Describing themselves as “deathcore disco”, they certainly tick all of the required boxes, with riffs that could saw through walls, bass that sets the furniture trembling and all but indecipherable lyrics.
That their set contains a song called 'Ashes to Ashes, Turd to Turd', about “shitting on dead people”, tells you all you need to know about the band...
By the time local doom/sludge metallers War Iron take to the stage the room is filling up nicely
Front man Baggy is imposing in both stature and voice, with a clawing vocal style that is laden with menace. Accurately (and wittily) describing themselves as “the heavy in a grind sandwich”, they tackle their ponderous and wrecking ball-heavy tunes with aplomb, much to the delight of the crowd.
Unlike the previous act, their songs ebb, flow and meander in absolutely no rush at all, resulting in a set that consists of three or four songs at most – not that anyone seems to mind in the slightest.
Warpath are next, again showing just how varied the acts are on tonight's bill: this time, it's a wee bit of “brutal” death metal to really clear out your eardrums
With both and high and low pitched shredding vocals over relentlessly paced death metal, they're as heavy as a sledgehammer and about as subtle, too – intricacies be damned! The crowd respond in appropriately raucous fashion, with headbanging aplenty and even a small moshpit.
Their set flies by seemingly in a minute; always a sign of a talented and entertaining band.
At approximately ten minutes to ten, Napalm Death manage to surprise everyone – including the sound guy, no doubt – by appearing onstage early (unheard of at a rock gig!).
After beginning in relatively calm fashion with their intro track and the title track vocal from their latest album, they then launch headlong into a rambunctious and blizzard-like set with 'Evolved As One'.
Latest album Apex Predator – Easy Meat gets a hefty airing tonight, with no less than seven tracks woven throughout their ninety minute long set, along with favourites such as 'The Code Is Red...Long Live the Code', 'Scum' and of course, the ubiquitous and record breaking 'You Suffer', after which vocalist Mark 'Barney' Greenaway smirks “keep up!”.
Greenaway himself is in fine fettle, covering every inch of the stage in his usual “toddler throwing a tantrum” style, complete with stamping feet and flailing head.
The crowd, who expect absolutely no less from their legendary front man, respond rapturously and in kind – truly, it's hard to tell who is having more fun.
Bassist Shane Embury is mysteriously absent, however, with Greenaway referring to a monumental cock-up and announcing his temporary replacement in the form of long time friend Jasper.
The band barely pause to take a breath during their entire set, much to the crowd's delight: a Napalm Death set is nothing if not value for money. Each song is met with delirious applause; each is like a hammer blow to the head. They wrap up with a trio of covers: 'Face Down In the Dirt', originally by the Offenders; Hirax's 'Hate, Fear and Power'; and a punchy version of the Dead Kennedy's 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off', now more relevant than ever in today's political climate.
Another new track, 'Adversarial/Copulating Snakes' brings the night's proceedings to a close, leaving both band and audience spent, sweaty and satisfied; truly, you'll never see a group of people so pleased to have had their faces pummelled and ears permanently damaged.
Review by Melanie Brehaut
Photography by Darren McVeigh