Reanimator - Flapper & Firkin - Monday 16th June 2008

Rumours were afoot that this was to be the last true rock event at this venue for a while as they are focussing on showcasing indie bands. Apt therefore that a truly ferocious bill was assembled to say farewell.

Hour of Penance.
Ah Rome. The Trevi fountains, Colosseum and ... a vicious death metal band ?! You'd better believe it. Relentless onslaught of precision speed death metal. Not often you see a six string bass player. One hell of a musician, he managed to justify his unusual choice of instrument. Obviously you then need a seven string lead guitarist. Blast beating drummer helps. Cookie monster vocalist comes in handy too. Brutal set, despite a reasonable sound got a bit samey to my ears. Nothing inherently wrong with them, just nothing exceptional either. The crowd lapped it up though, so to each their own... Solid opening act.

Impaled. Thanks to the guitarist Sean for handwriting a setlist shortly after he'd come off stage - cheers fella! The band hail from Oakland, California and let's hope it's not long before they return to these shores. Awesome performance. The band were all attired in questionable military outfits and like a Marine Corps surgically carved their way through this set. Mixed up material from all stages of their career, once they'd battered their way through opener "G.O.R.E" the crowd were theirs. They play a hybrid of very heavy thrash and mix it with death metal and grindcore elements. Best sound of the night helped, possibly also aided by the fact that they were the only band with two guitarists, who shared lead duties throughout. The band were joined on stage midway through by Pove and Luke from the Reanimator team, the former having been on tour with them in the States for several weeks of metal oblivion. Full setlist was; G.O.R.E, Gutless, Dead Inside, Raise The Stakes, Trocar, Up The Dose, You Are The Dead and The Last Gasp. Stunning display, highly recommended if they are playing near you soon.

Origin. Topeka, Kansas' favourite sons. Crowd went practically rabid for them from the word go. They are at the forefront of extreme metal at the moment, vying with Nile, one would suspect, for top dog status. Well I'm seeing Nile in September so it will be interesting to do a compare and contrast, although Nile are playing in a far bigger venue. Technical problems beseiged this set. They had major monitor problems for starters, the lengthy pre-set soundcheck didn't erradicate all the gremlins. Sure enough it was a wall of sound, but the bass player was tantamount to inaudible (pity as I haven't seen a five string player this good for a long time) and the drummer had a very indistinct sound. It would appear there were triggering problems which lead to a very bass shell lead overall sound. Setlist-free zone again I'm afraid. I was at this gig to support the Reanimator team and don't know their work that well so apologies for no song titles. Think they played Afternath, Wrath of Vishnu and Staring From The Abyss but don't quote me on that please. Jury will remain out on them until they next tour when hopefully they will get a far better sound.

Packed and very sweaty venue witnessed three bands of uncompromising brutality. Impaled won the day by a country mile. Thanks again to the Reanimator team for putting together another cracking night of extreme metal carnage.



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