Decapitated, a band known for their truly brutal technical death metal, started their UK and Ireland tour last night at the Bogiez bar, with support from Bloodshot Dawn and Xerath – and what a gig it was!
A fair warning before I go further: I’m not that familiar with Bloodshot Dawn or Xerath, apart from having listened to two or three songs by either band. However, I left impressed by both of the support acts. Bloodshot Dawn were scarily tight and on point, with the not too different style of death metal that Decapitated are known for, but with a melodic influence on the instrumental side at times. Some of the grooves too… damn. For the first band on the bill and having to play to, perhaps, impatient Decapitated fans, they pulled it off well and loosened the place up.
Next on the stage was Xerath, who delve into the melodic side more so, while dabbling in the progressive metal style as well. While the band played well and there was nothing to really complain about, the crowd just didn’t have quite the same energy as Bloodshot Dawn had managed to stir, however the vocalist did try to engage with the crowd a handful of times throughout the set – any mention of Decapitated and Day 69 always getting a roar of approval.
Twenty minutes later, a sample blasts through the small and compact Bogiez venue, a croaking voice with harsh industrial guitar riffs. It feels like everyone in the building has been herded to the minute stage in the corner, and about to be violently executed by riot police. Instead, on walks the members of Decapitated, clearly in the zone to put everyone through their paces for the night. Vocalist Rasta looked prepared to destroy people as he stared and screamed in the faces of everyone crunched at the front of the stage, while the rest of the band just headbanged and just made playing their music ridiculously easy.
They were just on point, orchestrating the crowd into a heaving collection of bodies, especially during fan favourites like Spheres Of Madness and Day 69. The reality of seeing Decapitated in such a small venue is as intimidating as the concept: a constant moshpit, people squashed to the walls, people looking like their shins are about to break on the front of the stage, a mist of sweat and heat. While this sounds uncomfortable and downright messy, not one person within eyesight from the front had their arms folded or a begrudging frown: people were losing their minds to one of the most consistent death metal bands around today.
In simple terms: Decapitated were great and proved any doubts about their current line-up are groundless. Just punishing and brutal.