Home Gigs Gig Review : Cryptopsy/Atheist Unquestionable Blasphemy Tour

Gig Review : Cryptopsy/Atheist Unquestionable Blasphemy Tour

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Review by Richard Henry for MPM

Finally, after 35 years, I never thought in my lifetime would I get to see Atheist, then we get a killer tour with both them and Cryptopsy and we also have openers, 72 Legions and Almost Dead, early doors again at 6:30, and the first band is literally onstage with hardly anyone in the place, something that’s becoming really familiar with opening hours!

72 Legions

These guys are a 5 piece for Ohio, straight off you could feel the energy from the stage, really, I could hear a load of different influences, lots of Suffocation style slam parts crossed with nearly a more Black metal vocal delivery in parts, then there are parts you could nearly hear like Slipknot style riffs, both guitar players where tight as anything and the drummer was really killing that kit, for a band I had never heard of before I really enjoyed the set, again it’s a pity with the early doors that many people who even live in Belfast probably had only finished work and had to get here, hence the place only really started to fill up after seven!

Almost Dead

Energy, that’s the one thing that this band from the start, vocalist Tony is a force of nature, these guys brought an entirely different feel when I look back on it from the rest of the night, absolutely a more hardcore crossover thrash sort of feel and I feel like Tony was like that, a hint of Mike Muir about him, really interacting with the crowd, in fact he was in the crowd a good few times during the set trying to get a pit going, which so far was a bit lacking, crowd was quiet so far, but a really savage delivery from the whole band, it’s great when you get openers like these two bands where you are going I am 100% checking out both these bands when I get home, really impressed with them, side note I got to speak to Tony for a good 10 mins outside, loveliest guy every, definitely check these guys out!

Atheist

No Truth

Intro music roles, and we are Straight into the debut album Piece of Time for this one, the band are tight as anything, drummer Steve is an absolute beast back there, both guitarists are airtight and the energy coming from these guys is infectious, now it is hard to have a pit to this music as the time sigs are changing all the time but a few brave souls are trying it!

Mineral

Off to Elements, this is a marmite album for some people as they really doubled down on the jazz and Latin influences, me for one i loved that album, the little clean staccato guitar part, its dizzying watching this as there is so much going on musically and the musician in me is trying to watch everyone, pretty sure that solo was exactly what was on the album!

On They Slay

Thats a riff and a half to the start of this one, probably the most thrashy tune for sure, and the pit does open up a bit to this one, I love that double bass groove that is in the verse it’s a real stomper, before it changes again and you get some fast double bass coming, it’s so tight, this band is on fire so far and it’s not easy music to play with all the changes, I just love the energy coming off the stage!

Enthralled in Essence

First one of the night from Unquestionable Presence, that riff at the verse is so jarring, it’s really heavy but the drums are shifting all over the place and the tempos are always changing, anyone that didn’t know the song would be wondering what’s going on, that was always the thing I loved about this band, they are so experimental with the times and the sections, the bass playing is nuts and it’s really easy to miss with everything else that’s going on, amazing players up there!

Your Lifes Retribution

Kelly roars straight in with the start of this before that insane bassline kicks in, Yoav on bass is capturing everything and is just a madman onstage, when that riff comes in about a minute in its really savage live, then we shift again lovely tapping section on guitar before it goes back, but it’s changing all the time, remembering this stuff must be a nightmare there is just so much going on, Alex and Jerry the two guitar players are watertight the whole night, stunning!

Air

That ominous clean guitar intro to this one of Elements, it’s a laid-back Latin feeling groove with a lead guitar part before the band gets a bit heavier, then the vocals come in, that’s an infectious groove on the verse of this one, there are so many bands have ripped that part off for sure the more I think on it, that middle harmony guitar part with a really fast bass part, so precise, I am really stunned with the musicianship of these guys!

An Incarnations’ Dream

Clean guitar intro to this one, which is a bit of a reprieve from the brutality we have had so far, as the song starts to pick up with the guitar becoming more intense then bang it slaps you in the face as everyone comes in, savage vocal delivery from Kelly, then the tempos shift again, there is so many drum fills and work going on back there it’s just nuts!

Brains

That stop start intro to this one, Kelly is dancing and grooving around the stage the whole time in between vocal lines, great sound as well in the room, the sound guy is on form for sure, that bassline in the middle and then the slap part before it all goes nuts, then it slows down and again the bass playing is crazy before it goes back to that dizzying odd time section before the first solo, this is reliving my youth watching this, I remember buying these albums when they came out!

Fire

One two punches of weirdness from Elements coming up, that slow lumbering groove on this one, with Kelly snarling his way over the top of it, that’s such a cool groovy and angular riff in this one with the drums following it before it hits an odd time section, the crowd are dancing about behind me, place has properly filled up now which is good to see and the band look to be having an absolute blast up there tonight

Water

That riff at the start and then the drums kick in, it’s so technical, and it’s so tight, that’s the thing I am marveling at is the level of these young guys around Kelly, there isn’t a note out of place the whole night, and there are a lot of notes, I love that Latin groove Samba part that comes in on this one!

Unholy War

Absolute classic with that start stop intro before the tempo really kicks in, now the pit is there as this is the most aggressive track so far, then just as they get it, the tempo starts to shift again, and again to another part that really reminds me of Death it’s like a descending guitar part that yeah i am pretty sure Death have taken, then it changes after the solos to the double bass part with another descending riff, before the thrash is back, savage track live!

I Deny

That bass playing at the start of this, craziness, with the guitars peppering the harmony parts around it, that mid-tempo riff with the other guitar playing a harmony part to it is so awesome live, there are so many things happening all at once but the sound off the stage is so cohesive, as you can tell I am absolutely loving watching these guys, it’s just my youth in front of me!

Unquestionable Presence

Clean intro and the guitar swells, again it’s not going to last but it’s a bit of a break from the mental pace the rest of the set is at then band, there is that odd time drum part over that riff, so jarring, so cool, this is just an absolute classic, I have watched the footage on YouTube with Kelly playing guitar and singing so many times that to see it in front of me is a bit surreal, this is quintessential Atheist if anyone was to ask me to give them two songs that you could determine a band, it’s this one and then next one coming up!

Mother Man

Bass and Guitar intro before the tempo goes absolutely nuts, the bass and drum interplay while the guitars play the harmony is just crazy, then it gets down and heavy with that next part, again it so reminds me of what Death would do after the Human album, thinking back on it, there is just riff after riff and part after part flying at you on this one, Yoav on the bass is just unreal, not just the playing but he never stops moving or shouting at the crowd an absolute ball of energy, great solos come up, before that intro bass and drum groove hits again, an absolute banger of a track!

Piece of Time

It could only be this for the closer, the first track from the first album, that riff on the verse that Kelly is singing over and then with the straight riff the drums start to get loose and it’s just that sound that spawned a legion of bands right in front of your face, this band is so important in general that I can’t even begin to describe, the Tech Death scene owes a huge debt to these guys and when you listen to this song you can see where it all started, I am fanboying without a doubt but i never ever thought i would get to witness these songs being played in front of me and at the level of musicianship that there is on that stage!

I got to chat to Kelly for a good twenty mins after the gig and he was the nicest most humble guy you could ever hope to meet, an absolute legend of a man and a legend of the Death Metal scene!

Cryptopsy

In Abeyance

Well, you know you’re going to get smacked in the face by these guys and on they come to an absolute sledgehammer of a track from the new album, straight in Matt is a commanding presence at the front of the stage, the sound has changed a bit as there are no amps on the stage so took a bit to get used to after the other three bands but once my ears adjusted it was crushing, this is when people woke up in the building and the pit started to move a bit, sort of more mid-tempo than what was coming up so there are lots of groove parts in this one and slower bits, but crushingly heavy opener!

Graves of the Fathers

Now None so Vile is my favorite Cryptopsy album, I knew what was about to hit, I also spent half my time watching Flo on this one as the man is an absolute beast on the drums, no wasted movement, so precise, this one again is sort of groovy live before the tempo kicks in, Cristian pulling all sorts of guitar faces in front of me, that riff nearly a min with the double bass is absolutely savage live before the tempo picks up, Matt bellowing at the front of the stage, I love that bass break with the riff over it in parts before it kicks in again, then boom into that slow grinding double bass section riff, heavy as hell track live!

Lascivious Undivine

First track from the new album and you can really hear the evolution of the band when you go from an older track straight into a newer track, it’s still as heavy but there are so many more elements to it now, furious pace to this but then it slows and grinds as well, the drumming is stupid on this, and that riff is all over the place, but when they slow down into the double bass part it’s so heavy, there’s a part in the middle that always reminds me of a black metal melodic part before that heavy riff slams in again, devastatingly heavy!

Crown of Horns

As soon as that intro tape rolls, you know what’s about to happen, blast beats and screams are about to hit you, again watching Flo on this he is just so comfortable and his movement around the kit is so fluid, Matt does a great job of Lord Word on this one, that thrashy beat part with the double bass in it has the pit going nuts, tempos are just spinning around on this, then it breaks for that guitar riff and that slow heavy section in the middle, the sound is on point again for these guys, Christian ripping that classic Jon Levasseur solo out, what a track!

Slit Your Guts

One two punch from None So Vile, straight into this one, double bass onslaught from the start after that harmony riff, Flo’s feet are flying, I love the shifting tempos after the break, another solo from Christian, it’s a furious pace, double timing tempos, then you get that bass break, so some of this has to be on click because that clean guitar part was not played by Christian so even more impressive if the whole set is on a click!

Back to the Worms

Off to the demo for this one, way back, that stop start bit with the blasts, when that main riff kicks in, it’s just classic Cryptopsy, although that slow part always reminds me of Death for some reason, I can’t even tell you why, but it always has, then when that middle slower double bass section comes in it just grinds away, its different for sure when you compare it even to None So Vile but you can certainly hear where they were going to start going direction wise!

Detritus

First track from Book of Suffering Part one, straight in with the blasts, then an angular riff comes up, lots of bass slaps in there as well, the tempo shifts all the time on this one, and Matt has a furious vocal delivery, in between circle headbanging, i love that slow riff that comes in and then the slow double bass starts to go and then speed up into a more thrash tempo before the riff changes again and then blasts are back, and again the riff changes over the blasts, its nuts the way this one keeps evolving and changing all the time, that middle section is just so damn heavy when it slows down, furious!

Sire of Sin

Onto Book 2 for this one, a lovely slidy guitar riff to start it before the tempo cranks up on it to a breakneck speed but again there are lots of tempo changes on this where they just switch all over the place, again this one I sat and watch Flo with my mouth open, so much going on, the crowd are really getting going with this as well, few brave souls are throwing themselves about behind me, tight as anything as well, so precise!

Defenestration

Back to the first album, which I remember buying on cassette, so hearing this live was something else for me, that clean guitar intro and then bang, straight into the blast beats, the one thing you realize is how prominent the bass is on this one, then into that riff with the double bass under it before the scream comes in, before those drops with the bass then the slow riff with the double bass rolls in it, crushingly heavy!

Flayed the Swine

Almost eastern sounding sort of pull of riff at the start of this one, that’s the only reprieve you get before the blast hits, this one does not let up until you get to the slower double bass section with Matt pounding his fist into his leg punctuating what he is singing, when that intro comes in again I realize it’s an Animals as Leaders track it reminds me of, great solo from Christian comes up on this one, really melodic and it’s a nice addition to the song, that riff about three mins in is so brutally heavy, before we hit the blasts again and then into that minor chord riff almost black metal part, when Matt is singing I flayed the swine!

Phobophile

Every band has a signature track, this for me is it, it has and always will be my favorite Cryptopsy track, from the piano intro to the bass then coming in to the band kicking in with that scream, then the part where the tempo keeps building and building to the insane blast part, into that heavy middle section with the low inhale growl, i love this song so much, and yes i did air sweep the end of the guitar solo straight into pretending to drum the four snare hits back into the song again, perfection is all I can say about this track!

Orgiastic Disembowlment

Staying on None So Vile, this is the last track from the album and the last track of this night, that grinding riff with the double bass on it, Tony from Almost Dead was in the pit and off the stage getting everyone going, last chance for a pit and the crowd did not let him down with them slam dancing away in there, Christian again peeling off Jons solo effortlessly, in fact everything he does looks effortless, hell of a guitarist and producer, Flo who I have watched half the night is one of the top Metal Drummers ever, I bought his DVD like 20 years ago, serious musician, the whole band is unreal, once you hit that bass break that next riff is slow, groovy and savage all at the same time, and as the song blasts us out to its conclusion, that was 12 songs in the blink of an eye!

What a bill, 72 Legions and Almost Dead were excellent openers, Atheist I am still days later floored by and Cryptopsy where so savage and precise, what a gig, great night had by all!

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