Review by Dave Connor for MPM
It feels great to be back at shows once again and on these shores it’s either a feast or a famine in regards to live gigs.
But at the minute, it feels like we’re being treated to a banquet of high quality metal. The likes of Obituary and Vader have all rolled through this venue complex recently.
Fear Factory and Decapitated are still to come. But tonight though, it’s the turn of Municipal Waste, Gel and Undeath in another stacked line up.
So it’s up to Undeath of Rochester NY to get proceedings under way tonight and with only a half hour set they waste no time in pummelling the crowd with their ferocious brand of brutal death metal.
Activate this mosh pit!” commands imposing frontman Alex Jones and the crowd duly respond and before long, a swirl of bodies erupt at the front of the stage.
The fact that a full on mosh pit is triggered by the ones who came early to see them is only further testimony to where these guys are at right now and where they are going.
The band sound really tight as a unit much to the combination of both guitarists who pump out a blizzard of massive heavy chords all followed by rapid fire riffs with an equally solid on par rhythm section, this is truly great stuff! A new song gets aired around halfway through the set and although I didn’t manage to catch the title of it, its a real bruiser nonetheless and more proof that the when the new album comes out it will be well worth picking up, and as the band finish up, I’m sure they will have gained more than a few new followers and it’s easy to see why as they went down a storm.
I have no doubt that they will continue their ascent as they blaze a new path forward for the Death Metal genre.
They hype is real, miss them at your peril.
Next up is Gel, a hardcore punk band who hail from New Jersey. I had heard of some of their music briefly before this show so was anticipating seeing them live this evening and I have to say I wasn’t disappointed.
After a constant bout of touring in the states it’s fair to say that this band have developed into a really sharp act that has an infectious energy as well as blistering tunes to go with it.
Each song is fired out with blazing intensity and at a continuous breakneck momentum that cranks up the energy in the venue that little bit further.
Very little is said from the stage between songs except a cute ‘Thank You!’ from singer Sami Kaiser before launching into yet another furious slab of hardcore breakdowns and stomps that barely give the crowd time a chance to breathe.
Playing songs from their ‘Only Constant’ released earlier this year, songs like Dicey and Attainable are an indication of how new drummer Alex Salter is an absolute powerhouse behind the kit that propels the band forward with a blazing intensity.
When the excellent ‘Honed Blade’ gets aired, a track that you can’t help but nod your head to before it launches into a furious finish the band go down a treat with the ever swelling crowd.
A refreshing surprise and one well worth keeping an eye on, definitely a must see band.
As an old school Thrasher from back in the day (yes folks, I really am that old) I have seen many live videos of Municipal Waste over the years and getting the chance to see them was finally here but even i didn’t realise, or perhaps underestimated, what was about to unravel before my very eyes this evening.
Now on the go for nearly 25 years now, Municipal Waste have perfected their craft and show no signs of slowing down, Yet.
As the intro fades out, the band enter the stage one by one and launch into Deathripper, a song that starts with a nice mid tempo before erupting in a fury of crossover thrash and the tone is nicely set for the evening.
Are you ready to party?” frontman Tony Forestra asks an already exuberant audience. The roars back says it all and the band blast into ‘You’re cut off’ with such breakneck speed that it defies belief and threatens to take the roof off the place.
Thrashing of the Christ’, ‘Poison of the Preacher’ and the excellent ‘Blood drive’ are all played out in quick fire succession and the band and audience can finally pause for breath, it’s needed after that crushing start.
Then we’re off again with no let up, 4 more tracks are furiously pumped out including ‘High Speed Steel’ from the latest ‘Electrified Brain’ album with the two guitarists trading perfectly executed harmonies and the crowd screaming the chorus at full voice all orchestrated by enigmatic frontman Tony Foresta.
When he’s not constantly high fiving the ones brave enough to endure the front few rows and ordering crowd surfers to be carried to the bar and bought a shot, he’s a complete blur onstage, air riffing and drumming, always engaging with the crowd while the band cause chaos at either side of him. It’s almost like the man was born to front a band like this.
As the heat rises and the mayhem continues crowd surfers increase with every song and when the magnificent ‘Sadistic Magician’ begins, the mosh pit is at full peak with stage divers and people launching themselves from the elevated standing area at the back into the tornado of bodies in the middle. It’s absolute chaos and everyone is loving it.
When the final song ‘Born to party’ brings things to an end with a rousing chorus of ‘Municipal Waste are gonna f**k you up! never has a truer word been spoken from that stage. Municipal Waste have come, conquered and slayed all before them.
All in an hour. Wow…
As the house lights go up, and the sweaty throng of people disperse into the chilly Belfast night air, while others frantically search for lost possessions in the saturated mosh pit, (I hope that kid really does finds his glasses) we’re left to contemplate what we’ve just witnessed this evening. It’s certainly a contender for show of the year and few could argue with that.
I think Belfast needs a few days off to recover from this one. Party Thrash has never sounded so good..
Photography by MPM