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Saturday 21st October 2017
The Star & Garter in Manchester, UK
Reviews & Photography by Mark Holmes
With storm Brian amounting to little more than a stiff breeze and steady rainfall in Manchester this evening, Irish quartet Overoth whip up their own sonic storm inside The Star & Garter... and with a storming performance to boot. This atmospheric death metal bunch overwhelmingly succeed in delivering a very professional and slick set, but with a sincere raw edge, that sees them balance out the emotions in their songs with a hard hitting heavy impetus. They also convey captivating, menacing atmospheres through their performance, both aurally and visually. Overoth look the part. War paint and well-chosen attire add to the overall affect. And with the striking and compelling presence of bassist/vocalist Andy Ennis at the centre of it all, a man who personifies frontman prowess, Overoth are quite the imposing metal force.

Tracks aired from their recently released sophomore album, 'The Forgotten Tome', sound incredible live. Menacingly delivered atmospheric blackened death doesn't get much better than this. And it's all conveyed to perfection, in what is an undeniably flawless performance. These Irishmen will go far... mark my words! They certainly deserve to.
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Abhorrent Decimation at The Star & Garter in Manchester, UK, 21st October 2017
Photograph copyright 2017 Mark Holmes - www.metal-discovery.com
In contrast to Overoth's performance slickness, contemporary deathsters Abhorrent Decimation convey a rawer dynamic in their stage presence. Music-wise, I cannot fault the band. Tracks from 'The Pardoner' are performed with instrumentally technical precision, and frontman Ash Scott's guttural growls have the right amount of vocal aggression. However, visually, their performance is somewhat fragmented. Just a short way into their set, all band members (minus, of course, recently recruited sticksman Alex Micklewright) turn their backs to the audience for over two minutes, gently bouncing and swaying on the spots they stand, and facing their drummer for the lengthy outro of 'Votive Offerings'... which, itself, is on a backing track (at the very least, the guitar part could've perhaps been performed live). Had there been some engaging stage lights or a visual accompaniment via a back projection, this would've worked. As such, it feels like an odd manoeuvre... one of audience/band detachment so early on.

When they are facing the audience - which, to be fair, is for the majority of their set - their hard hitting death discharge is mightily effective. Precision riffage, guitar leads, and general fretboard abuse... all great... and Ross McLennan, who came into the fold last year, delivers the goods. And, despite not looking a hundred per cent comfortable on stage, he proves himself to be an undeniably great guitarist. A fine addition to the band.

There's a rather abrupt end to Abhorrent Decimation's surprisingly short set, when they promptly exit the stage after the first four minutes of 'The Pardoner's title track, while its five minute instrumental outro continues to play through the PA. There's no "thanks for coming" gratitude... or any hint of a return to the stage for an encore. As absorbing and impassioned as their music is, the general vibe is one of disengagement with their audience... verging on apathy. Musically, I cannot fault this bunch, although I think their performance dynamic, particularly in terms of band/crowd interactions, needs some work. That said, it's still a very enjoyable, albeit unexpectedly short, set.
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