Review by Mark Pritchard
Photos by Daniel Stapleton
Contrary to what the name suggests, this wasn’t a festival, but a date on the EU and UK tour of four death metal stalwarts; Sadist, Atrocity, Vital Remains, and I Am Morbid. All four bands had prepared special sets for the show, and I was really looking forward to seeing what they could do!
My first impression of the venue was that the stage was a really good size. It meant that all the bands would have plenty of space to perform and it wouldn’t look too cramped, which is an issue with some venues.
There was a small, but excited audience gathered, and the atmosphere was already electric, and when the bands were playing, it notched up to awesome!
Italian progressive death metallers, Sadist, were first on the bill, presenting their recently released album, “Spellbound”. Straight away they set the tone for the evening firmly to ‘brutal’, with lead singer Trevor Sadist coming out on to the stage brandishing a chainsaw menacingly in the air! The set was heavy and intense from start to finish, and considering they were the opening act, they really set the place on fire! Stunning guitar solos where backed up by a combination of solid rhythms, chunky bass, haunting keyboards and powerful screaming and growling vocals. I really enjoyed their set – what a great way to start!
Next up were German outfit, Atrocity. They were going to have to put on one hell of a performance to follow what we had just seen though! They were also performing their most recent release, “Okkult”, which is the first album in a trilogy that they will be releasing. They started off their set at a fast pace, with some really good solos early on, which got the crowd going. Again, they were heavy as hell! The vocals were dark and growling, but for me they were far too low in the mix and you weren’t able to hear much of them, which was a shame. They were still really good, but, like I said, we had all been spoilt by the brilliant Sadist set, and they didn’t quite reach that height for me.
Our penultimate act of the night were American death metal veterans, Vital Remains, who were performing a special 30th Anniversary set for this tour. They were awesome, from start to finish. Musically so tight, showing their experience brilliantly, and the huge screams of Brian Werner sent the audience wild. They interacted so well with the crowd too and Brian Werner even did a bit of crowd surfing which was epic and not something I have seen before, so it was great fun! This has to be one of the best live sets I have had the pleasure of witnessing, and I really hope I get the chance to see them again soon.
I Am Morbid
Started by front man David Vincent, and Guitarist Tim Yeung, both former members of Death Metal legends Morbid Angel, I Am Morbid played a set of classic material from Morbid Angel’s “Altars Of Madness”, “Blessed Are The Sick”, “Covenant”, and “Domination” albums. David Vincent is regarded as one of the godfathers of Death Metal, so it was guaranteed to go down well. It was intense from the first note, with guaranteed headbanging all round! The crowd lapped it up, and chanted MORBID, MORBID, MORBID, and the band interacted well with the crowd, which made for a great atmosphere. However, their set was marred with technical issues. They had to restart one song after a problem with the mic, and then in another they had an issue with one of the guitars, meaning that the guitarist had to switch to the back up. However, we did get treated to a pretty fine guitar solo from the other guitarist whilst this was happening – it went on for about 5 minutes! It is a shame that they had the technical issues really, because the rest of the set was spot on.
All in all, I had a really great night, with the highlights being Vital Remains, and the blistering opening set from Sadist. I really hope I get the chance to see these bands again soon, as they were all top quality, and I recommend anyone who likes their metal firmly on the Death Metal side of things to go and check them all out.
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Mark Pritchard and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.
All Images by Daniel Stapleton of Overtone Music
A huge thank you to Daniel for the wonderful photographs.