Last night saw a very healthy turn out at the Underworld to witness a 5 band bill headlined by the New York death metal legends, Suffocation with support from Annotations of an Autopsy, Nervecell, Fleshgod Apocalypse and Burning The Masses.
It was my first time seeing the 'Suffos' and as I like to break my duck with bands and this bill was interesting enough for me to venture forth once again into the fiery depths of the Underworld.
First of all a Chicken Shish was called for in the kebab shop opposite then death fuckin' metal!
Burning The Masses came on. I know a little bit about this Cali deathcore mob. I am not a fan of deathcore at all but these guys are ok but still not my cuppa. Songs consist of widdle-roar-chug-scream-widdle-chug-roar and repeat till your blue in the face. The guitarists surely can play damn well but I'm not a fan and the sound didn't help them either.
Fleshgod Apocalypse came on finally after some technical problems with the monitors they finally launched into regular death metal. No deathcore in this band at all. Live they sound like Morbid Angel a lot. They have decent catchy riffs going on and got a real solid response from the crowd. I think I actually preferred them on record than live but once again the rather muddy sound didn't help matters. What was notable was a cover of At The Gates' Fear only 3 songs into the set which was a bit odd but was probably the best song they played. Solid but a little bit faceless.
Nervecell all the way from Dubai. These guy fucking nailed it and then some. Their sounds was much tighter and the way they play their riffs is very cool and tight with a thick groovy sound. The big front man thanked the crowd a lot and once again a great response. Their songs are damn catchy for a death metal band with plenty of cool riffs. They played a great cover of Bolt Thrower's Where Next to Conquer which is an awesome song in itself but the good thing was their own material did not disappoint next to that classic.
Annotations of an Autopsy - Uk's most brutal and heaviest death metal band. Lots of joviality and football banter from the gurning front man pre the gig starting as they readied themselves on stage. Lots of inner circle on stage banter then finally they played and what a set! Heavy grinding death metal with big chuggy riffs interspersed with speedier sections. Their earlier songs are more deathcore in nature and less to my taste but their new songs crush. The stage was overtaken by stage divers and mic grabbers at one point with everyone singing the final song and stage diving. The song Impale the Sun is just a massive highlight from these local boys. They played with huge smiles on their faces and as the front man said it was the best show they have ever played.
Suffocation - Finally it was time for the Suffos to hit the stage and lay waste. The sound was amazing for them from my vantage point I must admit. Not massively loud so that it crushed my ears but very crisp and good separation. I can't say I am a huge suffo fan at all and I wouldn't say I recognise even one song even but damn they played well. So tight and technical it's untrue and the sound made them even better. The wisecracking jester front man with more face pulls than you can shake a stick at, was hellishly fun to look at when doing his hand gestures in time to the music and his funny faces. As he introduced each song the packed Underworld went into spasms with outbursts of severe moshing and stage diving. There wasn't a wasted second in this set despite the bass player having a few technical problems which slowed the set down at one point. Derek the little dreadlocked guitarist was mental all night - like a whirling dervish spitting forth jagged tech riffs with great groove and style all whilst headbanging like a maniac with a big shit eating grin on his face. Finally at 11pm it was all over and the packed crowd was all Suffo-ed out. I am not a massive fan of Suffocation on record but live I was totally amazed. The songs just spring to life and the intensity with which they deliver these herculean, beastly tunes is not to be underestimated by any means. Now I know why Suffocation has the legendary tag!