It’s officially autumn, the London Death Metal scene should have cracked out the leather, but due to unnatural heat, an audience decked out in standard issue combat shorts and black t shirts descends on the Unicorn for an evening of death, grind and… Bloodhound Gang covers? Here’s Von‘s report of a five-band bill in Camden…
Six things we learned sweating it out to blastbeats at the Unicorn…
1) Nebuknezza sound far bigger than any two-piece band have any right to. Blending elements of thrash, grind, good ol’ death metal, they excel at gigantic, crushing riffage, but have an unfortunate tendency to fall back of muddied blasts that, while breaking up the songs, get a little tiresome when you’re just waiting for something to mid-paced-headbang to.
2) Blasting, simplistic porno-grind broken up by extensive song explanations delivered in a thick Austrian accent is hilarious. Unintentional or not, Taxidermist cracked me up. They are a fourteen-year-old’s idea of an extreme band come to life. Very heavy, squealing vocals and songs about animal gangbangs, all polished off with a cover of ‘Fire-Water-Burn’ leave me wondering if they are a joke band or I don’t know anything about grindcore any more.
3) If Taxidermist are a fourteen-year-old’s idea of an extreme band, Squirtophobic are that band five years later. Still grinding, but song structures are for more varied and developed, and with a palpable sense of danger about them, they own the stage.
4) The UK responds to Austria’s grind advances with very technical death metal in the form of Ageless Oblivion. And when I say technical, I don’t mean navel-gazing, widdle/squeak bullshit, I mean brutal technicality – using musicianship to blow the audience through the wall, rather than impress the one person watching who can do sweep picking. As well as delivering a terrifying riff to song ratio, they aren’t afraid to add some Neurosis-esque breakdowns to the mix. Great stuff, delivered with professionalism and conviction. Bit more showmanship (a good start is introducing the songs) and they are onto a winner.
5) Headliners Trifixion deserve the top slot. Taking the technicality of Ageless Oblivion and adding a layer of catchiness, experience and an indefinable “edge”. Adding a second vocalist for a few songs, they create a palpable blasting wall of noise that cements their place as a rising star of UK death metal. Easily the most enjoyable band to watch (and not just because I’d had a “few” drinks by then) I’m very much looking forward to seeing them at a larger venue.
6) It’s ace to see UKDM becoming a vibrant, supportive scene. Bands sharing members, nights like this one and a general sense of camaraderie hopefully mean big things are on the horizon for the dudes in combat shorts and black tshirts…
If you want to see some photos that Von took at this gig, head on over to his Tumblr. Yeah, they’re all blurry, but he was drunk and he doesn’t know how to take photos properly. It’s not his fault? Yeah, right.