@ The Underworld, London UK
Tuesday 25th February 2014
Review by Lily Randall
Photography by Ashlinn Nash
For a Tuesday evening, The Underworld is bombarded with energy from the off with a superb choice of local support and two bands worthy enough of the headline slot, all out with one aim – to party hard.
Despite the stereotype of street drinking that is often linked to London thrash and punk shows, the venue is bustling for opening act Kremated.
After winning Bloodstock’s Metal to the Masses for in London, the local thrashers have been popping up all over the show, which will explain why there is a sea of Kremated shirts squished up against the stage.
The four-piece prove themselves as the perfect warm-up with playful thrash with plenty of punch and each song is articulated with professionalism despite the banter from frontman Pete Dee.
The first pit erupts with ease, with themes of beer and war lighting the fuse and the riffs are catchy enough to make you go and Google the band as soon as you’re back home.
Despite Exhumed’s full throttle, death metal approach, the varying crowd of studded punks and denim-clad thrashers are all up for the matter of splatter. From the off, the Californian carnivores are sounding promisingly brutal and chaos ensues from the first filthy growl from front man Matt Harvey.
With favourites such as early classic ‘Necromaniac’ and last year’s ‘Dysmorphic’ from ‘Necrocracy’, the band display the span of their career that consists of ferocious grind and gory death metal full of intense guitar licks.
One solo proves so insane, it kills guitarist Bud Burke, concluding in a bloodied surgeon saving the day and performing CPR with a beer bong. It’s this lack of seriousness mixed with metal you wouldn’t mess with that make Exhumed a pleasure to embrace live.
By the time the Toxic Holocaust trio take to the stage, it’s a surprise the crowd are still lively, due to both a chainsaw and the amount of movement happening on the floor.
However, it isn’t long before Joel Grind has conducted even more mayhem with his addictive, crossover thrash covered in crust.
The band are on fire from start to finish with short, sharp shocks of racing riffs courtesy of tracks including ‘Wild Dogs’ and ‘War Is Hell’.
Last year’s album ‘Chemistry of Consciousness’ may have taken a different approach to their previous 15 years but tracks including ‘Awaken The Serpent’ still get heads rolling. Despite their openly DIY attitude and punk spirit, their stage presence is pretty simplistic tonight but no one is complaining especially after a bouncer got thrown off the stage during Exhumed’s set and the raw energy of the music does all the talking.
By the end of the night, it appears the band are shocked by such a great midweek turnout and when we all head for the doors battered and bruised, it becomes apparent tomorrow morning will not be easy… but it was worth it.