Katabolisis + By Conquest Or Consent + AeSect – Belfast, Limelight 2 24/05/2014

The tea break. Ah, that most venerable of traditions, when one seeks refuge from the travails of the working day by relaxing with a nice cup of Darjeeling or Earl Grey and a chocolate biscuit (or, maybe, if you’re lucky a bacon butty) before launching back into the fray once more…

In the case of your battered and beleaguered reviewer, this particular tea break took the form of escaping from two days of driving forward the democratic process for a much needed, and enervating, dose of heavy fucking metal: feck yer tea, Mrs Doyle, get the pints in!

AeSect - Limelight BelfastRight from the opening chord, Dubliners AeSect – making their Belfast debut – rip through the crowd’s craniums with the subtlety of a 40-tonne bulldozer with a foot-high pile of breeze blocks on its accelerator. With each song underpinned by thunderous drumming, the performance is technical, progressive and intense in equal measures: vocalist Shane Kiernan is focussed and affable, while lead guitarist David Kennedy sometimes seems to be on a totally different planet as he wrenches his riffs and weaves his melodies to deliver a sound which lies somewhere between Gothenburg and the Carolinas, but has enough of its own venom and originality to make you sit up and pay notice.

After another pleasantly lubricating herbal tea (purely for medicinal purposes you understand), local lads By Conquest Or Consent set about destroying what was left of the venue with their brand of hard-hitting technical hardcore-meets-death metal. BCOC will be a name already familar to PM readers, as we’ve reviewed them twice already this year, so I’m sure they’ll forgive us if we just summarize their set as being typically fiery and in your face, with the four musicians once again delivering passionate and technically superb performances, topped off by Pete’s Anselmo-meets-Blythe vocal style, leaving everyone present positively salivating in anticipation of their forthcoming debut album, due to land later in the summer.


With the ferocity of the two previous two performances still reverberating around the room, Katabolisis explode from the speakers with the fury of an unplugged volcano, and proceed to try and break every neck and spine in the room with their ferocious intensity. It takes mere seconds for the pit to open up – and it remains open throughout the entire set, with throwdown following throwdown for the duration: even vocalist Mark Chambers joins in the fun, finishing the set held above the small but dedicated crowd.

Musically, its another technical and progressive sound delivered with alacrity and a disregard for the needless extras to concentrate on their tight, solid death metal groove. The set centres around the band’s ‘Atrocity’ EP (for which this gig was the official launch), and showcases Katabolisis as one of the most impressive hardcore metal bands on the Irish scene at the moment.


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Photographs by Paul Verner.


About Mark Ashby

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