Vader, Aborted, Bonded by Blood @ Underworld, London 8/2/2013

Thanks to a killer line up and the perfect timing of another gig announcement (cough, Carcass), Camden is buzzing with death metal disciples, creating a sell-out show for the Underworld. Bonded by Blood seem slightly out of place on the line-up with their straight up thrash metal, but the California kids still play to a half full venue and get the pit pumping. After a line-up change in 2010, the promising new act started to dwindle and ‘The Aftermath’ received poor reviews due to its lack of punch. Unfortunately the band has taken it on themselves to play a set mostly consisting of tracks from the third full-length, which is a shame after the promise from the previous releases. They don’t seem fazed though,  as where the songs lack aggression, the band make up for in energy on stage with vocalist Mauro Gonzales bouncing around like a hyperactive puppy.

Aborted seem much more palatable for the collective’s taste tonight and continue to prove themselves as one of the most consistent live acts around. The Dutch death metallers’ 2012 onslaught ‘Global Flatline’ was a top contender and sounds just as evil live with tracks such as ‘Fecal Forgery’ and ‘The Origin of Disease’ oozing with technical torture and blastbeats galore. A few people are witnessed being hauled out of an insane pit with injuries and it’s fair to say that if you’re not warmed up and ready for Vader, it’s due to being unconscious and nothing more.

With over two decades in the business, you know tonight’s set from Vader will be monolithic, either through previous reviews or faith in their musicianship and this is confirmed from the opening riff. Although the band has been through many line-up changes, their current assembly of metal men are as tight as ever and attack from the word go. A few exhibits off of most recent album are displayed with the same ferociousness as on record and makes for an array of atmospheres throughout the Vader history. ‘Back to the Blind’ and ‘Sothis’ prove why they keep the “classic” title, with consistent pummeling and Piotr –frontman and only original member- continues to demolish everyone’s ear canals with lurid growls. If you don’t leave tonight utterly pumped and slight deaf, then the closing cover of Slayer’s ‘Raining Blood’ has lost its touch.

Published on Metal-Rules


Interview with Tommy Dahlstrom, Aeon

After releasing the highly-received ‘Aeon’s Black’ last year, there is no rest for the wicked that is Swedish death metallers Aeon. With over a decade of brutality and experience under their belts, the tour Aeon is about to embark on should be easy, however we thought we’d grab vocalist Tommy Dahlström on the first date of the UK leg just in case…

Welcome back to the UK! Tonight is the first night of the tour, so what can we expect form Aeon’s visit this time round?

Well, we’re very glad to be back touring again! We are hoping that the tour will be louder and heavier than before and I think in this venue it will be very loud!

Will we be hearing a lot of latest release ‘Aeon’s Black’?

We are hoping to play quite a few songs from the album but it’s hard as we only have 45 minutes to play tonight. We want to make sure we still have time to play the older songs too but yeah, it is tough with not much time.

The album received a lot of praise as one of the key DM releases of the year. In your opinion what has been your favourite Aeon album?

For me, I cannot choose just one Aeon album. Sometimes I like it to sound very fast and other times I want it to be as heavy as it can be. We are very happy that people liked ‘Aeon’s Black’.

You brought back former drummer Arttu in 2010, and it sounds as though there were never any hard feelings between old and new members. How is the Aeon camp currently?

Everything for us is going very well but Arttu is not with us on this tour. He is expecting his new child so we have Emil Wiksten (Blood Red Throne) with us for this tour. For the album though, having Arttu again was very natural. We are all very close and live near each other so writing is quite easy.

Many have commented on the slower more doomy elements of Aeon’s Black compared to previous releases. Do you think this is something you’ll continue to develop in future work?

Maybe, I don’t know. Zeb (guitar) felt we lacked heasvier songs on the album before ‘Aeon’s Black’ but I feel we did this and people like it. I think we will still play fast because that is what death metal is all about!

You’ve been in the music industry for almost 15 years now. Is touring still as fun and full of partying as it used to be?

Of course it is still fun! We love playing our music to the fans and playing shows is my favourite part of being in a band. As for partying, I know I still try to party like before but we also need our sleep! Some of us are parents now so maybe not the same as before in the band but we still enjoy some beers and have a great time with the other bands.

Sweden has always been hailed as one of the homes of Death Metal. Would you say the scene out there is as strong as ever?

I guess so, you will still see many old bands like us are playing and writing new albums. We have lots of new bands too but some are melodic death metal or other metal. I think other countries are starting to catch up though, like Germany and places like that.

How do you feel about the constant argument between what is and isn’t “death metal”? Do you feel newer bands give it a bad name?

No I don’t think they do. At the end of the day, we all like the same shit. We want to play angry music and sound heavy. Surely this is what matters?

After this tour, what have you got planned?

We are touring with this album as much as we can, with Obscura in Europe.  We are focusing on this for now but maybe some writing can happen on the tour.

Cannabis Corpse/Ghoul all dayer, The Underworld, London 9/2/13

Cannabis Corpse/Ghoul – The Underworld, London

It’s fair to assume that a fair few of the fans here today are still fighting off a hangover from the night before with three metal gigs going on in London and with the bands starting mid-afternoon; it’s going to be a marathon of mayhem and beer under a cloud of a certain smoke.

Bristol favourites Seprevation have been a touring machine since winning a slot at Bloodstock last summer and it’s paid off, as the band’s death thrash fusion reeks with old school tendencies. The set is tight and the tracks of EP ‘Ritual Abuse’ sound as beefy live.

Irish thrash punks Visceral Attack are a breath of fresh air with a myriad of aggressive anthems accompanied with their whippersnapper energy. A track about beer gets grins spreading and heads banging.

Despite claiming to be “unable to have fun”, crust punks Bastardhammer are very amusing with their onstage banter and dirty riffs, whilst Cavity Search – London’s answer to Municipal Waste – continue the silliness with some crossover carnage.

By now the Underworld crowd is starting to swell as Living With Disfigurement spew out their nasty old school death metal. A mixture of former Gout members in the band and a sound spilling with gore, the local band receive a great reception,

Everyone starts to carefully choose their spot for Ghoul with the more sensible punters standing back from the stage to avoid any blood stains and pit explosions. The Creepsylvanian mob take a similar stage approach to Gwar, as bizarre characters come out between each song to soak the crowd in baby blood, a dead chicken and other fun frivolities. Their catchy thrash creates a flurry of pits and stage diving, which is interrupted by a troll who eventually joins them. ‘Transmission Zero’ seems to be the focus album of the night with favourites such as ‘Blood Feast’ and ‘Destructor’ leading the way ; however other classics including ‘Maniaxe’ and ‘Splatterthrash’ are also in full force to showcase punky riffs and deathly growls from the masked men and Ghoul confirm their love for humour and horror in style.

There is a genuine waft of weed as Cannabis Corpse finally take to the stage, as the stoners of London congregate under one roof to enjoy some satirical death metal. Despite featuring members from Gwar and Municipal Waste the parody trio stick to a more brutal sound without losing the fun of this evening’s line up with tracks such as ‘Blunted at Birth’ and ‘I Will Smoke You’ getting the most response from the red-eyed mob underneath them. A similar style to Cannibal Corpse is obviously expected, however thanks (we assume to) a large amount of marijuana, the band create a groovy version of the traditional noise and although only three of them gracing the stage, Land Phil and co create the beefiest riffs of the night.

Reviewed by Lily Randall

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