklisters, whom are thankfully more focused on the task at hand than when I last saw them at the Brudenell Social Club supporting Dope Body. I want them to succeed at their craft and they aren’t too shabby tonight, even if the crowd aren’t too enthused at this point. The new material they play fits in neatly with older material including their destroying  rendition of Kasabian’s ‘Clubfoot’ and ‘Trickfuck’. Then there’s Black Moth, a local quintet who’ve made a few waves recently on bigger pages than this one. Their frontwoman adds a swagger to their proposition which isn’t exactly unique – driving dirty rock riffs amidst a slightly occult tone – but they know how to get a crowd going and there is enough life in their songs to consider them potentially outgrowing the confines of venues the size of the Key Club.

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Black Moth

Big Business, much like the Key Club owners, had their hand forced somewhat as back surgery for Scott Martin resulted in the guitarist sitting outside the band’s UK tour, which is currently ongoing as they support Mastodon. Alas, it’s the original two-piece of Jared Warren and Coady Willis, of Karp, Murder City Devils, the Melvins and just about anything righteous, who turn up, announcing themselves in showbiz style, before getting into material from their latest release, ‘Battlefields Forever’. It’s at frenetic pace to begin with, with ‘Chump Chance’ and ‘No Vowels’ quickly getting out of the traps before a fun run through ‘Hands Up’, which the front rows of the crowd duly take part in by raising their hands skywards to its refrain. The set seems a short one – only seven songs, which even an extended version of ‘Just As The Day is Dawning’ hardly filling up set time, but for whatever brevity the band make up for in effort and energy. Warren pumps out the low grooves and Willis just goes all animal like always, making this performance a particularly righteous one by the time ‘Lonely Lyle’ stomps to a conclusion.

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During that last song I rocked out a little too hard and my glasses flew off my head. Alas, they were found minutes later, trodden on and no use to man nor beast. Ah well. It didn’t detract from an enjoyable evening as neither did the rain that poured into the night.

Peter Clegg

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Live Review: Yob + Pallbearer @ Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, 7/9/2014

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The date of this gig coincided nicely with the oncoming on my 30th birthday, for which I used this gig as sort of a celebratory gift. Indeed, to be able to go and witness two bands in their prime such as Oregon’s Yob, and Little Rock, Arkansas’ Pallbearer, is one of the best tickets a fan of such bands could ever ask for, and it’s no surprise the fans are gathering in droves outside the Brudenell Social Club, a top busy venue that’s been hoovering up the best gigs to LS6 in the wake of inner city venues closing.

I must say admittedly I didn’t go inside early for BongCauldron, who were lined up as the opening act for tonight’s double header (sorry lads), but judging from how they sounded from outside the venue they sound proper tight as a band and maybe next time I won’t leave it til nearly main event time to enter the venue. Really not like me at all but I don’t do nights out very often these days and I guess I got lost in the catching up.

That said, the headliners are the reason everyone is here, and a good proportion of that can be attributed to Pallbearer and their rapid rise in the ranks of heavy music. Now touring in support of their second album ‘Foundations of Burden‘, the quartet plough through a five song set that excites existing fans and surely scooped up many more in the process. ‘Watcher in the Dark’ sounds particularly devastating tonight with that opening riff, although the shredding solo is drowned out by the mix on offer. For the last two tracks they delve back into their rapturously received debut LP ‘Sorrow and Extinction‘, with closer ‘Given to the Grave’ proving to be as soul-crushing as always. This band do not waste riffs, and not a riff is wasted on the audience. The twin harmonies between frontman Brett Campbell and guitarist Devin Holt compliment each man considerably, but its the way the group harnesses their individual weight into a collective focus that highlights why they’ll soon be headlining their own tours outright on a regular basis.

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Pallbearer

As a trio Yob don’t quite fill up the stage with such a presence as their contemporaries, but not that it’s ever mattered. Just because you number only three doesn’t mean you can’t make a thunderous noise and Yob over the years have evolved to make some of the most expansive and weightbearing doom ever heard. This is in evidence tonight as they dedicate the majority of their setlist to their new album ‘Clearing the Path to Ascend‘, and it’s a joy to hear the new tracks in the surroundings of the Brudenell. ‘Nothing to Win’ sounds particularly excellent, with the rolling drums stirring up a cauldron of tension with one hell of a release with the chorus, and ‘Marrow’ sounds absolutely majestic in a live setting. Just as it appears they’re done, members of the crowd shout for more and responding to one or two shouting for ‘Quantum Mystic’; they duly oblige, ‘by request’ and drop into the long time staple of their set, finishing off in style and making sure no one leaves the Brudenell shortchanged.

My camera packed up before I could get any decent pictures of Yob, sadly. All in all though, a top night and a complete show of excellence from two bands at respectively different points in their careers, pushing ahead at the forefront of doom metal.

Peter Clegg

Live Review: Corrupt Moral Altar @ The Packhorse, Leeds, 16/11/2013

+ DSDNT + Famine + Corinth

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We made our way up the stairs of The Packhorse and edged along sideways into the top room as is necessary if more there’s more than ten people present at the Packhorse. We were already amidst the sounds of the first band Corinth, who contrasted to the blunt aggression and abrasive nature of the other bands. The songs travel through several different sub genres with a subtlety that keeps the sound of the band distinct, Crowbar-esque melodies complete with Windstein-esque vocal strains transcend into something more like the hypnotic rhythm of atmospheric black metal. The theme in the mutation of every sound; through the psychedelic, to the thrash injected, is a backbone of solid leaden doom, which keeps a satisfying power throughout the well crafted songs. Corinth are hefty as they are eloquent, like a terrible crushing river of through a lovely water colour.

After seeking some respite and drink downstairs, it was to our horror we found the bar area entirely ridden with the type of student that thinks it’s funny to dress up as Where’s Wally with a fucking inflatable beach toy wrapped around them. I fought my way past and hoped to God that come some over-priced generic cunt parade like ‘Carnage‘, the poor bastards would be ushered through the most shameless and faceless clubs of Leeds. After being forced into drinking copious amounts of dodgy vodka they would look into the abyss of their own souls, and decide to stop being pricks, or subject themselves to a lifetime of solitude.

There are probably not so many images out there that would set me up so well for the audio grit flinging of Famine, who launch into spats of super violence coming in at around a minute per bout, torn from an unsuspecting three piece. Pissed off as they come, simplicity is the biggest weapon. Bass that sounds like a wasp the size of a truck in a tin can buzzes angrily through the mix and drops into grooves like two gorillas playing swingball with a brick covered in nails. Dismay and frustration-addled vocal barrages are a dual assault tear their own rhythms’ into the grooves fuelling a furnace of complete terror. If we were not so nice or boring, the crowd would be gouging at each other’s eyes and hauling the clientele up from below to attack with our teeth. As it is, we stand subjected to pure fuel for everything great in chaos and stand still sweating for fear of inadvertently tearing the venue apart.

DSDNT are up next with a brand of hardcore soaked negative strained paranoid energy. The four piece churn out groove not too far from Napalm Death with the same style of raged punctuating vocals. This flies by in a dystopian vision; discordant, psychologically damaged jittering that keeps you on your toes whilst shredding in and out of minor abrasion and warped groove. The effect over all is a disturbing and edgy momentum that doesn’t stray too far but successfully obliterates any positive vibe you might be clinging too.

As student loans change hands and people attempt new personas with frightening intensity at the bar downstairs, a different more honest transcendence is ready to take place in the jammed-tight room above. Like the feeling of a thousand trapped nerves Corrupt Moral Altar aren’t something you can ignore; this is something you know whilst stood in front of the band, but it also explains their quickly earned popularity and reputation over the past year that’s also seen two releases. The audio violation is raw energy from the moment the band open up with a tirade of blood vessel popping shrieks and breakneck rhythmic dozing. It would be an easy thing to put CMA within the confines of grind, with the use of frequent barrages of bouncing intensity and relentless vocals, but the omnipotent charge that buzzes from the stage and your gut is created by the effective use of simplicity with creative rhythm. This comes from their homage to the word ‘sludge’, which is something far more local and refreshing than an identity crisis and southern drawl. The crushing Iron Monkey throwdowns are a key theme throughout the set which for made me wish that the gig had a different less confined environment, or that people cared a little less. It’s precisely the kind of thing you should be losing your shit to; as a crawl of malicious notes explode into a snarling, titanic groove. CMA feel like the kind of thing that doesn’t come around too often. Not that they’re doing something unheard of but for the fact it comes off with honesty and a vicious bile that’s good for the soul.

Michael Collins

‘Kin Hell Fest 2013 – The Review! – Sunday 28th April

Click here for full review of Friday 26th April
Click here for full review of Saturday 27th April

Sunday 28th April

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I arrived a little bit late in the day, expecting to miss Envoys and DSDNT, with the sharper changeover times to make sure of that. Shyeah, right! It was a while before the Leeds hardcore crew were ready to go, allowing me plenty time for that flyer to go up and to grab a beer too. Still, when they did get going, the crowd received a pretty good set. There still seems to be a fair few people asleep, and they missed performance of real intensity, with the band’s vocalist allowed to stalk the floor and bellow his lungs out at any given moment while the others duelled out the soundtrack to their downbeat mood.

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Even that doesn’t prepare us though for The Day Man Lost, making a comeback with a new lineup. They pull off a set that’s all kinds of amazing, seamlessly shifting from one song to the next with little time to draw breath before the next grind barrage hits. The pit perimeter seems to widen with every song with more and more people wanting to enter the frenzy. This is quite possibly the best set of the weekend, hoovering even the most vaguely interested party into undiluted glee with the constant stab-stab-stab of subjugating sonic violence.

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Horsebastard aren’t bad either, albeit experiencing a slightly subdued atmosphere as for some reason all TDML fans disappeared. It’s a rollicking mix of grindy hardcore punk and political awareness, with Chris Reese of Corrupt Moral Altar doing vocal duties here too. Their bassist is fleet of finger and doesn’t relent for the entirety of the set. But having been a guitarist short for the entire set, they do well not submerge in a sea of low-end grooves, making the best of a potentially sticky situation and winding up impressing the pants off many.

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Corrupt Moral Altar trucker caps had been sighted frequently since the beginning of ‘Kin Hell Fest, suggesting there was definite buzz about the underground ‘supergroup’, and if there was anything tantamount to hype then CxMxA didn’t let anybody down. It’s a blistering set and blood is even shed in the pit as the chaos gets a little too rowdy.

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Wode appeared to suffer from technical glitches early on but still manage to plough out a few of their impressive blackened tunes. But the spark to ignite this particular set is somewhat missing. I get that not every musician wants to be an entertainer but with the vibe given off at this festival it would have been nice for the band to appear to enjoy themselves a little more. As it is, the appreciation shown by the crowd doesn’t seem entirely reciprocal, and the overall feeling is a little flat.

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The Sufferinfuck set could have suffered similarly from the opposite perspective, with the earlier hordes of grind rangers not showing up as frequently for the West Lothian powerviolence mob, but any doubts are cast aside from the opening blasts from the back of the room. This is one of most furious sets of the weekend, anf their singer screams himself hoarse, even roaring at one point to the switches on the wall. There’s just enough time at the end for everyone to catch their breath before they close on the cerebral ‘Nature Will Out’, allowing for one brief moment of foreboding malice before they throw the kitchen sink at it again. Bloody terrific.

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If the first chunk of the day was largely fast, it’s mid-section was about to hit a sudden bump in the road, and the Scouse whiskey machine Iron Witch were on hand to slow things down. Always a class act as usual, they manage to sneak in a new song or two and still retain a familiar feel about their set, with the new material from ‘Hangover Suicide‘ fitting like a glove. Today’s set felt like they were doom trippin’ more than the last time I saw them, which was back when ‘Single Malt‘ was the flavour, but that’s no bad thing when the riffs flow as they so often do, and

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Things slow down even further for the arrival of Bong. A divisive act, in terms of people who can’t stand drone no less stand through 40 minutes of it, and of course those who can, whether we’re into it or slightly curious. Those that stay are greeted with a masterful display of pure focus and attrition, building and maintaining the volume throughout, with only a morsel of chanted vocals and a spacey upward movement in tempo as the set progresses on which to hang any hat on the coathook of melody.

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The room become tightly packed for the return of Leeds’ own A Forest of Stars, who use their soundtrack to ensure everything is precise to the most minute detail. The local crowd seem more than happy to let them get on with it and they don’t disappoint, providing a thorough, professional and wholly unique experience. The septet and their ensemble of instruments fill the seemingly tiny stage yet the crowd equally squeezes down to the front to glimpse to see their unique blend of progressive black metal, holding everyone’s attention like the mass conductors they are.

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After that display of utmost composure and sincere appreciation, some depravity had to be in order, and London goregrind louts Gout were on hand to deliver it. Decked in their now trademark Hawaiian clothing and entering to the ‘Trololol’ song, the lights turn a blood red over the stage and when it all kicks in everything goes nuts. An explosion in the pit felt like it was forever waiting, until Gout came along and in one fell swoop opened up a sea of flailing, circling humanity. Eddie Spengler revels in his frontman role, unleashing ridiculous song titles – ‘Interspecies Zoophiliac Sex Safari’ being a nugget of pure gold in its utterance – and plumbing the deepest gutter of the vocal bucket whilst having a good old jape around the stage, as his bandmates blast and groove everything to pieces. It’s over in 30 minutes but the good times experienced here will long live on when looking back over this weekend.

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Not to be outdone, Bury death metallers Foetal Juice don’t waste too much time in delivering their own gleeful battering, hitting the jackpot with every song, vocalist Sam Read revelling in the role of growler and conjuror, keeping the crowd enthralled throughout and spending the whole gig with a maniacal expression across his face. 18 months ago they were a proud part of the original KHF. Sub-headlining this time around, how much longer before they’re headlining things like this in their own right?

Unfortunately, my carriage awaits as stamina gets the better of us and we decide to call it a night at a reasonable time. So apologies to Man Must Die and indeed Envoys from earlier, though I’m assured both were excellent.

Finally, I must close out this review with a massive thank you to Paul Priest and to all the KHF staff who made our time there very accommodating whilst running an excellent operation on a large scale throughout. I implore everyone to head over to the ‘Kin Hell Fest page over on Facebook and to continue to support this festival in any way, shape or form. We’d love to see this fest return in 2014 – it was a blast from start to finish, and its grand to see UK hardcore and metal, in all its forms, is very much alive and well in the catacombs of the underground.

Peter Clegg

‘Kin Hell Fest 2013 – The Review!

Its been weeks in the making, but its finally here. From Friday 26th to Sunday 28th April, a venue called the Templeworks in Leeds was shaken to its core numerous times by some of the very best UK underground hardcore and metal had to offer. We were there for just about all of it (sorry Envoys, Man Must Die) and now we can finally bring it to you.

It seems a bit disjointed, given we have photos for Friday and Sunday but not for Saturday. Anyone willing to help with photos, please get in touch with us – though its not massively important. It was a very DIY job anyway. We may furnish this review with videos and maybe more photos too where applicable. But right now, get ready to relive an immense weekend.

So here it is, at last: ‘Kin Hell Fest 2013 – The Review!

Friday 26th April

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From the off the tone for the weekend was one for a flagrant disregard for punctuality. Maybe it was the size of the task at hand, but from the off Friday’s action was 25-30 minutes behind before Rectal Implosion got going. Thankfully the wait is worth it, with the drummer/vocalist of the duo giving some pretty good brutal metal face impressions as he shells out his vocals and delicious beats, the guitarist riffing and weedling away in front of him. ‘This next song is called Mosh In Hell, which most of you won’t have heard as its from our demo CD, which not many people have!‘ Perhaps true, but even with limited output to date, Rectal Implosion’s material shows a lot of substance.

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It’s not hard to spot Mancunian black metallers Acolyte‘s influences, with more than a shade of the progressive nature of Enslaved, Deathspell Omega about them. But it would be churlish to rank them solely on this, and despite some tuning issues in the first song, the band crank out a set worthy of everyone’s attention with the singer revelling in the attention of the front few rows. With new album ‘Alta’ about to drop, this was a good time to drop in with a good performance and Acolyte look to be more than capable of joining the booming UK black metal elite.

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I’d been looking forward to Magpyes a lot, and by and large there was good to be found from their set. However there was that sense that it was all a blur, whether that was just down to their short song nature or the PA system. A slight detraction, but they get the first truly decent moshpit of the weekend, and it would be unfair to suggest they didn’t elicit a response, because they certainly did that, and then some.

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The weekend’s only pagan metal band Ravenage were up next, and they don’t hold back in the costume stakes, a must if you’re truly to be believed in at this sort of thing. The Hull sextet do not disappoint, reducing the most hardened metaller into pure dancing joy, managing to lead a by now slightly inebriated crowd into a cry of ‘More Beer!‘ during the song of the same name. A grand sight to see a band able to hold a crowd like that in a place like this.

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Kastrated‘s set seemed awfully short, but the Burnley crew seem to have a good faithful watching them and they truly bring the slam element to KHF with a blistering display of sledgehammer riffs, turns of pace, and cheeky macabre Northern humour.

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Its easy to see why Winterfylleth have risen to the cream of the British black metal crop, and their set is beholden with quality throughout. The hour is getting late at this point, but their performance is gratefully received by the masses, with plenty to savour from works recent and old.

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What Lawnmower Deth are to thrash, Gore surely are to goregrind. Infamous over the years for lobbing fish into the audience, they’re on the comeback trail and their unhinged humour seems perfectly intact, turning the moshpit into a cheesy 80’s dancefloor and even getting their new guitarist to hand out Christmas cake to the crowd between songs. Yes it’s completely silly and off the wall but you’d have to be really hardnosed to not see the funny side of songs like ‘Smashed to Pieces By Falling Faeces’, ‘Be My Speedbump’, and even their very own ‘National Anthem of Goruguay’. It’s good to see them back, serving up a platter of punk and thrash grooves amidst the splatter of subject matter. (PC)

Predictably my task of staying relatively copus mentus, in the event of the much harder working half of We Must Obey having to leave before the end, has gone less smoothly than I might have hoped. Insane a tonal scales flit sporadically around slamming groove occasionally fooling me into trying to nod my head to beat; “fuck you!”, Diascorium reply, “you have no comprehension of what’s coming next you inebriated, simple minded twerp”. So I go back to sweating and watching wide eyed. I’ts a head fuck; a moment of brilliant bright catchy melody, and I think it’s possible we’ve gone through the insanity and out the other side; the guitar and cab head’s blink robotically threatening to fry your brain like two Daleks, then a twisted bass line emerges and something that sounds like jazz on bad acid comes to fruitation. “This one’s about if you don’t sleep you die”, says the frontman and I think I they have managed to capture what that must be like. Diascorium is not strictly about your indulgence as a listener, but more that your being taken for a ride. It’s like an exploration of what’s possible within a song, subjecting the crowd to schizophrenic extremities and lulling you into a false sense of security with some awesome catchy grooves. There’s a good amount of friendly banter and mic passing between the band and the crowd, occasionally someone flies past the front odd postured and tangled in their own limbs with a giddy look. Diascorium make the most of their last gig ever and close with a slam that starts with ludicrous widdly widdles and is slowed down over and over again into a lumbering beast, finished, then re-started to the inevitable shouts of “slower”. A very entertaining end to great day, despite occasionally feeling as though tailored to bring on a nasty psychotic episode. (MC)

Peter Clegg/Michael Collins

Click here for full review of Saturday 27th April
Click here for full review of Sunday 28th April

‘Kin Hell Fest 2013 – The Review! – Saturday 27th April

Click here for full review of Friday 26th April
Click here for full review of Sunday 28th April

Saturday 27th April

I set off on the walk back from the rooms we stayed at about 11:30 am. A car drives past me and swerves to travel through a large puddle, soaking me from head to toe. Feeling completely broken, we stop at a cafe to regather with a full English breakfast. It doesn’t work, so we make our way back to the venue in obligation and because I didn’t have a gun to shoot myself in the head. Slumped against a wall trying to prop myself up, I reluctantly await an onslaught of death metal. After getting back to the jam rooms the night before I found a corner in which I tried in vain to sleep. I watched the ceiling swim around while four un-intelligible Geordies had a snoring competition and occasionally tried to wake their friend for ketamine. I did not feel good, but one must persevere, and I was safe in the knowledge others were in the same boat.

Never the less, there’s a decent crowd assembled for the first band Masochist, who break the reluctant atmosphere with straight up death metal. It’s nothing new but there’s a good old school element to it and some good groove to get into. The frontman attempts to bring some animation to the gray faced crowd; “turn to the person on your right and shake their hand”, I cautiously eye my neighbour and take a step away, “now is not the time for the affection of strangers, now is the time for the proper observation on personal space”, I’m sure he understood. Masochist finish their assault and although people retreat to various dark corners, the day is starting to look promising with a steady stream of arrivals and the emergence of some yellow heat giving foreign object in the sky.

There is no remorse for those still feeling sensitive as Nu, Pogodi! take to the stage. This band should be predominantly credited first of all for remembering all their lyrics. Mid barrage, they must be going at least 1000 words per second. Utilizing an intense duel vocal barrage, the three piece bash out simplistic crusty riffs while the savaging beast occasionally turns into a very Sabbathian creature, slow and menacing, which mixes it up well. The lyrical content and stance of the band (explained between tracks) is cliché but correctly highlights some misogynistic views within the metal scene. How ironic it would be for the track ‘Fuck my Womb’ to be taken as anything but symbolic.

I walk outside and buy some cans of Stella from the commendably priced bar; gruelling work to get it down, but if there was any hope of feeling reasonable again, the answer’s somewhere at the bottom of one of these things. As I get back to the venue I’m greeted by series of strange electronic loops with bizarrely out of context monologue, seemingly powered by a sonic teapot; it’s time for things to get weird with Sloth Hammer. The band’s faces are all concealed, most wearing balaclavas with the exception of one member, wearing a gory pig mask and overalls. This porcine individual walked out into the crowd holding various pieces of drum kit, which he proceeded to hit as hard as he could with other pieces of unfortunate drum kit, as people around him looked apprehensively and flinched. There’s rattling bass that growls over harsh teapot noise picking up into evil doom rhythms, then accentuated by a double percussive assault, plus our piggy friend. I can honestly say I’ve never been subjected to such an odd musically orientated spectacle, made all the more surreal by the naked drummers who made visual contributions by putting socks on their nobs.

Time to soak in the heavy grooves of the BongCauldron. Massive Iron Monkey style throw downs punch out of more THC stewed lethargies or upbeat tight rock outs. The large hairy man at the front of the stage occasionally bellows about getting pissed and what not. It’s very satisfying and tightly executed, heavy but fun. Everyone in the crowd nods their heads enthusiastically safe in the knowledge that the next riff will be just as fucking catchy and large, I expect that you will see a great deal more of these riff demons in the near future.

Uplifted by the sounds of Bongcauldron and feeling better for guzzling, we’re thrown back into a pit of spikes with Prolefeed. Wide eyed crust punk relentlessly mauls any complacency giving us a good dose of thought crime. Leaning towards old school crust punk Doom vibes, its evidence that melody can work in true aggressive music; a great set and something that’s not done as much at the moment.

After soaking sun to help with the ongoing healing process its back into the cave for Regurgitate Life. The one man effort entails an endless string of breakneck widdlies and “ORGHHH”, to the drum machines obscure timings coming through the PA. Very impressive musicianship with absolute berzerkery, which didn’t honestly come that easy to listen to.

There’s a large crowd assembled for thrash-infused death metallers Cancerous Womb from Scotland, and there’s the first taste of good spirited violence in the crowd that sets precedent for the rest of the night. Chaos is fun and Cancerous Womb have got it as well as quality tracks. Who wouldn’t be charmed by such lovely titles as ‘Torn from Gunt to Cunt’?

Whilst plying myself with vodka outside some malignant noise spills from the stage (This noise belongs to Ishmael – PC). Notes linger with cavernous openings before striking again in discontent, with the precision of a giant cog fitting its next groove in some monolithic despicable machine. The pace is slow, titanicly hellish with harsh screams as a constant and bleak background. Absorbed in negativity, the crowd gaze on and sink into the floor. In a good way, probably.

Flayed Disciple is a tirade of palm muted thrashy death, energetic palm muted riffs with guttural vocals about killing people and jizzing on them, the kind of thing exclusive to this quaint genre. They actually sound to me like a death metal version of early Megadeth.

Rickenbacker and Flares in tow Asomvel wear their influences on their sleeves and keep it light hearted. Bass lines from somewhere in Motörhead’s back catalogue are as punchy and in your face as you’d hope while there’s almost a constant wah wah blues solo coming from the flares in the corner. A great deal of fun to watch and different to the rest of the bill. “We’ve got one more before you dullards get back to your grindcore or whatever it is you listen to now”. ‘Ace of Spades’ was requested for this finale.

I looked up, and there before me was a Pale Horse, its rider was named Death and Hades was following close behind him”. If death didn’t like Johnny Cash and wanted to announce the arrival of the apocalypse less subtly, Palehorse would be suitable. Ground shaking low end provided by the two bassists is accompanied by the ominous drones of an organ synth, the player of which occasionally looks upwards and screams into a microphone. While the crowd collide viciously with each other a man with a bald spherical head and glasses attempts to keep upright in the middle as he shrieks and nasally preaches anxiety and despair as though from a blasphemous pulpit. An all around ugly experience, with fat rolling vibrations.

Alkerdeel bring harsh, minimalistic and bleak atmospheres with frantic vocalised desperation and the occasional Darkthrone esque groove dropped in. Unfortunately the sound was way off and it was difficult to make out any of the guitar, from outside I initially thought a doom band was on stage, the low end was so prominent. I’d like to catch this lot again for that reason.

I’m a fan of any band that have a track called ‘Can I Have 20p For a Cup of Tea’?, regardless of what they sound like, but as it happens The Afternoon Gentlemen, are one of the best grind bands around. The Leeds based pissheads combine blastery with groove that you’ll likely be spitting blood to. Tonight’s no exception; punk fuelled razor sharp power violence nastiness.

For a short break I decide to take a short walk in the moonlight, take in the beautiful sights, smells and sounds of the Templeworks car parks and have three, yes fucking three double vodkas spilt by various clumsy cunts that polluted my vicinity. During my anguish, the horrific sounds of a man drowning in tar reached my ears, upon further investigation I realised the noise was in fact, Rompeprop. Guttural simplistic grind and a good deal of banter make this band lots of fucking fun in between sustaining injuries and finding yourself on the floor. It must be said that at this point, the night takes a certain nostalgic haze for some reason or another, but I do remember the crowd bouncing to the jiggery like lunatics.

My night ended here with me having to leg it for the train at this point whilst simultaneously trying to keep a large quantity of liquid inside my body and realising I’m horribly unfit, so unfortunately Acoustic Womb, were missed, although I’m assured it was beautiful.

I’ll bet by this point Paul Priest hears people saying thanks in his sleep but it’s certainly deserved with effort gone through to make ‘Kin Hell Fest number II such a success, and creating a proper festival vibe at the well suited Templeworks. Well played all who contributed.

Michael Collins

Click here for full review of Friday 26th April
Click here for full review of Sunday 28th April

Live Review: The Great Old Ones @ The Kraak Gallery, Manchester, 06/01/2013

Supported by Terzij de Horde, Burial + Wode

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In the dark intertwining back alleys of the Northern Quarter its safe to say I’ve lost faith in locating my destination. “I’ve fucking been to the place twice before”, it doesn’t help, the area is completely non descript. Luckily, before too long a man apparently sat in the middle of an alley sees our predicament and points at the venue about 5 feet away. How the hell would you know it’s here? No sign or acknowledgment of existence beyond a black door in a black alley of a side street. The Kraak Gallery is already fairly busy with a mix of people, ranging from trendy looking folk with hair from the 40’s and shirts that would make better curtains to a man who appears to have lost his way whilst hunting large game. The roof is draped with cargo netting and a ram’s skull sits on top of the drum kit, looking off the currently vacant stage as people stand idly or sit on the strategically placed couches waiting for the first band WODE.

The four piece from Manchester have an unrefined and elemental sound that fits well with the different aspects of their sound. Bastardized punk noise breaks up bleak and hypnotic interludes, for a minute or so at a time lulling, droning riffs with cold melodies and almost lethargic rhythms in the vein of Drudkh or Walknut absorb your consciousness, before being snapped back to the living with a more obnoxious kick of old school black metal punk fueled aggression, vocals drowned in filth and reverb. The crowd look transfixed for the entire set ands it’s apparent why. Despite not being around all that long or being very vocal about their goings on, (online at least) the band seem to have people interested. My only previous experience of the band was a gig at the Ducey Bridge, where it was so loud I thought I could feel the end of my spinal column wobbling my brain, and the only thing to be heard was a dull feedback that seemed to be coming from my chest. I’m glad to say with the band playing at sonic levels compatible with humans, they played a high quality set with a freshness that will hopefully continue vitalizing the UK black metal scene.

Veterans of the underground Burial are next to shake things up, injecting a significant amount of brutality to the night. Shredded minor chords, vaguely human twisted vocals and a relentless percussive assault paint a picture of morbid terror before being wrenched into heavy, ominous stabbing groove, that could pulp flesh into snotty little pieces of quivering meat, dragging you through the audio equivalent of murder on acid. That doesn’t sound very nice you might think, well, it isn’t, and that’s what’s nice about it.

A guilty pleasure of watching the ‘orrible trio was some trendy looking fellow that shouldn’t have bothered pretending to be interested in music for the night getting up on stage, unaware that his obnoxious and foolish behavior would see him ejected from it, quite violently. He hit the floor in front of the crowd with all the dignity of our scaly sea dwelling brothers, he got himself up, feigned aggression and skulked away quietly, realizing his existence was that of a fashionably dressed, well groomed exterior.

Although not attracting quite as much attention as some of the other bands, Burial’s loyal base of ferocity loving blackened death nuts were ever present, as is going to be the case with a gig like this in Manchester. The band’s material from their new album stood out as exceptionally grim and viscous in the overall destruction of their set. Purchase it and be smite into hell fire.

Terzij De Horde are a discordant bunch from Holland, with a style that would struggle to be any more oppressive. The negativity in their noise, projected through tangible distortion, is a mix of doom paced misery that plods, portentous, into frantic deranged riffing. When the band changes the pace there’s a strong punk influence but this doesn’t lose the apocalyptic vibe that the slower section’s builds. The vocals are all out continuous savagery for the entirety. The structures of the songs are similar in the way they mix between looming misery and then back into chaos, projecting the image of a joyless utopia that has an increasing number of people absorbed.

The band close with a song in tribute to H.P Lovecraft and as a introduction to The Great Old Ones, the band whom they’ve toured with. The bands compliment each other’s styles without treading on each other, Terzij being on the rougher, nastier side of things.

The Great Old Ones collect themselves on stage and play a simple introduction involving one guitar and effect that would be fitting for a decent, downwards, through endless pitch black narrow stairwells, into the weird and horrifying world of H.P Lovecraft. Despite there being three guitars in total when they kick in, the sound is clear and precise in timing. The layers are well utilized, frequently playing three different things at once. This doesn’t complicate the sound though, there’s no competing or over complicating needlessly with melodies and leads, the only crowding being in a physical sense on stage, maybe dodging the odd headstock. The band play music that building up, transcends to a powerful level using the layers of guitar and crashing drums; the crescendo comes and then fades away to minimalist foreboding notes and chords rung out into nothing. The style, although relevant of black metal, probably owes more to “post” styles, which is still too much of a generalization for the dynamics of the band. The dual attack of vocals are tortured rasps that fit well and emphasize the music; unfortunately lyrically I’m lost, but The Great Old Ones capture an atmosphere that could easily represent one of Lovecraft’s desolate and ancient cities, harboring all sorts of mind-fucking weirdness and malignancy.

The shouts for one more at the end of the night spoke for the quality of the band and the night in general at a great little venue that should be better used. People left happy and drunk, spilling across the various surrounding bars while I was forced to consider a far more evil prospect, waking at 7.30 to go to work after two weeks off, a terrible end to an awesome night.

Michael Collins

Originally published for ‘CLDH’.Check them out here

Click here to view photos from the night (Facebook)