Doors are delayed as Nuclear who are meant to be on first tonight are MIA, it appears the Chilean thrashers are delayed at border control. So after much drinking time we stumble into the Underworld relieved to get out the baking heat and hug the air conditioning for grim life. It’s been a while since Necrophagia last managed to get over here, their last date scuppered. They managed to get over to Europe to play with I Am Morbid which did not hit the UK and then piggyback on these dates with Voivod. We are hungry for blood and it’s obvious they are keen to provide it as they come on to ‘Upon Frayed Lips Of Silence,’ Killjoy thrusting various body parts (not his) in the faces of those gathered at the front. Meaty goblets of gore rain down with grinding riffs, pummelling drums and sickening vokills. Dead skin is literally flayed and the audience are quick to get in the mood of this veritable blood feast. Necrophagia are no pretenders to the throne of horror and revel in it like no other group, every song is a veritable mini movie and our capital city gets its own tribute in the form of ‘London 13 Demon Street’ thankfully it is all done in fun as we have had far too many horror stories of our own to contend with lately. A head is brought out among harvested organs and rubbed lovingly by the front man, at one point it is too much for an audience member who quickly jumps on stage and gives it a rub himself before being chased off by security.
The band has fallen victim to bloody culls of their own, only drummer Shawn and obviously Killjoy surviving the last bout but the good news is that new guitarist and bassist Serge and Jake seem to fit in perfectly and having already played together on recent Haxxan album seem to be running as a finely oiled machine here. After going back in time with the likes of ‘Chainsaw Lust’ going out in tribute to Euronymous, we get a forthcoming track from an album the band are hard at work at called ‘Wicked.’ It suitably thrashes away and if my ears don’t deceive me even gives out a few stoner licks before steaming off hell for leather again. Fulci lives as do the dead and embalmed or not the flesh eaters come out to feast as old school video nasty vibes spiral through the speakers. There can only be one course left and it’s that old staple Cannibal Holocaust, rasped out by singer and audience alike. It even gets a mini pit, impressive in the heat and they are done although promising to make a return next year. I’m sure I’m not alone in wanting to enter this particular sea of darkness again!
It was only last November that Voivod last visited this very venue but they are still greeted like conquering heroes tonight and although not packed there’s a more than healthy turn-out. Just before they come on I see some lost looking South Americans outside so I am guessing Nuclear finally made it, shame they were too late to play. You cannot help being put in a great mood by the Canadians as well as obviously being totally energized by their full thrashing psychedelic madness. It’s mainly down to Snake as he never stops smiling, so in his element and obviously loving what he is doing even after so many years. Those songs go back a long time too before some here were even possibly born and as ‘Killing Technology’ thunders out the speakers we are all very much flung into the maelstrom and robotically consume it. The crowd go mental and the air is fully-charged throughout. The old moves onto the recent and although at first ‘Post Society’ sounds somewhat lethargic and weary we have heard it enough to realise it is a song that should not be taken for granted and one with hidden depths. It’s already rather like greeting an old friend now and as it powers off with a progressive flourish it’s obvious that the band have everything well and truly nailed down.
There’s little time for much in the way of chat, Snake gives his expressions by bobbing and bouncing around like he is on a boat as for the bass sound it blows in suitably throwing us into a Psychic Vacuum all of its own. Not much can be seen of the drummer hiding away (sorry) but making his presence more than felt and Chewy holds his own on our stage left firing out the riffs on songs from what develops into more than just a little bit of an old school set. Just in case anyone was napping a massive shock to the system is delivered by ‘Ravenous Medicine’ chugging off and literally electrifying. Numbers like ‘Korgüll the Exterminator’ are perhaps a bit unexpected and it’s not every night of the week you manage to go to a show and hear songs that are 30 years old; not that we are complaining in the slightest. Emotional chants go out to Piggy and the band take us off to the ‘Outer Limits’ and ‘The Lost Machine’ where we lose ourselves in time. As things come towards an end it seems that they intensify with it, although alcohol and heat may have something to do with that. ‘We Are Connected’ and the bands self-titled song finalise things before we are left floating in space with Pink Floyd cover ‘Astronomy Domine.’ I’m not entirely sure that I have quite come down to earth yet, truth be told but I do know both bands put on killer performances tonight.
(Review And Photos Pete Woods)