Gig Review – Deathcrusher Tour, October 26th, Vicar St

It’s rare that such a good lineup comes to Dublin. I’ve written about Carcass before and without wanting to sound overly dramatic or clichéd, I would not be here without them. Hearing Symphonies of Sickness when I was fifteen years old was my introduction to extreme metal, and it’s been such a huge influence on my musical tastes.

Doors for this gig opened before six, which is a sure sign that there is a long night ahead.

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Bloodstock Report Part Four: Summary and Other Thoughts

With a great lineup and lovely atmosphere, Bloodstock is definitely a festival I would consider returning to in future. As I mentioned in the second post, we bought the tickets almost a full year in advance, solely on the basis of Emperor’s appearance, when they were the only band announced. Though I would happily have returned to Brutal Assault, I chose to get the Emperor tickets while they were available and as it turned out, Bloodstock’s lineup was more suited to my tastes. In terms of cost, it is obviously a lot more expensive that Brutal Assault, due to their locations, but allowing for the cost of traveling it probably worked out about the same. This may change in future as Ryanair are now serving Prague airport. My choice of festival next year will again be based on lineup.

As I’ve already said, bar the issue of communicating with the fans, I thought the festival was excellently organised. The toilets were usually in great condition, the showers were adequate, and the one schedule change I was aware of was communicated from the main stage hours in advance. There were some disappointments at the merch stand; Emperor shirts  had sold out by Saturday afternoon, and Decapitated didn’t even have any shirts with them, but these problems can’t be blamed on the festival. If the CD selection from the independent vendors wasn’t as obscure as that I’m used to from continental festivals, that’s probably because it’s a lot easier for a merchant with a collection of releases by obscure scene bands to travel across mainland Europe than it is to travel to the UK. Even at Bloodstock, my hobby of seeking out the most offensive grind CDs is probably pretty niche, and it didn’t significantly impact on my fun at the festival, so I can’t hold it against them.

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Bloodstock Report Part Two: Saturday

Opening Saturday’s lineup was Back Down or Die who were good dumb fun. Violent slammy death metal, with the frontman interacting with specific audience members by name, which always adds a nice touch of intimacy to a gig.

I had planned on ignoring Evil Scarecrow because I thought their name was stupid; but while ordering a pint at the Bloodstock Arms, their elaborate costumes and props projected up on the big screen caught my eye, and they turned out to be by far the most entertaining and fun band of the entire festival. A large dedicated corps of followers turned up in robot costumes and with appropriate props to match the band’s silly songs about robot/crab hybrids, waltzing cyclopes, sci-fi war and the misery of black metal. They got the crowd to participate to a degree no other band acheived: seeing thousands of metalheads all crab-scuttle from side to side while waving the pincers in the air attests to the skill this band has in getting the audience to do stuff. The music is a good fun fare, symphonic and synthy. They weren’t among the most musically talented bands we saw but the music is really acting as a vehicle for the wonderfully silly and entertaining stage show.

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Festival Report – Brutal Assault, 7-10 August, Jaromeř, Czech Republic,

Okay guys, this is going to be a long one. It’s mostly going to be a list of bands I saw at Brutal Assault last week, brief reviews of their sets, and assorted observations about the festival and the Czech Republic. If you’re not fully sure what grindcore is or how it’s different to death metal, you may want to skip this one.

Or better yet, keep reading! Every day is a school day!

If you want to skip ahead to the bits where I say nice things, the highlights for me were: Carcass, Dying Fetus, Gojira, Ihsahn, In Flames, and Meshuggah; and standout new discoveries were Alcest, Dr. Living Dead, Leprous, and War from a Harlot’s Mouth. Continue reading