After a long run of shows for this tour, the day had come where Nottingham would close off the end of a monumental European tour ruled by Cannibal Corpse, Dark Funeral, our very own UK’s Ingested and American Blackened Death metallers StormRuler.
The floors of Nottingham’s Rock City was absolutely brimful of old and new fans, each have been waiting eagerly for this tour.
I was still in the queue for merch when Stormruler first took to the stage. Though through the corridors of Nottingham’s Rock City, I could already tell I was in for a treat.
Compulsory CC shirt and patch bought, and just having managed to avoid impulse buying 4 guitar picks mounted in a frame for £20, I sprinted back upstairs to find out what was going on.
The atmosphere and the precision with which StormRuler delivered their music was incredible.my god they ripped live, true virtuosity. Furthermore, they looked like they were enjoying themselves on stage, which inherently makes a band more interesting to watch, the passion cannot help but seep through.
The set was made up mostly of tracks taken from newest album ‘Sacred Rites And Black Magick’
The atmosphere created by the depth of bullet speed riffs and heavy drumming interludes during the first track Reign of the Winged Duke was something to behold, straight off the bat we’re launched into a taste of exactly what’s to come from Stormruler.
The mood changes through the set with the melodic echoes of Sacred Rites And Black Magick, though the vocals of Jason Asberry keep consistently full of heavy, fire casting energy.
There are a couple of absolutely stunning minute long instrumentals – Sanguinare Vampiris and Hymns Of The Slumbering Race echoes dark and beautiful moods, the stage grows dark and eerie and we’re catapulted into a void of beautiful and ambient atmospheres ringing through the halls of Rock City.
After a brief interlude in the sardine tin smoking area, it was time for Ingested. It was clear to see Ingested had a little more history behind them in the way in which they interacted with the crowd. Less of the “you’re listening to our music, please enjoy”, more “you’re ours, now mosh!”.
They brought a ferocity and an energy to the stage which made sure anyone who hadn’t lit up to Stormruler would be absolutely enraptured by the end of their set, an incredibly tight slab of modern death metal goodness laid in front of us for our audible delight.
Opener Rebirth is an older favourite of Ingested fans and in it’s live setting, it’s clear why.
The technical, slammin starts straight away with this first track. The velocity of the kit that’s wielded by Lyn Jeffs is phenomenal. Pure blast beats and non stop pace of ferocity that twists and laces in and out of the the maddening riffs of Sean Hynes had the crowd going bananas.
We see newer bassist Tom O’Malley command the backbone of the breakdowns throughout this set… he looks cool, calm and collected yet, he has the ability to completely lead hundreds of metalheads in the venue to neck breaking destruction.
The energy is collected and displays no flaws as we’re launched into 2020’s No Half Measures… aptly named as we are taken into a whirlwind of fast paced blast beats and beautifully melodic winding riffs amongst Jase Evans’ unmistakable FACE MELTING vocals.
The next track is Shadows In Time, taken from newest album Ashes Lie Still and let me tell you,,, displays Ingested’s ability to keep themselves as fresh and as powerful as ever. There are moments in this track that display the undeniable skills in tech death metal – the blast beating in this track coming from Lyn’s footwork is jaw dropping. Heavy doesn’t cut it. The make up of their sound and glue together as the band they are today is right here. Gorgeous melodic yet slam filled, filthy riffs and vocals born to kill make up for one of the heaviest bands of the night.
We’re treated to another older favourite, Invidious which displays a more melo tech side to Ingested’s signature sound before the Manchester lads leave us with another new offering – Echoes Of Hate.
This is a stunning end to the set for Ingested. Orange hues of light emulates from the stage and the guitars winding solo rings out to introduce us to a track of speed and a labyrinth of ever twisting blast beats, ending with the night’s very first Wall of Death.
Dark funeral were up next, I’m not the most well versed in black metal, but I didn’t feel the vibe as much as the last two bands.
That being said, opener Nosferatu gave a sense of what to expect. The guitars were the star of the track, with a fast paced riffing and rhythm turning dark and menacing. The wailing vocals of Heljarmadr rang through the stage amongst the carnage of the drums thundering and the riffs hurling towards the crowd.
We were treated to a bit of nostalgia, 2009’s My Funeral shimmered out from the stage and then took us down a path of pure ferocity. This is black metal in all it’s traditional glory. Lord Ahriman and Chaq Moi combine the fast paced and rhythmic strings to create an evil sounding background to allow the vocals echoing screams to pierce through your core.
There were some tracks that very much showcased the Swedish Black Metal textures in Dark Funeral, however, it cannot go unnoticed that once the lights dimmed and the stunning melodic intro rang through, the track that stole the show was newcomer When I’m Gone.
The atmosphere changed completely. No longer ferocious but beautifully melancholic and sorrowful. Stunning melodic riffs and deep toned bass fills the halls of Rock City and encapsulated everyone in that moment.
Last track Where Shadows Forever Reign left us with a pure evil track and portrayed a beautiful and menacing melody halfway through that entwines with the thundering of the kit and twists and moods of powerful anguish.
Finally; Cannibal Corpse. They came out and proved that whenever there is a discussion about who the greatest death metal band of all time is, you would quite simply be wrong to avoid even mentioning this band. Whether they’re your favourite, or your least, they are so incredibly tight to this day, even on gig 38 of a 45 day long tour. These guys brought so much energy to the stage, it could have been the first night.
Remaining interesting to watch move around and interact with the music… the riffs, man, the riffs! I rather unfortunately missed Cannibal Corpse the first time I had a chance to, at bloodstock, this more than makes up for it, they were truly incredible. Not a riff or a beat lost to the venue, and Corpsegrinder continues to bring brutal vocals and corny dad jokes to the heaving masses.
Out of nowhere, we have no time to ease in. Scourge of Iron came first like a battering ram and completely annihilated the crowd from the outset. Body surfers and the pit were in full swing by the time the first verse came to us. Rob and Erik completely slaughtered the crowd at the feet of Corpsegrinder with the filthiest and most chuggiest riffs to boot. With winding bass work underlining the carnage, this hour long set of the last show was going to rip!
There was a lad that had lost his shoe through some point of the show and had some gentle ribbing from Corpsegrinder during the set.
One of the newer tracks within the last couple of years Inhumane Harvest came pummeling through. Paul’s footwork is second to none on that kit. He commands the pace of the track and the energy it harvests from the crowd with hard hi hats and double pedals like he’s running on water. Phenomenal.
The uttermost energy of the night reflected back from the reaction of the crowd to the pummeling anthems of F*cked With a Knife and I Cum Blood.
Corpsegrinder stood like a mountain over the crowd, windmilling ferociously whilst a sea of body surfers silhouetted the front of the barriers.
With non stop energy flourishing through Rock City, we were given a leaving gift of the whole venue moving, jumping and colliding with eachother… one of the biggest pits I’ve seen at Rock City to the electrically charged finale, Hammer Smashed Face.
This last song of the last leg of the tour was full of rampaging energy with the atmosphere blown to bits in a constant tidal wave of devastating blast beats hammering riffs and bloodcurdling pipes.
Review by Charlie Batchelor – Edited by Sheri Bicheno for MPM