Tonight’s entertainment comes in the form of a first-rate death metal bill. Let’s dive in!
Starting us off are the well-dressed Omophagia. Due to the early start time of the show they’re on stage almost equally early, and therefore spend most of their set playing to a criminally sparse crowd. Regardless, their muscular death metal is quite at home in the live environment, and they deliver a very enjoyable performance to a crowd that steadily grows throughout.
In shirts and ties, looking like they’ve just come from a particularly raucous office party, the band largely let the music do the talking. Benefiting from a decent sound for an opening band, Omophagia’s songs come off well, and the singer’s impressive roar is only marginally lost in the mix. I’m a big fan of In the Name of Chaos and 646965 and it’s great to hear tracks off of the both of them aired tonight.
A strong opening from Omophagia.
Vitriol’s debut album To Bathe from the Throat of Cowardice has been making minor waves in the death metal underground, and although I haven’t heard it, I’ve heard largely good things about it. Based on their performance tonight, I can see why. To my ears the band come across as a gnarlier, more vicious Hate Eternal, (with a touch of Nile in places), although I have no real idea if this stands up to closer scrutiny or not. I had assumed that this impression was at least partially influenced by the bands they are supporting, but as Vitriol’s primary singer references them both as main influences tonight, maybe I’m not so far off base.
The band are clearly passionate and hungry, and the energy coming off them is palpable. They look the part too, all studs, spikes, and menace. Obviously heavily into what they’re doing, the band deliver their music like they really mean it, and it’s a compelling, watchable set. The crowd is denser at this point too, and they eat it all up.
Brutal, violent, and nastily unforgiving, Vitriol’s songs tear out of the stage with belligerent threat. I like the use of two singers, (one main), and both have not only very good voices, but use them well.
All in all an impressive showing from Vitriol. I’m both happy and satisfied with what I’ve seen, and I don’t seem to be the only one. A band to watch.
I’ve never seen Hate Eternal before, much to my chagrin, so I’ve been looking forward to tonight. They don’t disappoint. Opening with Bringer of Storms they proceed to demolish the now-ample audience with their reliably brutal brand of charismatic death metal.
The band’s set is drawn from the full span of their career, and I particularly enjoy Behold Judas, Catacombs, I, Monarch, and closing highlight King of All Kings. Operating as a three-piece, what the band lack in members they make up for in raw presence. This is in no small part to bandleader and death metal legend Erik Rutan. Relatively mild-mannered between songs, this changes when the music starts and his inner daemon comes to the fore.
Despite a slightly muddy sound, the Hate Eternal are still tight and precise, and very engaging. As there’s only one guitarist the distortion drops out when solos appear, revealing them in their splendour. Erik certainly knows his way around a fretboard and some of his solos seem even more blinding than they are on record.
A solid, professional show from Hate Eternal.
I haven’t seen Nile for many years, but they’re still just as entertainingly intense as always. Lords and masters of their chosen style, they make a suitably epic entry to the live arena, before bringing the house down with Sacrifice Unto Sebek. A tightly packed crowd gets very excited, and a mosh pit starts immediately. Followed by The Blessed Dead, it’s a destructively effective start to the show. Considering their place in the death metal pantheon it’s occasionally easy to forget just how utterly brutal some of Nile’s material is. Yes, death metal has an inherent brutality, but Nile are sometimes on another level entirely.
Kafir is one of my favourite Nile songs, so I’m pleased it gets an airing. Tonight it’s absolutely immense and completely slays. Call to Destruction is next, which not only gets the crowd moving almost as much as Kafir, but also sees the first crowd surfer of the night go over the security barrier. The band then air the first of three new songs played tonight – Long Shadows of Dread. It’s a damn fine song and goes down very well.
After In the Name of Amun and The Fiends Who Come to Steal the Magick of the Deceased, (during which, the mosh pit briefly pauses and an ambitious but short-lived human pyramid is formed), we get another new track – the title track off the band’s new album Vile Nilotic Rites. With a combination of crushing, crunchy riffs and the band’s trademark thunderous chaos, it impresses. We’re treated to another new one next named Snake Pit Mating Frenzy. It’s aptly named; this is a short one and provides a relentless battering to all in the crowd. All of the new songs unleashed tonight bode very well for Nile’s upcoming release.
The Howling of the Jinn takes us back to the early days of the band and is received as enthusiastically as you would expect. It showcases some of Nile’s brutal grandeur at its best. Sarcophagus continues this showcase with some of the band’s heaviest atmospheric work so far this evening. After this it’s a truncated version of 4th Arra of Dagon. Ending with the mighty Black Seeds of Vengeance, the evening is a firm success. What a great song, what a great band. Nile have been on top form tonight.