PentagramSouth American styled, savage black thrashing madness fills the venue at the ungodly time of 4.30 as 1st band Ataud kick this show off. Unlike the others on the bill this lot are completely new to me but the trio hammer away with conviction, getting heads banging along in time from the off. With just one demo to their name so far they seem to have no shortage of numbers and well into what they are doing with vocalist Andres spending an equal amount of time hollering into the microphone as he does twirling his hair around. It’s a primitive, relentless assault with some really neat twisting guitar tones amidst the fury. The band have some supporters spurring them on with shouts going out in the seconds of down time before the next vulcanic (sic) baptism in fire shreds and barks in. It’s a short, sharp and brutal set with some downbeat doom parts mixed in with the fast parts and a good crunching start making the early kick off well worth getting here for.

Up next Hybris and it’s good to see them back on stage after a short break with their brand of technical, shredding thrash fitting in nicely on this varied bill. Spinning up into their ‘Hypertube’ we are ripped into by meaty chops, rigorous guitar flexing and plenty of on stage co-ordination by the band who never stand still for a second. ‘Emperors’ tumbles out giving a lurching technical feel to it with power grooves riding roughshod through the venue, vocals occasionally hit power croons and the overall effect is particularly meaty and bouncy. With some classic metal sounding riffs and vocally touching on the spirit of NWOBHM (despite the singer being from Oz) there’s plenty of variation going on here. ‘Foe Or Friend’ gallops off with drumming and riffs that remind of certain bands at their best before they stagnated into the plodding stadium rockers they are today. The band filmed the last number ‘Shadow Play’ for a video and it took us straight back to the 80’s in essence. At least if you want to see the results they should be up soon rather than having to wait for a VHS tape to come out

Back to the very black for Craven Idol with the announcement of first number Tiamatic Reprisal echoing out in a wall of reverb and crawling out the speakers. Moving into snarling leads and brutal vocals it’s hellishly spewed out getting its talons in and blackly thrashing away like the hounds of hell are on its tail. Feral and bludgeoning numbers attack from all angles before slowing to a majestic doom laden morass and then savagely biting back in. It’s a pitch black attack and one that at times has vocalist Vrath gibbering away like he is being driven by a host of demons. Recent album track ‘Codex Of Seven Dooms’ brings ritualistic hideousness to the fore and the full bodied nightmare bristles away with a tight orthodox fervour. Craven Idol seem to improve each time I have seen them and today’s performance really is an eye opener, the Finnish frontman acts almost possessed perhaps having drunk at the well of his forefathers and this was a show that came close to drawing down the moon.

Absolutely no fucking about from Ravens Creed coming on like a bomb going off straight away unleashing a throaty yell and full on drum battering brutality which bruised from 20 paces. Death and violence combine in a seething cauldron of abrasive discontent. The second number is called Bashed In and it really felt like that was what was happening to us, perhaps even more worrying as the imposing frontman Al Osta has done his fair share of cage fighting. There’s a touch of grind about this, a bit of Napalm that I have not noticed before but it is a while since I have caught the band in action and perhaps it’s just that they have got even angrier, tighter and faster if that is at all possible. It’s very quickly evident that this is not a set for the weak. There’s a bit of a sludge-laden, doom-fuelled groove that’s mighty, heavy and punishing and the vocals are aptly like being in the middle of a bar room brawl. The Albion Thunder of Stand Up And Be Cunted is a song that originally was sung by former lead singer Ben (Orange Goblin) Ward. It was never this damn brutal though! Drums pulverise, guitars churn and the more punk laden vocals surge out, luckily the drink is kicking up and this cunt is just about able to stand up and weather the storm still. The only problem here is that this deserved a pit full of ugly but bodies were short on the ground and it needed everyone to get involved as the band tear through numbers like ‘Atomic Fist’ and delightfully entitled ‘Horse Fucker.’ Rugged, rough and bruising hardcore, punk, metal, sludge and doom all flew in to merge into a seething extreme barrage. As they ‘Unleash The Ratbags’ every drum blast felt like it was breaking a bone. Ouch, ouch, ouch is there an ambulance on standby?

All of a sudden the joint is rammed, where was everyone for the support bands? Well perhaps the early start caught a few out but it’s all in Pentagram Chile’s favour. Anton Reisenegger has been leading these troops since 1985 and many are looking forward to them obviously spurred on by tracks from the excellent 2013 debut (yes it took a while) album The Malefice and their last impressive show here at Live Evil around the same time. The sound engineer has done a bloody great job all night and as soon as the band launch into early demo track ‘Fatal Predictions’ it’s obvious that again the sound is nice thick and chunky. Flailing riffs sound great as the band forge out a hefty deluge of thrashing death metal. Naturally the venue is a lot more lively for this and the supportive South American contingent are now out in force to spur on the action with that opening album cut ‘Death Of Satan’ Bass sound chugs away on ‘Temple Of Perdition’ and the snappy guitar adds to the velocity and turbulence as they instrumentally batter us down in the rising heat. Vocals are gruff and coarse and some doom fuelled parts do nothing to cool down the temperature.

Horror Vacui hits like a sledgehammer and settled well and truly in by now it looks like the band are enjoying themselves as much as the audience. Some of the solos are ridiculous and some mental instrumental sections unravel formidably with vocals eventually churning in pretty much knocking us off our feet. ‘Sacrophobia’ finally gets something resembling a pit to its neck cracking, fist flinging tour de force but it’s one that quickly settles into air guitar playing than anything more violent thankfully. Things go almost too quickly despite the band playing a pretty lengthy set. Perhaps they have some problems as I am sure Anton says something about it not being the best tonight, well I didn’t notice anything wrong especially when they played a classic last couple of numbers namely Spell Of The Pentagram and Demonic Possession. The last number was particularly excellent spurring us onto a last moment of madness as it romps away biting and snarling Evil Dead style before we wonder out as bemused as Ash in that very film wondering how it is still daylight! The 9PM curfew means there is no  right to be this drunk but it’s been another great show with all 5 bands playing up a storm.

Thanks to Promoters Old Empire. You would be well advised to keep an eye on announcements from them; some of the shows they are lining up are going to really turn some heads!

(Review and photos © Pete Woods)