There are fewer things more miserable than a cold, wet January Sunday evening in Belfast city centre. Tonight, in the warm surroundings of Belfast’s Voodoo which is a premier up and coming music venue and provides a traditional style bar downstairs for rabid metal heads to stock up on beer and food before ascending to the venue on the first floor. Tonight is the turn of Sweden’s Aeon plus a 4 band support package to dish out the brutality. This bill has the odds stacked against it in terms of attendance – Sunday, week before payday and bad weather being some of the attributable factors to low attendance which ended up around the 30 mark.
First up is Belfast’s masked death metal terrorists “The Obscene Machine” who take to the stage in a near empty room and started to hammer out their high speed technical deathgrind. Double vocal attacks with periodic triple assaults make this all the more menacing. Ultra speed, aggression and lighting changes are the order of the day all topped off with strobes and revolving yellow lights to give an overall nightmarish effect. They have recently released their debut album which has been well received, check them out if they hit your area – total brutality – no human will be spared.
Warpath from Dublin took to the stage to a still near empty room but performed like they were in a packed house. This band get down to business blasting out gut wrenching death metal, each year they increase their profile through hard slog and it has paid dividends with several high profile festival slots and tours under their belts. They combine the brutal riffing with flourishes of technical virtuosity with blast beats used sparingly and put emphasis on riffs rather than pure speed and brutality. New songs were aired which show a progression from their previous album and demonstrates their abilities as song writers.
Ageless Oblivion from the UK took to the stage with a moody intro reminiscent of the likes of Wolves in the Throne Room. This is only an interim until they descend head first into solid death metal chord progressions with intermittent picked discordant chords which split up the relentless riffing. It gives the band an overall more interesting sound but at times I felt they sailed a bit close to the whole Deathcore area. The only downside of their performance was the one dimensional vocal style.
Dyscarnate a 3 piece from the UK took to the stage with largest gathering of the night. The guitar sound was easily the best of the night, razor sharp, heavy and clear backed up with a low rumble of a bass. I am unfamiliar with these guys but they left an impression, straight forward no frills death metal no solos of note just riff after riff with blast beats and relentless double kicks – a real surprise especially four bands in.
Finally, Aeon got their turn to pummel what was left of the audience into submission. This is an international touring act with their 4th full length album out on Metal Blade and they take to the stage and still give 100% in front of this pitiful crowd which by this stage was numbering 25. Aeon have a sound that will kill non believers of death metal at 10 paces and keep the rest of us pinned to the back wall with their ferocity. On offer here was blistering blast beats, shredding solos, tight rhythms peeling of riff after riff, topped with the guttural growls and screams of vocalist Tommy Dahlström. The latest album has tamed down the speed and introduced more crushing heavy sections which comes across well in the live environment. Tracks blasted out included “Kill Them All”, “Aeons Black”, “You Pray to Nothing” and “The Glowing Hate”. The band still played their full show with energy and passion to a handful of punters and support bands, a disappointing turnout for a masterclass in death metal.
Photos by Marc Leach.
The Obscene Machine https://www.facebook.com/obscenitywithin
Ageless Oblivion https://www.facebook.com/agelessoblivion