Bands: Deicide / Belphegor / Hour Of Penance / The Amenta
Venue: The Masque Theatre, Liverpool
Date: 27th June 2011
On Monday night, probably the most high-profile metal tour to come to Liverpool since Sepultura back in the early nineties rolled into town, and of course, the crew of das Claw were there to witness the whole spectacle.
First up were Australians The Amenta, whose dark take on Death Metal seemed nothing too extraordinary, electronic/ambient/industrial elements aside. The fact that I had to struggle to hear them in the seemingly cavernous space of the Masque's large room probably didn't help either, sorry guys.
Next up, Hour of Penance, who again (from where I was stood stage left) suffered from a terrible sound, Paolo's vocals being so low down that it was literally like watching an almost instrumental set, apart from when the backing vocals came in. Shame, as I was kind of transfixed by their technical death/black metal, bringing to mind a more brutal Emperor.
Any problems at the sound desk were fixed by the time that Austria's Belphegor took to the stage, blasting out their brand of blackened death metal, whipping the crowd up and winning over new fans, although I resisted the urge to buy Belphegor underwear from the merch stall afterwards!
Strangely, this was my first time seeing Deicide, which is odd because I think that from that early crop of super-influential and genre defining Death metal bands from the late eighties/early nineties, up until Monday there was only really Glen and the boys that I'd never seen. Make no mistake, the insane vocal sound on the first Deicide album influenced legions of Black Metal hordes in the early nineties even if they don't like to admit it, partly because of a large section of the music press' seeming vendetta to make Glen Benton into some form of cartoon character in the at the time. This lineup features founder members Benton and Steve Asheim on drums, along with Jack Owen and Ralph Santonalla on guitars.
They come onstage in front of what must surely be a full house, and absolutely pummel the crowd with four or five songs without a break whilst the crowd pummel each other. Seriously, I haven't seen a crowd go this apeshit for literally years, anywhere. Dead by Dawn is tossed into the set ridiculously early (I think like the second track?) and the crowd go insane. There is a small barrier along the front of the stage, and another one right above it to create a kind of tunnel for photographers, but the crowd are reaching right across and snapping the two together bang! bang! bang! against each other, only a brave man, a fool, or our very own SJW would venture in there for a photo! Playing a good mix of old and new tracks and some favourites of mine (Lunatic of God's Creation, Kill the Christian, Once Upon the Cross) and every track is delivered with such brutal ferocity it's hard not to get carried away.
Someone dives off the PA and manages to land about forty feet away from the stage right in the middle of the pit to huge cheers from the crowd.
Afterwards, we see a girl getting put into an ambulance on a stretcher, with her head and neck in a brace.
Deicide? They came, they saw, they handed us our arses.