Cannabis Corpse/Ghoul/Living With Disfigurement/Cavity Search/Bastardhammer/ Visceral Attack – London Camden Underworld – Saturday, 9th February
By Gary Lukes
Photos by Antony Roberts
An explanation on lateness from Antony: 2 months ago Gary and I headed up to the capital to catch Cannabis Corpse, I was also shooting for Terrorizer magazine. The fantastic thing about shooting for magazines is it’s easier to get a photo pass then for a webzine, and nothing quite beats seeing your work in print, plus it’s paid work. The flip side is magazines want exclusive shots so until it comes out i’m never too sure which photo(s) will get used. The new issue of Terrorizer (234) landed on my doorstep today with said photo and also an exclusive interview with Cathedral, and more from Repulsion, Taake, Nails and loads more (go buy!). Now I know which photo has been used I can finally upload Gary’s review so without further delay:
Irish upstarts Visceral Attack are already laying siege to The Underworld as we arrive, and doing a damn fine job by the sounds of it. An energetic shot of thrash/punk that ends far too soon for my liking. It’s been a few years since the plucky five-piece last trod English soil. Don’t be strangers.
This feel-good factor is swiftly shat upon, with crust-fucks Bastard Hammer here to ruin your day. Reduced to a three piece on the night, the band lose nothing in battering ram intensity. The primitive crusty groove of songs like “Six Million Ways to Die in a Rock ‘n’ Roll Band” seep forth; Matt Rozeik’s rotten hammered chords lurching the pit into motion. There’s shades of swampy old-school Celtic Frost in “Sloppy Firsts”, buried beneath the maggots and mildew. Vocalist Jake alternates his coarse vocals with fist-pumps and hip-thrusts, dedicating delightful ditties to eternal lyrical inspiration such as eating kebabs and taking a messy shit. Ever the consummate gentlemen, their set dictates they can’t love the crowd long-time but they still manage to provide a happy ending with the delightful “Shit Off”. Fucking filthy and absolutely awesome.
Locals Cavity Search offset the dynamism of their punky crossover with a somewhat static stage presence. However, a gloriously vile cover of GG Allin’s “Cunt Sucking Cannibal” livens things up and the band build on this momentum with the metallic “Brainhammer” and a crowd-shaking “Harden the Fuck Up”.
Living With Disfigurement are sick bastards. Spewing out a set of pacey, prolapsed death metal, riddled with the kind of rhythms that shank your nervous system into seizure-sized bouts of head-noddage. Belching out ballads such as “Better Living Through Surgery” and “The Dissemination of Human Suffering”, vocalist Eddie Spengler charms the crowd with tales of internet pornography while the band do a brilliant job of brutalising our brain cells with the formidable likes of “Hellbent on Depravity”.
Then the Creepsylvanian carnival rolls into town. Ghoul emerge, masked in sackcloths and caked in grave dirt, ripping straight for the guts with the one-two hack n’ slash of “The Lunatic Hour” and “Off With Their Heads”. Clogging the gaps between tracks with quirky stage-banter, hammy accents and buckets of chicken blood; the band’s rotting anthems not only reek of 80’s thrash worship but are drenched in the dripping entrails of Carcass and company.
The identities of the fiendish foursome may remain a mystery, but their set is IMPALED with gory chunks of crossover and disgusting death metal, eaten up by a packed and rabid Underworld. When the crowd aren’t dodging the spray of claret, they’re a blur of movement, impelled by the horrific likes of “Splatterdeath” and the hazardous riffing of “Blood Feast”.
A quick-fire change-over ensures there‘s little time for a comedown. Cannabis Corpse light up The Underworld with “Lunatic of Pot’s Creation”, and while the techy tones of its opening sounds like Necrophagist being dragged backwards through the bayou, it doesn’t take long before they’re toasting the crowd with a lungful of nineties-style death metal. Much like Ghoul, the (Golden) Virginia natives are doing their darndest to escape the novelty-act tag. If classics such as “Chronolith”, “Reefer Stashed Place” and the driven groove of “Blunted at Birth” doesn‘t convince you, then taking a toke on the rampaging “Gateways to Inhalation” should provide ample proof that they deserve to be pulled out of the parody-band pigeon hole.
The departure of Weedgrinder on vocals leaves Munipal Waste’s Landphil to ably lead the line, and he does so flanked by a constant parade of crowd-surfers. There‘s not a whitey in sight as bleary-eyed bodies keep on moving to the baked-up blasting of “Dead by Bong” and the gargantuan stomp of “Immortal Pipes”.
A gig so good, it’s smoking.