Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Live review: ADIMIRON, BONDED BY BLOOD, ABORTED, VADER @ The White Rabbit 03/02

Tonight had also been anticipated for a couple of months. Some decent extreme metal in a variety of formats, supported by a couple of unknowns so gotta check those guys out. A lineup of all-foreign bands is really good while I'm confined to this town; still get to see some new and unfamiliar bands, and hopefully word will keep spreading that this hick town comes with an alright metal scene as well as pasties and despair.

Again with the early start! Unfortunately visa issues meant we wouldn't see Fhobi from Uruguay, bit of a shame cos it would have been cool for some good words about the Plymouth scene to have made it that far out. At least I didn't miss much by turning up late...cos 6.40pm is soooo late...

At that time Adimiron were playing what sounded like the most extreme kind of straight-up Metal, with an unmistakeably thick, earmelting sound. Stick an extra guitarist in there and it'd be Warcrab thick, and damn these guys were close. Fifth chords were piled up into long riffs that reminded me of the previous night's retro, though just because they were long riffs – these guys are distinctly modern, but I can't help falling into the retro comparisons cos Adimiron were doing the same off-kilter pauses that my retro band love. These riffs were interspersed with thunderous segments that varied in intensity, but damn they'd've all been powerful if the crowd had been ready for them and could've fed off it. Early on Sunday evening, there were about two dozen people down the front, mostly headbobbing, and about the same number dotted around the back and the bar. The band put in a lot of energy, trying to work us, but our hollas of approval sounded underwhelming compared to the noise they'd just made. One punter was undeterred and strutted some 'core dancing, and at the end the band were rewarded with a four-man pit, as they crashed out their set brutally. If this was their first UK gig, they gave it a damn good shot; I felt obliged to buy a CD (When Reality Wakes Up cos it was cheaper).

Bonded By Blood started with I Can't Hear You, first song off their new album and a great opener, as I thought it'd be. But the Sunday Night Blues were still in the air – headbobbing turned to headbanging, but there was no PITSMASH as the song demands. Undeterred, the band worked themselves into a frenzy with their Bay Area-isms over the next couple of songs, sounding crisp and professional like every day did this weekend (NOT a snide way of saying 'clinical and boring', which only describes my compliment). Everyone onstage not tied to a drumkit goaded us on, even the temporary guest guitarist got stuck in on top of the speakers. I guess Thrash is something I'll only really enjoy live for the most part these days. The energy these guys put into their playing and showmanship reminded me of Death Angel live (preceded by AC/DC and Stupids gigs the previous two nights, that Awesome Gig Weekend in 2009). I'd love to catch these guys at a hometown gig, or at Slim's. I'm sure the gig would be as manic as Death Angel's (or Sodom's a coupla months back) if they played to a room full of maniac headbangers, instead of nerds taking notes. There was some fun banter about fans lurking in the pitch-black back, accents (Americans can't say 'twat', funny), and flipping off that Vader heckler who wouldn't shut up. Also, orange teeth. It was the lights.

Aborted aren't my kinda band to listen to at home. They'd lose me with their slow chugga breakdowns, win me back when they sped up again, and this went on throughout their set. Rattler cider and raging fans kept me from losing interest. By now there were about a hundred people in the venue and plenty of them were getting stuck in. Dancing Man had finished gyrating through the previous set and was now getting sexual with his space. Sunday Night Blues were over, the evening was getting cumulatively heavier, and frontman Sven offered some baiting banter to get us riled up. Their fans were entertained, and the mood was sustained for the rest of us, so I couldn't complain. Aborted might be happy to know they fucked my hearing in one ear.

Vader stepped up with their pro extreme metal, evoking melodic Swedish Black Metal bands of the 90s – Unanimated, Necrophobic, Sacramentum; you know these guys, you've seen them on the Top of the Pops, on the adverts (about the sausage), down at the shopping centre, with the rap singers...

Ok, enough ripping off Stewart Lee...

All the songs from Sothis and Black To The Blind were mixed up in random order with others, including songs from the new album. Anything lost from the studio versions – small things, like the tonal appeal of the harmonics in Heading For Internal Darkness – was made up for with live energy. Anticipated parts – for me, the intro to The Red Passage, the chorus of True Names and the wall of power after Carnal's vocal break – were glorious with the mania the crowd worked up from the previous three bands.

The band seemed pretty casual about tonight, but I wasn't bothered by that. There was probably an even split between the English and Polish stagetalk, which was pretty cool to hear even though I don't understand a word of Polish. It would be nice to hear more of that when Plymouth starts feeling like a hick town again, even if he was calling us sad Stewart Lee fanboys. Vader finished with an alright cover of Black Sabbath, with added deathcrunch on the one. Some of us were a bit burnt out from the night before, but everyone surely had a good time. After the disappointment of Marduk's cancellation last year (thanks to Massive Twats Music), it's great to have some extreme metal back in Plym, and I hope Nazgul or anyone brings some more in soon.

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