London Deathfest inc. CRYPTOPSY and DECREPIT BIRTH – The Underworld, London

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Live at The Underworld

7th June 2008

Live pics and review by HannTu

The good folks over at Arcane Promotions put on this yearly event dedicated completely to celebrate and showcase the sweet and soothing strains of death metal. Previous years have seen Gorerotted, Vader, Avulsed, Abaddon Incarnate, Extreme Noise Terror, Akercocke and Prostitute Disfigurement take to the stage, and this year, Arcane Promotions managed a major coup by bringing Cryptopsy and Decrepit Birth to The Underworld for an evening of blast beats, inhuman growls, technical musicianship and some sheer fucking extreme atmosphere.



The evening started at half past 2 with England’s grind beast Brainchoke. They play a slightly more melodic version of grindcore; their incredibly short songs (‘Mental SOS’ was only about 15 seconds long) are laced with some clean picked parts and atmospheric riffing. Their singer Mark looked slightly apprehensive and unsure of himself, but drummer Mike was in full flow with some speedy grind beats and blasting. Not a bad band to check out if you’re into grind, and I believe they have just released an album called INTROSPECTIVE.

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Delusional Patriotism

Alone By The Lake

Learn The Hard Way

Leave This Place

4th Time Lucky

In The Arms of Morpheus

Spiritual Medication

The Quickening

Upward Spiral

Jester of Belial

Erectile Projectile


Chair or Chamber

Square One

Mental SOS

Memory Mislaid

Soaked in Nihilism

Awaken Your Soul




This was joint second best performance of the night, together with Grind Inc. The drumming, courtesy of former Gorerotted drummer Jon, was absolutely superlative, and singer Luke twisted himself into knots delivering his gut-busting vocals. His vocals range from deathcore sounding “bree bree” to some evil black metal tortured growls (incidentally, I met him after the gig wandering around aimlessly trying to share his spliff with everyone.) The music itself is pretty complex, certainly their songs last longer than your average death metal song, with plenty of riff, time and feel changes. Their 2008 album EMBRACING THIS DEFORMITY is out now on Grindethic Records, which is owned and run by their drummer Jon. I do advise you to check it out, at least on their Myspace; it may be one of your top 10 independent albums of the year. They also played ‘Pestilence Shared With The Worms’, a new track that they had just completed.


Disillusion Ethos

Scales To Measure the Misfortune of Man

Spell of Miserable Incantation

Pestilence Shared With The Worms

The Contusions of Remorse

Odyssey Through Torment

Negativity Flux



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The Belgian band didn’t turn up for the Deathfest, and I took the liberty of emailing them to see what happened. Here’s what they replied:

“Hi Hann,


Thanks for the interest!


Didn’t the promoter told or hang a notice why we weren’t there? Our drummer spended 4 hr’s in emergency on Friday evening because of some strange pressure on his chest. Afraid that he has a collapsed lung or hart failure and he said to the doctors that he had to play London on Saturday and he told him a big NO NO because of his condition. We wasn’t able to walk for 50 meters lets say for extreme drumming. We couldn’t risk a faint or worse.

This is only the 3th canceled show in 10 years! His health was more important, and we need this guy longer then only on the death fest, understand my point?


Today we play the Death feast open air in Germany, yesterday we had rehearsal and it was still not on speed but good enough to do a show.


We are very sorry that we had to cancel the London show because we love playing in the Underworld.


That’s the whole story behind it actually.


Maybe we’ll have another chance next year, we have something to make up there in linden.



Best wishes to their drummer Christophe!





Keeping the Gorerotted theme going, Infestation are a UK band that have once had two former members of Gorerotted within the band, although they are no longer with either Gorerotted or Infestation. To be honest, this band was pretty staid on stage, although they kept the songs short and snappy. I found myself admiring the fascinating cheek piercings on vocalist Dave. They’ve got a great sense of humour though, with some cheeky (PUN!) banter between crowd and band.



Evil, Evil







Curse of Creation

Butcher Knife

Legions of Death

Bow To None

Gods of Creation



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Like the absent Prejudice, Emeth hail from Belgium and boast former Aborted guitarist Matty Dupont within their ranks. This is some good solid death metal, with vocalist Tom sounding like a more pissed off Glen Benton. Unfortunately, their showmanship isn’t much to talk about, so, slack-jawed with wonder, I watched bassist Greg Hal execute precise sweep picking on his bass. There was a delay while technical difficulties were being sorted out in the middle of their set, which spoilt their flow somewhat. They got a relatively poor reception, although they played a Pantera cover and more than a few songs from their recent 2008 album TELESIS.



Anochi Kofer


Silence Goes Unheard

(Pantera Cover)

Exterminate the Vascillating


Folly And Weakness

Will to Power



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Grind Inc.


The dual vocal assault from the two vocalists of this German band made their performance one of the most extreme I’ve ever had the pleasure to watch. The relentless snarling/growling in-yer-face by ‘Little and Large’ – as I affectionately termed the two vocalists Cristoph and Tom – backed by the ferocious whirlwind that is the man/machine drummer Adriano gave their set a storming intensity matched by very few bands I’ve experienced. The mosh pits were insane, the circle pits were hazardous! Their merch stand was doing brisk business at the gig, with the crowd really appreciating their energy and forcefulness. Check out their latest album SUDDEN STATE OF HATE.


Rebirth of An Ancient Time

To Descendants


Certifiably Insane

Petrified Parasites

Inhale The Swarm

Voice of Premonition


Collateral Body Count



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Unmerciful and the technical death band Origin have shared some members (and still do), and unsurprisingly, there is some similarity between the two bands. Technicality is noticeable in abundance, with drummer James King managing to stand out in a bill that includes Flo Mounier and KC Howard. The songs aren’t pure brutality (although there are substantial quantities of those as well). These songs are well-crafted with lead riffs that really convey the breakneck grave-violating nature of death metal at its finest, as well as the aforementioned demi-godly drumming. Suffocation gets dragged into almost any death metal comparison, but in this case it’s probably justified. The mosh pit seemed to think so. See for yourself…


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Decrepit Birth

Fucking wow. I was blown out of my clean white socks when I listened to Decrepit Birth’s2003t album …AND TIME BEGINS for the first time. The sheer intensity of the assault on the eardrums was of nuclear proportions, even through shitty Ipod earphones when I heard them for the first time. Experienced through Sony studio headphones was a revelation, but facing the holocaust live was an epoch-making event. This was the band I had come to see, not Cryptopsy.


Decrepit Birth stole the show that night, with the dreadlocked frontman Bill Robinson surely leading the suicidal. Looking like a cross between a very unchilled-out Rasta and an immensely furious Johan Hegg, he twisted himself into knots while emitting unholy noises from his throat. Diving into the moshpit at one point to join in the fans headbanging was much appreciated, his disregard for personal safety mirroring that of the crazy slam-mob holding court on the floor!


Unquestionably an awe-inspiring live band with great material to back them up, as well as a sense for the maniacal when the devil’s mood takes them, I hope Decrepit Birth return to the UK as they promised they would!



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The one and only Bill Robinson:




Eric Langlois’ shirt said “I Don’t Give A Fuck if You Hate Me” (References to Bodom, what next?), showcasing their attitude towards their latest album’s reception by the metal faithful. I suppose it does get slightly annoying that your album’s been almost universally panned, and you get asked the same damn questions and read the same damn criticisms over and over again. So what do you do if you’re the besieged and beleaguered Cryptopsy? You laugh at it of course (see ‘Dinner Time’ on their Myspace). Fair enough, and I suppose that’s the only way to deal with such polemical and categorical slaughtering of your artistic vision.

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There were long delays as Flo seemed unhappy with his monitors, and the sound guys were dashing around like headless chickens (with unfortunate repercussions for the photographers as they kicked us out of the photo area midway through the set). As they finally filed onstage with an intro lifted from Lord of The Rings, the tension was almost tangible, both from the fans and the band. Singer Matt McGachy exuded defiant bravado, with the rest of the band displaying similar game faces. They needn’t have worried. The crowd went nuts when they kicked off with ‘Crown of Horns’ off their peerless album NONE SO VILE. All eyes were on Matt as he displayed the irritating deathcore mannerisms that just stick in one’s throat, but he gave an impassioned performance that definitely lifted the crowd to more violent heights.

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Cryptopsy, for all their defiance to their fans, made some noticeable concessions at the show that denotes signs of penance. Firstly, their female keyboardist, the subject of much derision and merriment among listeners of the album (ranging from Maggie Simpson jokes to other more vulgar hilarities) was significant in her absence – although one might say the same about her contribution to the album itself. I understand she is no longer part of the band. Secondly, none of the much-maligned emo songs were played – the band sticking strictly to the oldies and a couple of the more hardhitting songs off THE UNSPEAKABLE THING.

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Closing with ‘Phobophile’, the band left the crowd extremely happy, although it was safe to say that the numbers were slightly less than Decrepit Birth’s. Decrepit Birth stole the show for me, purely on the strength of their performance and their albums, while Cryptopsy, although delivering a strong performance, they blotted their copybook, perhaps irretrievably, with THE UNSPOKEN KING. Cryptopsy embark on the American leg of the Summer Slaughter tour next, where they will undoubtedly flatter their newer fanbase and awe them with their technical might.


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The Crowd






Thanks to Deborah Lombardo at Nuclear Blast for the photo pass!