Deep in the depths of Belfast’s harrowing concrete jungle, 8 heroic soldiers of fortune from 2029 returned to the past with an important mission. They came appropriately camouflaged, smokin’ massive stogies, drinking copious amounts of Red Bull, and armed with various weapons of mass destruction – specifically three thunderous basses, three crushing guitars, 1 set of artillery, and a handsome frontman.
Their mission was simple – to kill the Predator… I mean… have a fuckin’ ballsy time! The infamous Schwarzenegger-approved thrashers Arnocorps made their glorious return to Voodoo Belfast with an expanded line-up during the dreaded twelfth bank holidays courtesy of Jonny at Shizznigh Promotions. How could you be angry about that? The heroic outfit was supported in their rescue efforts by brothers-in-sonic-arms Scimitar, and Mental Deficiency who have made a comeback as of late.
It was get-to-the-gym-or-die time for loyal fans of Arny’s films and [former] sculpted figure. It’s always the right time to drink beer and power lift with huge riffs!
Scimitar brought their heavy blend of belligerent thrash to the masses, with gargantuan blast beats and filthy riffs ensuing perpetually during their opening set witnessed by an already packed house. Their energy was unforgiving, with a snarl and bite to its execution. This was my first time witnessing Scimitar unleash the beast live and I look forward to the next appearance.
Onwards to the goofs themselves, the rather eccentric comeback kids Mental Deficiency. Baffled by what I encountered standing on stage can only describe as a twisted tribute to the Village People. We had what I believe was Sonic the Hedgehog, a Victorian-esque gentleman, Magnum PI on drums, a priest, and some lad who got lost on his way to an Angerfist show or yesterday’s purge – you can’t make this up, folks! Mental Deficiency had the crowd tightly by the cajones, their stage presence was intensely lively shifting poses by the second for the photographers, they were incredibly funny and quick, and even brought along their Australian superfan. Their tunes had some serious grooves and string slinging, topped with some questionable lyrics and antics, especially in the set closer “Get Her Home, Get Her Bucked”. Needless to say, I’m still processing what I witnessed, maybe I should start drinking more.
As the overwhelming sound of the choppa’ landing came across the PA, these brave soldiers marched to their stage to activate the rescue protocol – not inhibited by stage dimensions. The 8 members organized themselves and took over the riser, the sub speakers and the entire floor. Voodoo was now their territory!
Arnocorps blasted straight into the absolute stomper and fitness-conscious “Scavenger Hunt” with the masses already headbanging relentlessly, sweating profusely, and diving over one another like a bunch of hypnotized rabid animals. It definitely wasn’t fat that was jiggling, but the bodies of a sold-out audience to every sharp beat and ferocious riff! This was quickly followed by the hefty ‘Total Recall’ and ‘Conan The Destroyer’ which indefinitely solidified the atmosphere for tonight’s set – total colossal balls to the walls! ‘You Lack Discipline’ then saw specifically chosen audience members star-jumping through the song to get more discipline!
These Austrians (via sunny California) know how to throw a party with constant stage diving, guitar case surfing, motivational quotes inspired by the big man himself, and copious amounts of literally-in-your-face crowd interaction! Setting the shenanigans aside, the outfits wall of sound is only comparable to a wrecking ball smashing everyones’ ear canals to smithereens. Incredible throat-punching drums and triple-decker low-end assault copulated with distorted and abrasive 6 string grind, slathered in a hearty nutritious helping of Schwarzenegger tone.
Other highlights of tonight’s set included ‘I’m Ballsy’ with its rebellious chant, ‘Pumping Iron’ with audience members invited to pose and show off, ‘Exactly’, the much-anticipated ‘Predator’, and the set closer ‘Last Action Hero’ which gave all their loyal followers one last chance to throw down hard after begging for more. I hereby rate this performance a solid BALLSY out of ten. Not only were they an incredibly tight live act, but they were also the loveliest dudes – mingling with fans before and after the show into the early hours in full costume and smokin’ stogies with the crew. I’m ashamed to confess that this was the first time I’ve taken up the opportunity to see the Corps, but I’ll be back!
Review by Stephen Donnelly
Photography by Metalplanetmusic