A big four band line up for this tour. Dutch brutalisers Aborted up first, Melodeath monsters Soilwork after, Messiahs of Brazillian metal Sepultura as main support followed by the legendary teutonic thrash warriors Kreator. A pretty diverse and interesting bill.
I was half thinking that I would miss Aborted. I was planning on getting something to eat before the show and I checked Aborted's stage times and it was listed as 5.45pm so pretty early but in fact as I walked in the venue at around 6.15 they hadn't even started yet. I had a seat in the balcony for this show as I wanted a good view of the stage and I found a nice spot to view the brutality on offer.
Aborted strode on a few minutes later and the reasonably sized downstairs crowd started up a decent pit straight away as Aborted blasted away as you do in brutal death metal circles. I enjoyed the drummers blast beats quite a bit. The baldy singer does a good job of getting everyone pumped. The sound was actually pretty clean for a band first up. I've really gone off recent Aborted material and I'm an old school fan of theirs. They started incorporating deathcore or modern elements in to their brutality and that turned me right off. They were pretty solid live I must admit. You can't tell one song from the next but that's brutal death for you. The kids just want something to pump the up ready for what's to come.
Next up were Soilwork, perhaps the most melodic band on the bill. Well not perhaps definitely the most melodic on wax at least. I have seen them before but I don't recall when but they sounded much better then now I'm sad to report. I think they were trying to hard to sound brutal and stripped away all the big melodic aspects of their sound. I don't think they should try to compete with heavier bands just 'cause they're on a bill with some heavyweights. Speed Strid's melodic vocals which are normally pretty cool were hard to make out as the guitarist bashed away. I guess they don't really play the ultra melodic Depeche Mode era Soilwork tunes anymore either. They still have nice solos though. They went down ok with the crowd but I personally was a bit disappointed in them. Maybe they are just not used to being third on the bill.
This is the first time I have seen Sepultura since 96. In fact that was the last ever show with Max when everything went pear shaped after. I lost interest in Seps slowly as they drifted further and further away from the Arise and Chaos AD sound even. The new album Machine Messiah is probably their best ever with Derrick Green but I still don't really like it but it has it's moments that's for sure. I was looking forward to seeing how they sound live with Green. To my honest surprised I thought they sounded very good indeed. Green stomps around the stage like a super heavyweight lumbering from side to side doing hand movements with the beats. The band of course played a lot of songs from Machine Messiah. They sounded ok and more brutal live. In fact that band makes an almighty racket considering they are a one guitar band now.
I've never liked Green's recorded vocals, I think he sounds annoying but live he sounds a bit different. His voice sounds more brutal and almost death metal. He loses the character that Max had when singing the old Seps songs especially. Also the way he pronounces loses that famous Max twang and makes the old classics sound much more brutal. Still it was amazing to hear savage versions of Desperate Cry and Inner Self. Chaos AD classics like Refuse/Resist saw monster pits starting. I think the fans showed so mcuh respect to the current Seps as they ever have. DG has fully been accepted in the sepultribe that's for sure. I am still not a fan of their musical output since Max left but their hour long set was pretty excellent and saw the crowd going ape all over the place down below. Special mention to the sinewy and lean drummer Eloy Casagrande. That guy was a rapid fire drum duty. He never stopped to catch breath even once and prepelled the band's percussive sections like the old days of Igor. I didn't think it would happen but Sepultura were better than Soilwork.
I Am the Enemy
Roots Bloody Roots
Finally at just before 9.30 the German Titans took their places and the tension reached fever pitch. With a monster new album under their collective bullets, these hairy old warriors looked in mean and inspired form as they tore through opener Hordes of Chaos. The band sounded mean with a crystal clear sound mix and Mille's penetrating rasp cutting through the slashing riffs superbly well. I was mainly looking forward to the new material and see how it would sit next to the older material. I'm happy to report it sits very well indeed. Of course the album is much more melodic than the old days and this suits me fine. Mille sounds immense and his band mates are on sonic fire so to speak. Gods of Violence was fantastic with it's soothing intro before cutting loose with jabbing riffs everywhere. A few older classics like Phantom Antichrist and Enemy of God were great and fitted well with the new material. I must admit I am not a Kreator aficionado so their old material doesn't really mean that much to me. Sacrilege maybe to some old school thrashers but I always found Kreator to be quite an abrasive and overly brutal thrash incarnation and I prefer their more polished albums. Extreme Aggression is always good though for getting the blood pumping and the floor was a sea of bodies on that one!
These guys were worthy headliners of this four band bill and performed fantastically well and Mille led his troops like the great front man that he is. Kreator are as strong as they have ever been in my eyes and probably as big as they've ever been. I'd argue that Sepultura were by the far the bigger band world wide in their heyday with Max but maybe things have changed and Kreator are arguably bigger and better than the Seps now and musically they've been punching way harder than they get credit for. A Good gig overall and good to see Seps fighting hard after all these years. Meanwhile Kreator were a machine of molten thrash metal. Soilwork will have better days. Aborted is just brutal destruction haha and nothing more.
Choir Of The Damned
Hordes of Chaos (A Necrologue for the Elite)
Satan Is Real
Gods of Violence
People of the Lie
Enemy of God
From Flood into Fire
World War Now
Hail to the Hordes
Flag of Hate / Under the Guillotine
Pleasure to Kill