With the amount of technology and pro-tools at our disposal these days, we are given bands like Regurgitate Life (7) – a band which consists of Sammy Urwin and his solo vision of technical, hearty servings of death metal. There are pros and cons behind Regurgitate Life, and indeed any one man project. On record it may sound fantastic but I feel there will always be restrictions without a proper band behind you. In the live environment the pre-programmed drums lack the punch of a real stick hitting skin, but his ability to juggle lead guitar duty and a John Tandy-esque growl is unquestionably good. His tracks rumble along with fists-aloft fury and the spatterings of fretboard wankery sit well between the crushing riffage. Let’s not forget that Sammy is opening up the evening for some seriously good death metal bands, and he is taking his own music, coordinated solely by himself, to a crowd waiting for Aeon and Dyscarnate. That alone deserves your respect.
Aeon Live Review from The Garage, 16th January 2013
Ageless Oblivion (7) have shared the stage with some great names: Decapitated, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Cerebral Bore to name a few, and with displays of energy and aggression like this, it’s not hard to see why. Since their formation in 2009 the Hampshire death metal crew have been steadily etching their name into everyone’s mind with their technicality and sheer ferocity. The five-piece certainly make their presence known across Islington, and their powerful riffing and musical know-how is clear to see. The prog-tinged sounds and clever changes in tempo keep you interested throughout, however the straight up death parts can seem a bit textbook – but when it is delivered this well, it is still hard to fault. This display is still a little off of the finished article but I feel that there is more to come from this bunch. Their next album could launch them to the next level and they could well become a force in this genre.
And now, for something a little bit different. London-based surrealist, blackened noise terrorists, Voices (8) are an unusual abrasive blend of the harshest form of metal with elements of almost psychedelic horror thrown in. This is very much a thinking mans branch of black; you get the hate-fuelled bursts of tremolo picked riffs with tormented shrieks and growls that are reminiscent of a Nordic blizzard, but also some haunting clean vocals and almost ambient passages. Voices also contains a few ex members of the controversial blackened mob Akercocke, and the chilling atmosphere creeps around the venue. Voices are one of the finest bands to emerge from the darkest corner of 2012 and a must see for any extreme metal fan.
Rapidly rising deathly destroyers Dyscarnate (9.5) are a towering tour de force and annihilate London in the manner to which we have become accustomed. Enough praise cannot be heaped upon this trio; the level of the power transmitted through the speakers is ear-splittingly brilliant (I was partially deaf for a few days after…totally worth it!). A band as good as this will find it increasingly harder to grab support slots as they are so difficult to follow up! Standing in the front row is like having the shit kicked out of you, punishing bass lines stomp on your head whilst the razor-sharp riffing slices up your battered ear drums. Dyscarnate stand up defiantly to those who dare to claim that death metal is dead and with their middle fingers raised, crush them into the ground. This is a complete triumph by Horsham’s finest and a credit to British music. We have a band that will almost certainly conquer a genre!
After flying in from a rather chilly Sweden to an ever colder London, Aeon (8) aim to raise the temperature with some searing death metal. Despite having to cut their set short, time constraints being the probable culprit, the moods haven’t been dampened and Aeon go on to violently shake the new year into life with some crushing death metal. The whole band are full of vitality and aggressively smash through their set. The setlist is heavily set in their latest album – the fantastic ‘Aeons Black’ – and the new songs create carnage in the pit. Aeon are a remarkably tight unit, even though their newly re-joined drummer, Arttu Malkki, is missing tonight. He has temporarily ceased activity with the band to focus on his family, which is expected to grow by two shortly (congratulations!). Luckily, the sublime sticksman Emil Wiksten is here to fill in and he does a fantastic job nailing every beat. He proceeds to beat the shit out of his kit and proves to be a competent fill-in. The in-your-face attitude and intensity of frontman Tommy Dahlström gets everyone moving and he has the lyrics from the title track ‘Aeons Black’ shouted right back to him. This was a display of death metal at its brutal best – no mucking around and taking no prisoners.