Review by Sheri Bicheno for MPM
My first live show of 2023 and the bar is set high as I make tracks to The Asylum, Birmingham. Another killer show put on by the guys over at Surprise You’re Dead – who tirelessly work to keep the metal scene on the map in Birmingham with new, modern and ongoing genres of metal to submerge yourself in.
First glimpse as I walked through the door – a packed out venue, everyone squished in and Australian Deathcore legends To The Grave take to the stage to deliver Warning Shot followed up by ridiculously brutal Red Dot Sight – a facemelting combination of filthy break down tempos and scratching winding riffs and blast beats that hurricane through the stage and cause carnage in everyone’s path.
Dane Evans spits guttural venom and we’re introduced to a full demonstration of his vocal rang which matches the brutal energy of the filthy and occasional atmospheric riffing to this track.
Terrorist Threat starts on an eerie synth vibe with plenty of filthy electronic breakdowns and under tone riffing. The blast beats from Simon O’Malley is outstanding – surely to actually be that fast you’re gonna have to have batteries stashed somewhere… the guy is a machine. Utterly ridiculously skilled drummer.
The bar is set, Dane takes the opportunity to talk about how there are 30,000 odd number of animals being killed in Australia for no reason other than how we as humans have done this. Therein lies something to really pay attention to – we are the ones with the control… and look what is happening. We gotta do better.
Miserable Summer is then introduced to us and this reflects exactly what Dane is talking about:
“Burn out their hones,
Scatter like rats.
Just look at what we’ve done and continue to do.”
Amongst the blood boiling message and brutal vision of the track, there’s so much emotion underneath this track – the guitars are ethereal in places and shimmer that emotion through the anger and venom on occasions.
Axe of Kindness is a rollercoaster of brutal riffs and ever changing tempos that displays the technical side to To The Grave – the chugging bass notes from Matt Clarke create the glue to the filthy riffs between Tom Cadden and Jack Simioni but also highlight the beautiful tones of synths and winding strings throughout the song before we’re introduced to some guttural pig squeals from Dane.
Wastage is dedicated to the bands previous bass player, Joshua, who was tragically taken from these guys in a car accident – this one is done with feeling… life is cruel and unfair and my heart goes out to these guys.
The energy is is intense, the scratchy riffs and breakdowns provide some of the most face melting vibes i’ve come across in a live setting.
These guys should have more coverage over here in the UK – it’s exactly what we are looking for.
Next, we have some outstanding Canadian Deathcore from the guys in Angel Maker. These guys have two fantastic vocalists who seem to just bounce off eachother and create that void of brutal death notes between them but harmoniously with difference.
The first track Slaughter is evil as f*ck and introduced us to the absolutely disgusting tempos of Matt Perrin’s tech guitars and those Deathcore vocals that would surely get Will Ramos warmed up. The two vocalists deliver this intro in the beautiful bleghs and brees that we all love in a good Deathcore band – the riffs are crunching and punchy and the double pedal of Steven Sanchez is surely going to wear a fiery hole in the floor of the stage to the seven circles of depths below him…
We’re shown some tracks taken from newest album Sanctum with Vengence being a murderous offering from the new output. There’s a rather atmospheric melody running beneath all the putrid and guttural waves though – and it gives the track a certain melodic feel to it.
Casey Tyson-Pearce and Mike Greenwood coincide with the vocals on every track this night and where they are both equally as brutal as each other, they both bring different vocal tempos to the table.
The high pitched growls entwining with the lower bassier tones make for some absolutely heavy listening and get you right into the moment… mind you, what musicians can do with their own tools is fascinating these days. Watching how people emanate their own techniques is a total reflection on them and how they understand their own abilities.
Their first time in the UK, we would happily welcome these lads back with open arms.
P.s Happy Birthday Matt!
Hailing from America, Enterprise Earth have not only got new vocalist Travis Worland joining their ranks but with that brings a vast range of vocal abilities that are clearly set out in opening track Psalm of Agony… there are elements of Hardcore and Black metal that beautifully morphs into the most impressive set of Deathcore pipes that haven’t much been come across yet.
The riffs and beautiful solo from Gabe Mangold give the power lines to much of this track that entwines with Brandon Zackey’s masterful breakdown beats and perfectly balanced groove notes.
Scars of the Past is beautifully eerie and has those cosmic vibes dripping in subtle guitar plucking and keys of winding notes that morphs into a huge bassy chug of chords… I’m detecting a slight Meshuggah vibe in this track from this point. It’s a vortex of speed and ever changing directions of riffs and bass. The drums are outstanding throughout, setting the backbone to the track. Dakota Johnson sets the bass through the track, keeping that beautifully eerie shimmer to the song.
The vibe here is now heaving, there is pit galore going on in the room of the Asylum and nobody is still.
We’re taken through some new releases, with Death Magick being showcased, full of chugging riffs and blast beats with power vocals and beautifully swirling vibes of break downs… the whole room has heads everywhere absolutely going mental… the vocals are carnage ridden here. Some huge gutturals but some beautifully sung vocals that give ambience to the track before the soft solo comes raging in.
The choral synths under this track is also a fantastic futuristic effect and Travis’s vocals are ambient amongst his death growls.
The moods with Enterprise Earth range from ambient and cosmic to purely slam groove filled deathcore and as such, displays this wonderful mash up in the last offering, You Couldn’t Save Me.
The guitaring emplodes in supersonic riffs and the scratchy bass is chuggy and deep, delivering a pure path of ferocity.
Now the room seems much more filled, there are zero ways to get to the front, the stage is dark and suddenly fills with ambient guitars and white noise worthy of a theme tune for a fantasy infused platform cinematic or game. Imagine that… Shadow of Intent : Online.
Ben Duerr delivers a wondrous tone of vocals from the outset. Guttural and brutal, yet with layers of shape and range. Farewell is ironically the intro track which invites in swirles of death synths and pounding blast beats that go so well with the cosmic solos that Chris Wiseman bestows upon us.
Already, the place is moving and the circle pits are breathing. The vibe from the outset is symphonic which, is not normally my cup of tea… However, symphonic infused Deathcore is right where it belongs, for me.
Beautiful and melodic Saurian King starts with chiming melodies and a shimmering solo before blastbeating from Bryce Butler injects the track either a brutal build up of anticipation. Meteors are unleashed and Ben displays his dynamic vocal range to match the brutality of energy behind the kit.
We’re then taken back a bit further in the past, 2017 saw album Melancholy released which harbours the beast that is Barren and Breathless Macrocosm which pummelling straight into a thrashy and energetic riff and blastbeating galore before melting into some dynamic breakdowns and Andrew Monias’s beast of a bass to provide the underlying depth to the synths and riffs.
“Three f*cking years is a long time… so this one is for you guys.”
The Heretic Prevails comes with keys and synths with a high energy riff – there are more diverse vocals on this track with Ben taking the guttural and stormy low path and higher pitched vocals coming through from Chris which help run this track through a murderous and brutal story.
The breakdown and growls are nothing short of awe, the whole place is entranced with the headbanging and anticipation for the next note to drop.
From the stunning solos and beautiful craftmanship to tail off The Prelude to Bereavement to the majestic orchestration cratfing perfectly to make The Coming Fire feels as though so much emotion and energy have been laced through much of this set tonight. It’s as moving as it is brutal.
Melancholy provides epic keys and synths in its introduction to the stage and fizzles into a blossoming element with a kick consisting of blast beats and gutturals with harmonic exchanges.
Tonight, the encore of Malediction proved to be a popular choice… the blast beats infused the pit that filled the stage floor with one last rush of hyped energy and neck snapping headbanging, body surfer galore!!
Unadultered deathcore gut wrenching vocals seep from Ben which harvested moments of pure, brutally sonic exhilaration, and the sensational experience of depth from the melodies fused from different corners of Shadow Of Intent comes as an experience no one here is going to forget in a hurry….
Photography by Manny Manson for MPM