After the tragic taking of some of music and cinemas greatest legends last month due to that despicable shit of a disease that is Cancer, it seems only fitting that the UK’s brutal death community do their fair share at kicking Cancer square in the balls. On Saturday 30th January 2016 at Camden’s Black Heart, exactly that happened as the infamous venue hosted the first ever Death to Cancer Fest.
Raising funds for Testicular Cancer Charity Ball Boys UK, Death to Cancer Fest alldayer (organised by brutal death enthusiast Joseph Mitchell) played host to some of the best up and coming brutal death and slam acts that both the UK and Europe have to offer.
Kicking off the day’s proceedings are Northern trio of slamsters Chainsaw Castration. Despite being the first and by far the youngest band on the bill, Chainsaw Castration play a faultless set full of catchy riffs and lovely slamming growls. The young lads also inject some most amusing humour into their set, pretty standard for a band who pride themselves on being inspired by Norfolk’s finest Alan Partridge.
Following on from Chainsaw Castration are Essex five piece Fallen Apollo. Fallen Apollo clearly specialise in the much slower and more intense realms of Death Metal. It’s clear that acts such as Whitechapel and All Shall Perish are a huge influence on Fallen Apollo, as their set is packed with chugging grooves and deep powerful growls.
As the Black Heart rapidly fills, it’s time for West Yorkshire jokers Masochist to take to the stage. With vocalist Danny Heaton busting out a delightful Rastafarian lion shirt soon into their set, Masochist seriously up the ante in terms of both comedy and speed, as the audience are treated to some pretty energetic deathgrind which conjures up the first few pits of the afternoon.
Up next on the bill are the Midlands madmen that are Spawned from Hate. Despite being influenced by more old school death metal bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Skinless, Spawned From Hate still possess a strong, modern sound with deep, guttural vocals and powerful slam undertones throughout as is evident in their set today. If you prefer your death to weigh much heavier on the groove spectrum instead of speed then see Spawned from Hate as soon as you can.
As the evening draws in it’s time for one man speed machine Atonement to burst into action. You pretty much know what you’re getting with an Atonement set, 30 minutes of Gorgasm influenced, nihilistic ferocious fretwork. One man bands can often be a bit hit and miss, however this is not the case with Atonement, as it’s sound as a one man act has been perfected.
Firmly bringing the party along to the day’s proceedings are slamming Manchester four piece Visions of Disfigurement. Vision’s popularity has grown rapidly over the past year, which is obvious this evening as the venue begins to rapidly fill once the boys take to the stage. Despite bringing some lively and powerful slam to the table at Death to Cancer Fest, the incessant “whoop woo!”-ing from the vocalist does get rather annoying at times, you’re at a death metal gig lads, not some wretched dance club.
Once the whooping of Visions of Disfigurement has finished, it’s time for Welsh duo Sodomized Cadaver’s turn to wow the crowd with their brand of noise. Being initially quite a strange sight to see as a drum and guitar duo, Sodomized sound lies more with the technical realm of death metal as opposed to straight up brutality. The duo’s performance this evening is unconventional yet enjoyable and thoroughly worth watching, with infectious undertones throughout.
Up next on this relentless death metal rollercoaster are the blast masters of the evening Omnipotent Hysteria. Omnipotent’s performance this evening has delivered meaty, no frills attached death metal from start to finish, something that’s most needed in a genre which is rapidly turning into a catalogue of sub genres. Despite only being formed in 2013, Omnipotent are already making an impressive footprint on the UK underground scene.
Essex guttural guru’s Bludgeon are next on the agenda for this evening. Bludgeon are definitely an acquired taste, as vocalist Zach White’s extreme, low guttural growls and guitarists Chris and Tim’s thunderously rumbling low riffs are best suited to the hardcore brutal death fanatics. Thankfully for Bludgeon, this evening’s crowd consists of plenty of hardcore brutal death fans and their set goes down a storm.
Abandoning the slam wagon and firmly bringing the death metal back in the house are Bristolian death metallers Necrosis. Having pretty much toured relentlessly since their inception back in Autumn 2013, Necrosis have fine-tuned their live performance to that of brutal perfection, as they deliver brilliant songs after songs to a most appreciative crowd. The pits have erupted to injury level status and The Black Heart is now practically bursting at the seams with the head banging masses thanks to Necrosis’ fantastic brand of exuberant brutal death metal.
The first of tonight’s double headliners Party Cannon now take to the stage to continue the lively party proceedings. These Scottish slammers undoubtedly live up to the notoriety that they have received with their performance this evening, as how the roof stayed on The Black Heart during their set is a mystery to all who witnessed it. The slams are hard, making the crowd the most energetic they have been so far this evening, the blast beats are outrageous and there’s enough power and enthusiasm behind Party Cannon to knock out a bull at 20 paces.
Closing the show tonight are Italian brutality trio Indecent Excision. Indecent Excision put on a stellar performance, with plenty of intense energy and monstrous growls, Indecent Excision have made quite the impression on tonight’s crowd. However, it was a terrible shame that not more of tonight’s audience stuck around to enjoy them, as the crowd’s numbers began to dwindle after the departure of Party Canon.
All in all the first Death to Cancer Fest was a storming success and raised over £500 for Ballboys UK. Death to Cancer Fest Two is set to take place on 2nd July at The Black Heart and will feature performances from Basement Torture Killings, Operation C**t Destroyer and a UK exclusive from Belgian Slam act Putrified J.