Due to the gridlocked, stagnant traffic through Manchester City Centre, possibly due to the Manchester City post-match traffic, or even just festive commuters, it took me 95 minutes to travel the last 4 miles to the venue, thus missing Unfathomable Ruination and Ingested.

I was totally hacked off by the time I entered the Rebellion arena, and further disdained when I heard the already amassed congregation banging on about how good both bands had just been, the conversations were decorated with chat which eluded to both opening acts pummelling,  pounding, battering and beating the venue into near submission.

Oh well, onwards and upwards, and up next were Cryptopsy, and it was so good to see that so many had made the early doors to catch this package rumble into Manchester. The lights dimmed, the crowd swelled, and then all hell broke loose. The Canadian death metal juggernaut strode onto stage and began the assault. The band were composed, and  delivered a true lesson in measured brutality. McGachy’s vocals were delivered with fierce and callous venom, inciting circle pits at every available opportunity, which the crowd gladly participated in. Violence was the main ingredient in the session tonight and the crowd were vile from the outset, worshipping every command screamed from on stage. Pandemonium then ensued when the band launched into ‘Sire Of Sin’ and the first stage diver tentatively made their way onto the stage and then launched themselves back into the rabid crowd below. That was it, battle stations and battle lines had been drawn and it was just a tsunami of stage divers, one after the other, much to the bands visible enjoyment and approval. It was mayhem and chaos. The set was ruthless from the outset and truly delivered with technicality and tightness that any death metal outfit would be proud of. The only negative I can think of is that Cryptopsy just don’t visit us enough !!

The stage was then set for the main event, the brutal Belgian death metal outfit of Aborted, and they truly hit the stage running. The energy being displayed tonight was nothing short of extreme and convicted. De Caluwe prowled and stalked the stage which was flanked by 2 coffin glass caskets housing skeletal exhibits, which were adorned by dripping flesh and rotting organs. With the stage diving maniacs well and truly warmed up, they soon climbed the wall from the pit and started throwing themselves into the circling and rioting pit below. The band utilised their set time to good effect, and opened us up to a diverse mix of tracks from a wide selection of their back catalogue. The whole venue was maniacal and there wasn’t a spare inch of floor space which wasn’t occupied by a black clad figure in one form or another.

I’ve caught the Aborted lads in various locations, in various guises, from the illustrious fields of Bloodstock, to the support slot to Kreator, and they always seemed to be lacking something, just something. This time however, they were pummelling and violent, intense and feral, and this all added to them hitting the mark and truly sparking my interest once again. Aborted, it is an honour to have you back !!

Review and Photos Phil Pountney