Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Dying Fetus @ White Rabbit, Plymouth

Here was a line-up to make those of you into some more extreme metal salivate at the prospect. Dying Fetus, US metal veterans, with 3 top quality up and coming British bands in support. The venue has a floorspace smaller than your hall would have been at school, and the stage is raised about 2 feet, and is easily accessible.

Burning Skies, a band I was made aware of through this gig, are a fantastically brutal Bristol outfit. Their latest offering 'Greed.Filth.Abuse.Corruption' is near the top of my list of British albums, but more comments on that are for another time. Their performance is tight, getting some movement out of the crowd in the early evening, and only an unreliable venue and promoter has stopped me going to see them a second time.

Next up were Trigger the Bloodshed, a band with a drummer so fast even those well experienced in truly fast metal would be shocked. He relentlessly batters his snare and toms and stamps at his double foot pedals like they've just called his mother fat for the entirety of their set. However, like the time I've seen them before, without a bassist currently they lack punch and their performance seems to follow Burning Skies' poorly. And this isn't through lack of effort, the vocalist actually runs to the toilet to be violently ill during their set.

Anterior are a band I had been eagerly anticipating seeing live after listening to their debut album (A review will be up soon). Having bumped into two of the guys in the toilets at the venue, recognising them only by their strong Welsh accents, I was interested to see how they'd perform live. A word I used to describe Burning Skies is also applicable here - tight. The band were clearly well polished, scarily so for one with only one release, with the vocals and impressive solos being hit nigh on perfectly. The price to pay for this was some frankly quite boring stage dynamics - for the audio they were producing just putting a foot up on the monitor didn't quite seem adequate.

Like when I saw Suffocation a few weeks earlier, Dying Fetus are a well established band with a vast array of songs at their disposal, and this experience shows through. Whereas tight is a good word to use for some (less experienced) bands, The Fetus showed they were simply in another league, even with a new drummer. A blind man would not have believed you had you told him there were only 3 members performing, such was the complexity of the bassline, aural thrashing from the drums and grinding riffs from the guitar. To top it all off, the vocals were good, although were sabotaged a little by the sound engineer's sub-standard mixing. I would love to say all of their set was brilliant, but I missed a song or two while spitting out the blood in my mouth from the pit. Good, violent fun, thankfully without the plague of hardcore dancing making even the slightest appearance - an overweight and underage girl threatened at times but was halted with all the subtlety of, let's say, New Zealand smashing into your face.

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