With Destinity and Karnak
@ The Camden Underworld
20th March 2013
Review by Caitlin Smith
Photography by Michelle Murphy
Darkness came to London for one night, when satanic death metal band Deicide arrived. Peddling their anti-Christian message, the Underworld finally lived up to its name, as it became the stage for Benton’s satanic sermon.
Arriving only half an hour after doors I was surprised to find that the first band are just finishing up their last song. Having thought the evening might go well, Glen Benton had turned up and the rumors that Deicide had broken up turned out to be false, we were very quickly disappointed. True to form, Benton had thrown his weight around and made the photo and disabled area out of bounds, threatening to abandon the show if he did not have his way.
Shooting from the pit is not usually a problem, but the crowd appeared to have abandoned all comradeship and proceeded to attack the photographer, tripping, kicking and grabbing at the camera. Whatever happened to the famous brotherhood that long stood among metal fans? Apparently some of the crowd had left all respect at home that night.
In a surprising change of schedule, Destinity [3.5/5], originally billed to play just before Deicide, arrived on stage early.
The lack of any introduction was not advisable on the band’s part, with many crowd members checking the line-up, confused by the change.
France’s contribution to metal has always been famously slim, a reputation that this Lyon five are determined to rectify. Having never had any mainstream success, this band remains one of France’s top underrated bands playing the underground scene today.
Forming an impressive 17 years ago, their brand of extreme melodic metal has been refined over many years, and the guys appear to have finally settled on their sound.
What Destinity lack in originality, they return in catchy riffs and a seriously tight performance.
They may not be breaking any ground, but their sound is definitely enjoyable.
The riffs were aggressive, furiously working their way around the fret board in fast melodic bursts. The vocals were a real disappointment for me however.
Switching between styles quickly meant the set lost any flow through it, and sections of clean vocals made little sense crushed between the shrieks and growls that dominated most of the songs.
Proving to be the highlight of the night, Karnak [4/5] ripped onstage with an onslaught of brutal death metal.
It would be a mistake to underestimate this band. What they lacking in Internet presence, they make up for in a spectacular live performance, and are no strangers to sharing the stage with some famous names such as their 2010 show with death metal legends Decapitated.
From the moment the band began, they were unrelenting, throwing the crowd into a brutal assault of distorted guitars and guttural vocals, interjected with the occasional technical riff or solo.
It’s obvious from the night’s performance that, despite moving towards an intense wall of destructive noise through their career, they have not lost some of the old progressive elements slipping through into their later work.
It’s been two years since Deicide [2.5/5] have been seen in London.
The Death metal legends are greeted by a packed underworld, the crowd jostling to get closer.
The band dominates the stage, displaying an awesome presence…the music however, did not match.
Perhaps it was the sound in the Underworld, but we were subjected to a wall of sound that didn’t seem to change from song to song.
Most were indecipherable from one to another, only broken by the occasional high note from the vocals.
They rip through a number of the classics, Homage to Satan and Once upon the Cross, which proved favorites, prompting frenzies, while newer material was mostly poorly received, with much of the crowd seeming indifferent to it.
It seems Deicide have lost some of their connection with their fan base over the years. Riding on the respect of the early work, they still manage to pull out a decent performance but their disinterest in their listeners over the years is obviously affecting them.
Where the band were lacking in variety, the crowd certainly made up for it. The people surrounding the put causing just as much carnage as those jumping in, pushing anyone surrounding them and head banging furiously and at one point a girl was even vomiting into the center of the pit.
The band has the crowd captivated, and despite the mayhem, is hanging on his every command, with requests for violence being met with vigor.
With a dedicated and loyal fan base, Glen Benton has become almost as legendary as the band itself.
Known for his strong anti-Christian values and his branded inverted cross carved into his forehead, Benton has never been shy with his views, or his unique brand of comedy.
In a bid to entertain the crowd, Benton joke that he heard Deicide had pulled out, but is met with a cold reaction from the crowd, showing the discontent simmering through the crowd.
Threatening to hurt a fan videoing the show for “fucking us” is also met with silence, before recovering with “It’s okay. You can fuck me.” Luckily, Jesus had entered the room, complete with crown of thorns, whose presence is noted by Benton as he claims “We’re keeping you in business”, to which Jesus proclaims that he does the same.
The band finished suddenly, thanking the crowd before swiftly leaving the stage.
A few crowd members hang about in hope of an encore but their disappointment is quickly revealed when the lights went up, and they head for the slow march back through the crush of the Underworld.
Deicide are an experience every metal fan should have once, but I can’t say I’ll be going back.