The Deathcrusher Tour is currently ongoing featuring a host of death metal royalty battling for supremacy each night. Carcass, Obituary, Napalm Death, Voivod and Herod rolled into Dublin’s Vicar Street on Monday 26th October. Touted as the “extreme metal event of the year” (a tag that doesn’t even do it justice), this was a show at which every band slayed and left many with a sore neck/head and a smile on their faces. It’s true that only metal can gift you an event like we got in Dublin.
Let’s get into this huge show.
The lads from Vevey in Switzerland kicked things off in an unusual fashion. Their progressive sludge style wasn’t to everyone’s taste but people warmed to them by the last song. To be fair, they played only 3 songs in their 20 minute slot. There is a wonderful sense of foreboding doom to Herod’s sound but it takes a while for it to come through on stage. There were a lot of positives in their performance with stellar drumming and a sound, to quote my colleague Steve, “as big as their banner.” The lads were a good palate cleanser for the show ahead and well worth checking out.
Voivod were my personal band of the night. I went to see these guys! Straight out, I am a huge Voivod fan so catching them live was unreal. The venue had filled considerably at this point and there was a neat atmosphere through the set. Snake and Away have been joined by new guitarist (Chewy) and bassist (Rocky) for this tour and everything clicks. These guys nailed every note and gave the audience everything they could have wished for. The Canadian progressive thrashers used what time they had on stage to great effect hammering through classic, middle era and even new Voivod for the baying crowd. Speaking of new material, ‘Forever Mountain’ from their latest split 7″ with Napalm Death was warmly received and proves that the band is stronger than ever and seem set to continue to bring their distinctive brand of unconventional post thrash to a new generation of fans. After this fantastic performance, I wouldn’t be surprised to see them back on our shores very soon.
Wow, okay. There is no real way to describe seeing Napalm Death. You kind of need to experience it to get a grasp of what they actually do to you. I have never been so physically drained, disoriented and exhausted after a band’s set (playing or watching). The brutal visceral metallic assault is overwhelming and utterly compelling at the same time. From start to finish, the uniquely surreal nature of Napalm Death’s material is something to behold. The set was jam-packed with fan favourites, their super short songs and crowd pleasers like ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’ and ‘Scum’. ‘Suffer The Children’ is still as acerbic as the day it was first recorded.
Going in cold to the Napalm Death environment left me unprepared for the obliteration on offer. You need to see these guys play at least once in your life. The performance from Barney, Shane, Danny and John Cook (filling in once again for the absent Mitch Harris) was cacophonous fury.
After the sonic war that was Napalm Death, I’ll admit I was expecting to use Obituary as my break. Personally I prefer a more Swedish flavour in my death metal, but these guys are progenitors of the genre and it wasn’t hard to see why. While the unmistakable figure of John Tardy dominated the stage, throwing his own unique vocal style into the crowd, Obituary’s distinctive guitar sound filled the venue creating an intense atmosphere. Playing a variety of tracks from throughout their discography, the highlight was a jaw dropping ‘Slowly We Rot’. The combination of different tuning used for this album plus the fact that it is widely considered to be their heaviest threw the crowd into a frenzy and they unleashed the biggest pit of the night. What a fantastic way to end a spectacular performance by the true masters of death metal.
The opening four dishes of this feast really set the pace for the evening and by the time the backing track soared from the PA, the crowd was rabid once again with a hunger for one more death metal course. With over twenty years under their belt and inventing at least two metal sub genres, Carcass received a hero’s welcome in Dublin tonight. They ran through the extreme metal gauntlet of everything from their grindcore roots to spectacular modern death metal. New songs like ‘Captive Bolt Pistol’ went toe to toe with older favourites like ‘Corporal Jigsore Quandry’ and to be brutally honest, it was a draw as every single song was lapped up by the crowd. Jeff Walker has lost none of his sardonic wit and his between song banter is always part of the fun of a Carcass show. Tonight was no exception.
Just over a year since their last visit to Dublin, the band were to be even more well oiled. Bill Steer shredded like a man possessed yet still brought a bluesy slant to some of his solos. ‘Heartwork’ finished the crowd off with it’s “hooky” singalong chorus.
The entire Deathcrusher package was top notch, the venue and staff were exceptional and the sound was perfect all night. This event was a must for any fan of extreme music and if you have a chance to catch one of the remaining shows, DO IT! There was something here for everyone and I hope that bands and promoters alike are looking at how, on a wet Monday bank holiday evening in Dublin, the right line up can bring almost 1300 heavy metal fans to join in deathly unison.
For me, this was one of the best gigs of the year and for sure is in my top three of all time. Kudos to all involved.
Photos by Down The Barrel Photography[flickrapi user=”planet mosh” get=”photoset” id=”72157660395363242″ size=”z” count=”100″]