Live Report - Pestilence, Grimaze, Damim, Cryptic Shift - 23rd February 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK
Live Gig

Release year: 0
Reviewed by Goat

What was planned as a fun night of intense death metal didn't quite live up to hopes. Of the four bands billed when purchasing tickets, I knew and love two and hadn't heard of two, which isn't a bad ratio. Opener tech-deathers Cryptic Shift were new to me and although arriving a little late probably didn't help, their set felt a bit loose and not quite as good as what I'd heard from them when giving myself a little preview earlier that day. They were more than a good warm-up however, and are certainly worth spending time with.

Much more impressive were Damim, known to me previously under the name of Dām about a decade ago when they put out two excellent albums; quickly gathering the crowd in front of their intense, black-edged death metal. Mirror-Image Ritual and Eyeballing especially hit the mark, technical and adventurous death metal blasts that exercised the mind as well as the neck. They're probably the band I enjoyed most of the evening, and frontman Nathaniel promised a new album in June, which is tremendous news for a band I've wanted more from for so long. Bring it on!

I wasn't particularly looking forward to Bulgarian unit Grimaze initially, their brand of aggro-deathgroove a la Meshuggah and Gojira was average on disc but won me over live. Playing their hearts out with synchronised headbanging and a vocalist more than happy to jump down into the pit and even be carried on some guy's shoulders, the band's sound hits far harder live. Not really my thing but do give their full-length last year's Planet Grimaze a listen and keep an eye out, as they're sure to get bigger.

Ah, Pestilence. The Dutch legends have been remarkably solid since a reunion in 2009 that I and many others were sceptical about, and I was looking forward to their set right up until it began and the live mix proved awful, pushing the guitars beneath painful bassy feedback for much of the set to the point where legendary tracks like Twisted Truth were almost unrecognisable. Despite this the live crowd were enthusiastic enough to be an entertaining diversion, plenty of moshers throwing themselves around and stagedivers making a nuisance of themselves to the point where it was hard not to worry that it wouldn't end up like a Czech Lamb of God gig! One stagediver even grabbed and drank from Patrick Mameli's carton of milk, which neither he nor security was impressed by. Thankfully around the last four tracks something clicked and we were treated to the band as they should have been all along, Horror Detox and Land of Tears highlights before the sharply-enforced curfew meant no encore. Mameli especially had fun stage-presence having lately buffed up and gone for a bleach-blonde Tong Po look, and telling the crowd off for their high-pitched whooping instead of death growls. Crap sound is always a letdown, but it was overall a fun evening regardless.

Killing Songs :
Goat quoted
Other albums by Live Report that we have reviewed:
Live Report - Marduk / Vader - United Titans Tour 2022 - 17th March 2022 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Genesis - The Last Domino? Tour - 25 September 2021 - AO Arena, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Mgla, Lvcifyre, Wode - 15th March 2019 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - King Crimson - Uncertain Times Tour - 9th November 2018 - Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
Live Report - Voivod & Bio-Cancer - 6th October 2018 - Rebellion, Manchester, UK reviewed by Goat and quoted
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