A review of Summer Showcase number 5 with Desecrator, Seed of Sorrow and Toecutter at the Ironworks on the 8th of August 2013.

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A low turn out for the beginning of Thursday’s showcase. Less than 20 people were in the building when one man death machine Desecrator took to the stage, with only a handful of people down the front. However this didn’t seem to faze Mr Desecrator, who appeared like a possessed demon through the smoky atmospheric “Intro” decked out in corpse paint. Before he hurtled full speed into “This is the End”. What a fantastic macabre start.

After a few more disturbingly delightful numbers Mr D berated the audience, “Come on this is a metal gig!” which obviously hit a note with them and only then they started to slowly engage. Not one to let the turn out dampen his spirits Mr D joked “When the band is ready” and “Eternal Torment “ started off as a slower number before erupting with vengeance again ,which brought a few more people down the front. Amusingly the light formation appeared to give Mr D a royal seal of approval by projecting a crown above his head and why not, he was owning the stage in full glory after all.

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I have to admit before tonight I had my reservations about a one man blackened death metal band, and finishing his set with the mesmerizing “Darkness is Upon thee” I realised the error of my ignorant original thought. Mr D showed his worth and sustained the small but happy crowd without losing his drive or enthusiasm throughout.

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Seed of Sorrow took to the stage next and I thought one fan was going to do himself a mischief as he came running up and almost jumped the barrier. Obviously the band’s first blistering track “Vice like Grip” had got him excited.

These guys were technical and had some skillful nimble fingering going on showcased perfectly from bassist Donald Tomlie during “Clown Puncher”. The energy and passion really showed from all members and one of the guitarists head banged with so much flexibility in his neck it was like something out of a horror film. Is this guy human? Drenched in sweat and throwing your head around till it explodes it must make playing a little harder than average but not a single quick note came out of place.

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The guitar work in “Death Fuck Ritual” must have spiked some members of the audience’s interest as I heard one comment, “Ooh interesting song, loving the guitars” and there was a lot more moving heads as people started to lose their prior self restraint.

“Fought and Died for” was unique in its musical journey starting off with razor sharp riffs and then smacking you in the face with destruction, before relaxing the pace with a flattering middle and then ending with awesome riffs again. Obviously a favourite of the females in the crowd who by this time had started head banging harder than the lads.

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By the time Toecutter took to the stage the crowd had grown to between 50 and 60 and the older fans that had been hibernating at the back came out in force down the front to enjoy. I witnessed a group of youngsters sitting on their arses. In 20 years of attending various heavy metal gigs I have never witnessed such a sight during a bands performance, this is a death metal gig I thought, where’s the mosh pits and the sweaty fans ramming into one another? Yes the lack of audience ensued plenty of space but c’mon Chuck Schuldiner would be turning in his grave. Joking aside, this was no fault of the musicians on show tonight, quite the contrary, plainly Seed of Sorrows “grab you by your balls” performance must have wiped these music lovers out!

Well Toecutter certainly sparked them back up again with their brutal and aggressive new track “Left here for Death”. The hard hitting tones of my favourite “Bliss Beneath“ had brought on the audiences confidence and by now 2 separate small mosh pits were in existence. Drinks were spilled and the atmosphere had changed from laid back to one with vigour. People were thoroughly enjoying themselves and the powerful guttural chants in “The Rising” just added to their pleasure. The audience was told to put up their hands in the air and that they did before the band blasted into their new song “Asylum” which went down a treat.

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This was Toecutters first set with new bassist John Murray and they were tighter than a hangman’s notch. Raucous drumming and punishing bass lines with dependable guitar work the guys grabbed the crowd’s attention, shattered their eardrums and fed them to the vultures. Vocalist Dean Kernaghan effectively showing the non-believers that death metal growling is a difficult art form and is not just a lot of “noise”.

I left the gig feeling like my head had been stomped on and my ears had been sliced open, not bad for a school night then….

Please look at other photos of the night and our pre gig interview with Seed of Sorrow and Desecrator.

Photos by Roddy McKenzie, click  to contact the photographer.