BEYOND TERROR BEYOND GRACE
Beyond Terror Beyond Grace hail from Australia, and formed in 2004. Playing a frenetic hybrid of grind and death metal, the quartet are very appropriate for this brutal bill. Promoting their second full-length, ‘Our Ashes Build Mountains’, they secure a strong amount of attention, particularly frontman Blake Simpson who solves the ever-present issue of the Gaff’s tiny stage by taking his thrashing action to the floor with the punters. The music is hard-hitting: a bounty of blastbeats, screamed and growled vocals and the occasional foray into insistent rhythms are a few instances of what is contained within the condensed tracks. Their brand of metal is not particularly refreshing and, although it strays away from any kind of precise homage or plagiarism, it does become unflavoured after a few of the brief tracks and it does indeed feel as if these Aussies were on stage for too long, especially considering the lateness of the night’s proceedings. Nonetheless, they certainly whet the appetites of some of the bloodthirsty congregation.
Wednesday 28th July 2010
The Gaff in London, UK
Reviews by Elena Francis
GOROD; BEYOND TERROR BEYOND GRACE
Returning to London a year after showcasing their technical prowess at the annual death fest, Gorod’s set is greeted by appreciation as soon as the first note explodes. The Frenchmen are not only so particular with their technical death metal, making sure that each note is perfect, that it is surprising to watch them chaotically lash about on stage. Unlike many other ‘riff salad’ technical death metal bands, Gorod have a great sense of composition, selecting riffs that compliment their neighbours as opposed to slamming in riff after riff, being played as fast as possible. The melodic guitar leads shimmer over the blistering drumming all with vocalist Guillaume Martinot’s mid-range growls barking through the venue. Blasting through songs from all of their three full-lengths, including ‘A Common Hope’, ‘Disavow Your Gods’ and ‘Blackout’, the audience completely ingest all that Gorod have to offer. Tonight is also the birthday of bass player Barby, Martinot announces before launching into ‘Chronicle from the Stone Age’. The entire high-octane set is so immersive that the band members are vacating the stage all too soon. As they wielded the stage presence of a headlining act, it seemed strange to expect another band following them but alas, Cattle Decapitation are the group that most of the attendees are itching to see.
After three long years, Cattle Decapitation are back in London for the first and last time promoting their latest full-length album ‘The Harvest Floor’. Originally formed by a line-up of vegetarians (such is not the case today), the band’s dietary choices inadvertently became a focus point for many and indeed tonight there are some oh so original calls of “Beef!” thrown towards the stage but naturally, the four-piece pay no heed to the culprits. Despite the late hour on a weekday, there is still a considerably sized rabble who have stuck around for the grind/death metallers. Opening with ‘Gardeners of Eden’ from the aforementioned album, the venue bursts into pit violence, serenaded with wild, death metal. Vocalist Travis Ryan looks convincingly mental, pulling deranged faces and spitting all over himself (when he does not catch the spittle with his bare hands). His attitude fitted the angular and ferocious music of Cattle Decapitation. The later material is far more technically accomplished than the band’s earlier career and guitarist Josh Elmore handles his efforts with great diligence. A sizeable amount from ‘The Harvest Floor’ is served up to the audience, including ‘Regret and the Grave’, ‘Tooth Enamel and Concrete’ and ‘A Body Farm’. Of course there are older favourites such as ‘Total Gore?’, ‘To Serve Man’, ‘Karma.Bloody.Karma’ and ‘Testicular Manslaughter’. The putrid ‘Into the Public Baths’ is the closer for the night but fans are militant for more. The Americans then decide to play two more: ‘The Decapitation of Cattle’ – a five second track of…very little from the band’s early days, and then ‘The Redecapitation of Cattle’ – essentially the same song as the last. It was quite a tease but then again events had run very late. After what felt like another condensed set (they probably had to cut a few songs from the set), the show was over and hopefully it will not be another three years before Cattle Decapitation return to the UK.