Benighted + support [live review]

Benighted; Cancerous Womb; Abhorrent Decimation; Acatalepsy
Bannerman’s, Edinburgh, 14/04/15

Death by metal.
photo (1)

Tuesday is the worst day of the week.  The Monday morning alarm clock is such a shock you can power through dazed and confused on panicked adrenaline alone; by Wednesday you’re back in routine and hey, it’s almost Thursday, which is basically the weekend (or at least when after work drinking becomes acceptable again…).  But Tuesday?  No.  Not good.  So what better way to deal with the predictable struggle than pack into Bannerman’s cave and submit to a good, old death metal aural assault?

Locals Acatalepsy, playing their first gig of the year, get things off to a slow, rumbling start; their particular brand of death lurching menacingly on their doom influences making for a heavy and foreboding sound, which although sonically powerfully, isn’t particularly easy to get into live.  Combined with the painful silence between songs, it’s a pretty average start (6.5/10).

Currently riding the buzz-wave over their fierce debut EP, Infected Celestial Utopia, Abhorrent Decimation take to the stage with similar intent.  Though bringing an assertively heavy, more traditional death metal sound, the stampeding drums and discernible structure of the songs give the band a palpable contemporary flavour.  Despite only being formed less than two years previously, the band’s prior experience makes for a tight performance, loyal to the promise of their initial release (7/10).

What am I doing after work today you ask, poor, unsuspecting colleague?  Well, I’m going to see Cancerous Womb of course!  That “Oh.” that follows has got to be one of life’s great pleasures, as is witnessing these death-grinders home-town show complete with similarly, wince-inducing ditties like “V.I.Paedolphile,” “Menstrual Fryup” and “Torn From Gunt to Cunt.”  But Cancerous Womb can hardly be accused of relying on gratuitous gore, their sound is unexpectedly manageable for a death/grind cross-over, the riffs and guitar leads empowering distinguishable, even catchy, tracks like debut album opener Father’s Toy Evidently already well-loved at home, Cancerous Womb will no doubt continue to turn heads for all the wrong and right reasons on their up-coming US tour in June (7/10).

This probably isn’t something you hear everyday, but French death metal/mental heavyweights Benighted hold a special place in my heart: the first ever issue of Terrorizer I read came with a cover-mount CD which included the ridiculously convoluted Collapse from their 2006’s release Identisick.
At that point in my early-teens, it was the most shockingly brutal, nonsensical, psychotic thing I’d ever heard.  And I fucking loved it.
It’s been a long trip down the heavy highway since then, but clearly I’m not the only one overexcited to finally be getting the opportunity to catch Benighted live as this near-100 strong, week-night audience attest.  It all kicks off down front: hair-flailing, bodies colliding, crowd surfers and even a legitimate, if slightly scaled-down, wall-of-death.  Beautiful scenes to a soundtrack of honed, break-neck brutality.  Tuesday blues well and truly obliterated (8/10).

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