Apartment 213

Finally I’m on my way to Bloodstock. First a train trip to Burton on Trent to dump my bag at the hotel and meet up with the other half cut reprobates for a twelve hour stint of metal in a field. 

After tonight’s main stage headliners Ghost have competed their set, Illinois band Macabre bring the curtain down on Saturday’s proceedings with a dose of murder metal. They also have the dubious honour of being the only band I’m scheduled to see this weekend that I have never seen, so it should be worth the wait to still be there until midnight today.  I think it’s a very rare visit to the country and the only other appearance I can see is back in 2010. 

The trio of Nefarious, Dennis the Menace and Corporate Death have been together since 1984 and are considered one of the purveyors of the early death metal and grindcore scene. They haven’t been overly productive in their 33 year career only releasing five full length albums. 

I’m surprised I’ve not been into Macabre much more than I am considering their lyrical content is right up my alley and is based around the majority of the books that I have on my shelf on the bookcase. Yes, they like to write songs about serial killers. 

Their Dahmer album from 2000 is an inspired concept album tracing the life and events of the Milwaukee Cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer in chronological order. Their most recent opus Grim Scary Tales surfaced in 2011 and is inspired by a bunch of more historical murderers. 

I owned a copy of their Grim Reality EP a long time ago, possibly while I was still in school. I’d already got a bit of a burgeoning obsession with the serial killer phenomenon, so a record with songs about Albert Fish and Ed Gein was something I had to buy, and the art work was pretty killer. 

There’s no promotional video that I can find for any of their tracks, so here’s the audio for  Apartment 213 from the aforementioned Dahmer album. It’s the second song I know of with its title taken from the Dahmer’s apartment number, the other being by GGFH – another band I need to feature. I’ve also gone for this album as I haven’t featured a track from an album released in the year 2000, not the greatest of years in music for me I must say. 


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Media’s Portrayal


It’s been a whole 120 hours since my last gig and it’s looking like another 48 hours until my next visual and aural experience. 

I’m in two minds though about heading off on the train to Liverpool on Thursday to catch the first show of the Six Brew Bantha UK tour. I’ve got some grown up stuff to do before I can consider riding the rails, but the journey is only forty minutes or so and it’ll only cost me £3 to gain entry, so even if I don’t see the main event I’ll still get to see three other bands. 

Six Brew Bantha are a three piece Grindcore band from the Canadian city of Victoria. I’ve never seen the band live, last time they graced these shores was 2014, and I’m not exactly listening to the band on heavy rotation on a daily basis, but how can you not be interested in seeing a band with the coolest name you’ll see today and the extra added bonus of a fifteen minute blast of some Horsebastard tunes?

The nine shows over here culminate with an appearance a Chimpy Fest in London Town on August 13th. As I’m getting more into the whole grind and fastcore thing in recent months I’d really have liked to have been in T. Chances over that weekend, but it’s a choice between Chimpy or Bloodstock. Even though Bloodstock has a pitiful line up for me this year they still have Kreator gracing their stage and I can’t  pass up another Teutonic Thrash masterclass. 

The 36 second Media’s Portrayal is taken from the self released and self titled “full length” album from 2012, seventeen tracks in under 25 minutes. You can check out their output via their Bandcamp page.


Leicester could be another option. 

Suffer The Children

I’m so glad I got one of the last 20 tickets for Napalm Death in Manchester last night. Even though I didn’t stop to see Barney and the boys, or Brujeria, the two bands I saw made it more than worthwhile. 

I bailed early so I could get a train to and from the city from my town to save on more short drives and extortionate parking fees. In hindsight though I’m glad I left when I did for a couple of reasons. 

The main reason is the venue. I’ve only seen four shows there and they’ve all been since October last year. Considering I try and get to Manchester on train as much as I can the Rebellion Club is that little bit too far out to walk back to the station without missing a healthy chunk of the headliners set. 

The three shows prior to last night have been nowhere near to its noted 400 capacity so they were relatively comfortable. Last nights sold out show was beyond comfortable. The assembled throng of metallers were packed in tight for the first two bands. I’d hate to think what it was like come 10pm when Napalm Death had a full head of steam. 

The layout of the place doesn’t help either. The interior is shaped like an offset T with the stage along the horizontal. Looking towards the stage from the vertical your view is obstructed the further you go back so everyone crams in to the front portion. That area also incorporates the entrance and access to the smoking area on one side and the bar and toilets opposite. All the footfall has to traverse that space. It’s definitely not pleasant and almost claustrophobic. 

The local promoter used to use Sound Control, a better laid out venue and half the distance from the station. For some reason shows of this stature have relocated to here. More consideration will have to be given in the future to which shows I attend if there is another option to Rebellion.

Anyway, rant over, on to the show. Lock Up were superb again, and much better than I was honestly expecting. 

Power Trip graced a Manchester stage for the first time in four years and they were on another level last night. They relished their time on the compact stage and seemed much more at home. They had a superb crowd in front of them and there was no barrier so we had a few stage divers, but less than I’d anticipated. For a band influenced by the thrash scene it was weird to see so many metal elitists and purists vacating the room for forty minutes. Too many people paying attention to musical tags. 

As I didn’t get around to posting about the Birmingham grindcore pioneers here’s Suffer the Children from their third album Harmony Corruption. It was the first time they’d recorded outside of England when they entered the famous Morrisound Studios in Tampa with producer Scott Burns. The album vered towards a death metal sound and had a more polished finish, and the Tampa connection was a foothold for the band over in the States.  

Accelerated Mutation

Once again Iron Maiden were stunning last night in Manchester. Unusually for them they were a bit sloppy in places, but nothing to serious to detract from the overall ambiance of the evening. Tonight sees a change in direction and aggression though. 

A quarter of a century after the first Campaign for Musical Destruction tour featuring Napalm Death, Obituary and Dismember, international grindcore “super group” Lock Up are opening up proceedings. Since their inception in 1998 it’s always been a Shane Embury and friends project. Over the years members of Terrorizer, Criminal, Cradle of Filth, Nuclear Assault, Hypocrisy, At The Gates, Brutal Truth and Carcass have all been involved with the band in some way.  

 

I thought I’d seen them live before, a long time ago, but apparently tonight will be my first time. I had a suspicion I’d seen them in Stoke, but I think I’m confusing that with another band with a bassist that appeared with Brujeria – Divine Heresy. I was also pretty sure they’d played Bloodstock but that is a negative too. 

They played the ‘kin hell fest in Leeds in 2014 which I was at but unfortunately I was at the wrong day of the three. They played on Friday and I was only in attendance for the Sunday. 

Looking trough the setlist.fm site they’ve only performed six times prior to this run (again assuming it’s accurate and up to date). I surprised myself to see that I wasn’t at the 2009 edition of the Damnation festival where they played alongside Destruction and Life of Agony, two bands I’ll travel to see. Maybe it was the majority of that years line up that put me off?

They are another band that have passed me by over the last eighteen years. Their debut album came out in 1999 when I was being a bit more adult by arranging and saving for my wedding the year later. There’s a bleak period in my gig timeline where shows completely tailed off for a number of years and it was definitely more quality over quantity to my gigging and purchasing. 

Friends raved about how good the Demonization album released this year was so I checked it out via Spotify with some trepidation, I think I was expecting not to like it as I’ve never been a fan of Brutal Truth’s vocals and Kevin Sharp from said band is supplying the vocal barrage for the album and subsequent tour. I’m glad I gave it a go as I was suitably enthralled. It just means i now have to be in Birmingham and Manchester early to catch them as doors open. 

Accelerated Mutation is from the Necropolis Transparent album from 2011. 

La Ley del Plomo

Well that was a pretty impressive start to the first evening of eight days away from work. 

Back home and reasonably well rested after  five hours sleep. Not booking a hotel for our Dublin trip wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever come up with, but it worked out well for us, considering we had to be at the airport around 5am regardless. 

The biggest stumbling block with the no hotel money saving experience was me having to be in work at 5am Saturday before a noon train to the airport. Staying awake was a bit tough at some points, but I survived twenty nine hours without a sustained amount of sleep. I think I got two fifteen minute blasts in the airport. No sleep ’till Stoke!

The Iron Maiden performance was absolutely on point again yesterday within the walls of the old Point Depot (now the more boring 3 Arena) on the outskirts of the city. We sampled several drinks at local drinking establishments during the shuffle along the edge of the Liffy and arrived minutes after Shinedown had exited the stage, good timing for some. I can put that right in a little over twenty four hours when I drag this old and broken body to Manchester tomorrow to experience some weird kind of Groundhog Day. 

Tuesday sees this weeks relentless schedule continue with a trip south to Birmingham for the Napalm Death doss. To be honest though I’m more interested in the support acts, which will be more apparent by the time Thursday’s repeat performance lumbers into sight, but I’ll hang around to see the headliners in a few days. 

I thought Brujeria’s impending performance at this years Bloodstock Festival was due to be their UK debut (imagine that, Bloodstock with its current trends booking a band who’ve never played the festival!). This quartet of British dates was announced after their festival confirmation and subsequently trumped their exclusivity boast. Having done a brief bit of research it’s not even their debut shows here. They’ve played a handful of gigs here before on a very irregular basis. 

This deathgrind band (a hybrid grindcore and death metal) comprises of masked Latino gangsters and have a bass player, Hongo, who has a remarkable resemblance to the headline acts bass player Shane Embury. If it actually was Embury behind the bandanna he’d have earned his fees on this tour playing in three of the four bands performing every night.  

Brujeria’s seeds as a band were sown as far back as the late 1980’s, with the debut single ¡Demoniaco! surfacing in 1990. My first insight into the band was via their gruesome 1992 7″ single ¡Machetazos! followed by the controversial debut album Matando Güero with its album sleeve featuring a severed head being held aloft. The head subsequently became the band’s mascot Coco Loco. 

Last year saw their fourth album Pocho Aztian released by Nuclear Blast, sixteen years after Brujerizmo saw the light of day. I guess it must be hard to run a drugs cartel and write and record a new album. With the bands (kayfabe) anti American stance it was no surprise to see the single Viva Presidente Trump! released in the same year. Up until that point and following Donald Trump’s subsequent election, I don’t think I’d ever seen a Brujeria shirt. Now this anti Trump shirt is almost as popular (and controversial) as Municipal Waste’s walls of death garment. 

La Ley del Plomo (The Laws of Lead) was included on the 1995 sophomore album Raza Odiada and the video is probably a bit more suitable for home viewing compared to some of their promotional videos I’ve seen. 


Fallen Into Disuse

Safely ensconced at home after a challenging day at work thanks to storm Doris that has been battering much of the British Isles today. Driving a high sided vehicle does tend to be a bit unnerving at times, but the only downed trees I saw had already toppled before I arrived on the scene. 

Assuming the weather reports are accurate and the winds have subsided by Friday then tomorrow night I should be hopping on a train and heading up to Manchester and grabbing a couple of beers before an evening of intense grindcore. 

Singaporean band Wormrot are on a brief European jaunt and Friday is one of three U.K. dates. They’ve played here over a dozen times in their decade long career but it will be my first time seeing them live. It’s an early finish – all done and dusted by 10pm in theory – which works well as I’m in work within eight hours after they step off the stage on Saturday morning. It’s also another new venue for me to visit, The Soup Kitchen, so I’m not sure what I’m expecting the place to be like apart from minuscule. 

I’ve not had time to digest the latest album Voices since it came out towards the end of last year, but with an impressive twenty tracks in a little under twenty six minutes it won’t take me all that long and it’s not as if I’ll need to learn the lyrics by rote! Compared to the previous release Dirge (twenty five incomprehensible blasts of noise in under eighteen minutes) the latest release is almost their magnum opus. 

Their allocated stage time is forty minutes and I’m not going to even attempt to count how many songs they’ll play in that time. One thing for sure though, Friday night is going to be an unrelenting and noisy night. Best not forget my ear plugs. 

Fallen Into Disuse has an official video of sorts and is taken from the newest album released by grindcore pioneering label Earache – a very apt name with some of their roster too. The label that introduced record store visitors to Napalm Death, Terrorizer, Concrete Sox, Heresy and Carcass in the 80’s still have their finger on the grinding pulse.