This gig was downgraded to the far smalled Islington Academy 2 after originally being booked for the Garage so obviously ticket sales were not exactly great and so it showed as I entered the venue. The crowd numbered around 150 or so at best and Exhumed were already on stage blasting away like there's no tomorrow. I don't have any real connection with Exhumed as a band and have never really followed their albums or career. Some people like that style of take no prisoners brutal gore metal and I have been known to like the odd band of that style myself but Exhumed has never been one of them.
The sound was loud as fuck and not very clear at all unfortunately. About 10 or 20 diehards were into what Exhumed were doing and they got a reasonable response from those people, but all their songs sound exactly the same to me. Just relentless brutal battery, with screaming vocals and 100 mile an hour drum assault. Turns your brains into mush if you ask me though their fans would argue that's a good thing!
Oh well I waited for Atheist and at the very early hour of 8.30pm the guys were getting ready and played the slow intro to Unquestionable Presence. The sound was much cleaner, tighter and less noisy than for Exhumed which helped no end. The bass player which we later found out was new, was a 20 year old bearded kid with long blonde hair which he through round furiously on occasion. But man did he nail the all important Atheist bass chops. It was worth going to the gig just to see that dude alone. A fair chunk of Unquestionable Presence was played thankfully including Incarnation's Dream and the classic Mother Man and Your Life's Retribution no less. However they did omit The Formative Years as I recall which was a damn shame if you ask me.
Of course we got a couple of songs from Jupiter as well which sounded ok but again not as good as the old shit to use a boring cliche if you will excuse me. They were so tight as a band though and both guitarists and bass were in perfect intense unity. Kelly on the mic has never had a voice I cared much about and to be honest it's a bit strange to watch death metal with a lead singer who doesn't play an instrument.
From Elements they played Air and Mineral which actually were far better live than I remember them being on plastic which is pretty cool. I must come back to the bass player. That kid was just too awesome and on the money. He played so sharp and right on note for note like the albums and the sound mix allowed him to be heard perfectly.
After an hour or so the gig was over and it was time to head home at the early finish time of 9.30pm. I am glad I got the chance to see Atheist finally after all these years and it's another classic band to cross off of my list of bands to see. Cynic still remains at the head of the list of the tech death bands I need to witness along with Necrophagist. I must rectify this someday when they come calling next. For now I give the thumbs up to the Atheist live experience though I still say they should play the whole of Unquestionable Presence from start to end damn it!