Parricide – Auntie Annie’s Belfast – Thursday February 21st 2013

Infestation Of Ireland PosterGiven the size of Northern Ireland’s Polish population – and the assumption that a healthy proportion of them should be heavy metal fans – it is somewhat surprising that, outside of tonight’s headliners and their entourage, every accent in the room is a local one (in some shape or form) for the first date on Polish grindcore crew’s Parricide‘s ‘Infestation Of Ireland’ tour.

Openers Lucid Nightmare play traditional old school blackened thrash metal:  the songs are not the most original but the band are tight and efficient and technically very good at what they do.  Vocalist Darren Mallon has great voice – one of the best on the local scene, with a good balance of melody and aggression – but he’s a bit static, relying too much on the old one foot on the monitors stance, and needs to work on his stage presence a bit more.

GARGANTUAN OFFICIALNext up, Gargantuan – from the neighbouring county of Fermanagh – certainly live to their name in their huge bottom-heavy sound, which is built on pummelling yet highly technical bass riffs:  indeed, the most distinctive aspect of their approach is the fact that Aidy Reihill’s more closlely match the lead guitar work, while the rhythm guitar takes on the more traditional bass-interaction with the drums.  Aidy is also an impressive frontman, with his commanding stage demeanour and growling vocals giving their groove metal sound an hypnotic effect visually.

Like Gargantuan, Dead Aeon are another band who have crossed PM’s radar before, with their debut EP earning a maximum ten points when we reviewed it last October.  This, however, is our first live encounter with the young Monaghan quartet, as it’s equally impressive:  modern technical death metal, characterised by an extremely tight rhythm section and melodic yet aggressive riffs.  Frontman Jack Penders is another impressive vocalist, this time with the best stage presence of the three acts so far.

LessHelpBelfast grinders Lesshelp are a combo who wreak havoc wherever they play:  despite massive technical problems with Duff’s guitar, and Baggy’s voice being a bit croakier than usual, tonight is not much different.  More than capable of giving Napalm Death or Wormrot a run for their money in terms of the brevity of their songs – despite having to cut it short tonight, they still manage to cram in 27 tunes in a darn fewer minutes – Lesshelp’s approach is much more tongue in cheek, with a magnificent melange of ditties about killing spides, cheese and, naturally, heavy metal kettles!

Headliners Parricide have only the support of the other bands and a few hardy locals who have braved this cold midweek evening as they deliver their set of hardcore punk mixed with chaotic death metal in a series of short, sharp body blows.  Despite the sparseness of the crowd – and especially the aforementioned lack of support from the migrant Polish population – the band, and particularly vocalist Kuba Brewczyński, nevertheless put their all into their performance… and it’s great to see a band in this genre using a cowbell so prominently in their percussive set-up!

About Mark Ashby

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