KRISIUN /MALEVOLENT CREATION / VITAL REMAINS Gig Review
Support Acts: Karnak & Truth Corroded
London Underworld, 15th February 2012
Review by Yiannis (John) Stefanis
I am sure that everybody is aware of the state of the world economy right now, so the fact that venues like the London Underworld which organise Metal shows are still reaching full capacity is both surprising and encouraging. Part of this success story is the understanding on the part of the music industry that for a normal working person to part with his/her hard earned cash, the spectacle on offer would have to be pretty irresistible. On the night of the 15th of February, North London experienced what can only be described as a Death Metal fan’s dream – a five band festival, entitled “Sounds Of Extreme Tour” which brought under the same roof three very influential bands – Vital Remains, Malevolent Creation and Krisiun.
I arrived at the venue quite early on, in the knowledge that the doors were to open at 18:15 and that the night’s festival would also feature the performances of two opening acts. Sadly, due to certain issues that were beyond my personal control I ended up missing the first opening act Karnak and I only managed to get inside the venue half way through Truth Corroded’s twenty five minute set. The Adelaide-based outfit performed its extreme Metal with much gusto and energy but the relatively poor sound quality did not do them many favours. Having said that, the lads seemed to really enjoy their time on stage and received a fairly decent response from the few punters that were there to support them.
The first main band to hit the stage was Rhode Island’s Vital Remains and the impact they made on the festival was felt almost instantly. The venue was quite full by the time the first notes of “Where Is Your God Now” were performed and their reaction on what was taking place on stage was phenomenal. Actually, great credit ought to be given to vocalist Scott Wily as it was really his personal performance and communication with the crowd that kept the momentum going. At the times when he was not wind-milling or head banging, the physically fit frontman was either pulling people on stage, asking them to perform the ancient art of stage diving or stirring trouble by demanding the audience to join the circle pit. Compositions such as “Devour Elysium” and “Hammer Down The Nails” received the warm reaction they really deserved and by the time the band’s forty minute set was over both band and fans were in a state of delirium.
Next to hit the stage were Buffalo’s finest Malevolent Creation. Last time I saw Phil Fasciana and Co was at last year’s Hellfest and I actually considered their then performance to be one of the finest of the whole festival. Tonight the old-school Deathsters proved that the previously-mentioned performance was not a fluke, providing us with a very powerful ‘classic’ set which included songs from the first two highly-acclaimed albums, namely “The Ten Commandments” (1991) and “Retribution” (1992). Brett Hoffman proved once again that he is one of the best Death Metal vocalists in the business, providing us with a ‘no prisoners’ performance that stretched his vocal chords to the limit and guitar wizard Phil Fasciana proved that you can have a full and meaty live sound even with one guitar on stage. The guy that really impressed me tonight was drummer Gus Rios as it was his immense and technical drumming that elevated the status of compositions such as “Remnants Of Withered Decay” and “Multiple Stab Wounds”. Even though the crowd did not visit the stage as many times as they did during the Vital Remains set, the showed their support by constantly head banging during “Slaughter Of Innocence” and “Decadence Within” and following the last notes of the all time classic “Malevolent Creation” provided a massive round of applause to their departing stars.
Last time I saw Brazilian noisemakers Krisiun was during the promotional tour for “Southern Storm” back in November 2009, at the exact same venue. I remember finding their then performance pretty average but it was the quality of their latest album “The Great Execution” which made me stick around for their set and I was soon rewarded for it. Bassist/vocalist Alex Camargo was in quite high spirits, constantly thanking the crowd for their support of classic Death Metal by attending tonight’s show and seemed chuffed every time someone jumped from the stage or joined the circle pit. It was quite obvious that the purpose of tonight’s performance was to promote the band’s latest album but good quality renditions of “The Will To Potency” and “Descending Abomination” proved that such compositions were truly deserving a prominent position in the band’s set list. With eight albums under their collective belts, the noisy Brazilians offered moments of sheer joy to their fans – fans who were more than willing to sing along to compositions such as “Ravager” and “Sentenced Morning”. The one song that every single member in the crowd demanded to hear, of course, was “Black Force Domain” and it was exactly that very classic that the band offered prior to leaving the stage, not before thanking once again the remaining crowd for “all those years of great support”.
I am sure that if you were to ask members of the audience about the highlights of tonight’s show, the answers you would get would be pretty varied. Vital Remains had the best pit reaction, Malevolent Creation won the long and arduous head banging battle and Krisiun were the best sounding band of them all! Actually, what I guess we would all agree upon is that the biggest winner tonight was Death Metal as I cannot see how anyone can put a better Death Metal package on tour this year! A great night for extreme music indeed!
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