Origin + Rings Of Saturn + Hideous Divinity + Graveslave
@ The Cathouse, Glasgow
April 11, 2018
Review by Pete Mutant
Photography by Ya Cheng 雅
This was a night at the Cathouse where we were getting treated to a hefty package of solid acts from far and further afield that covered many styles of the wide spectrum of death metal. The mainly North American contingent were on the third stop of the UK leg of the tour after smashing Manchester and London before this night’s feast and the twelfth stop on their massive European tour.
Origin were here back in 2016 with Bio-Cancer, Marduk and Immolation which was arguably a better package but we had some very intriguing acts with Graveslave hitting the UK for the first time, the Roman tech death supremos in Hideous Divinity and the return of Rings Of Saturn so there was plenty of intrigue and talent to showcase in one night of music. There wasn’t much of a crowd when things started with Graveslave but it was early and there were still enough punters there to give it a go…
But no go really came, the whole night. Graveslave [3.0/5] tried from the very beginning to inspire the, at this time, meagre crowd by offering a free copy of their album, to whomever started a circle pit but nobody felt the impetus to get some momentum going. Vocalist Donald Bjorklund Durkee did not look highly impressed by the attendees lack of coercion and ended up throwing the CD to an empty floor where one punter dove along the ground in front of me to acquire the offering as they sped us along through the opening “Partially Assembled in Utter Disgust”.
We ran into technical difficulties as Joel Sigsbee’s guitar failed and Roman Johnson had to lead the way and this was no issue at all as I was loving the tone of his guitar which was coming out like a chainsaw carving it’s way through the soundscape. Once the difficulties were fixed we got more fluidity and the death metal was flowing. ‘Slit Throats And Gorrote’ brought in some brutal death with some slight flashes of technical fluency. They were pretty animated and although the crowd weren’t feeling freakish, they still put on a show until the last moments where ‘Worm Tongue’ brought their performance to a close.
Next up and without much delay was Hideous Divinity [3.5/5] who were back in Glasgow once again having been here on several occasions in recent times.
This was my 2nd blast of the Italian quintet after a headlining tour for ‘Adveniens’ at the Garage Attic which attracted a whole four people not including myself. Still, they put on a show then as they were doing at the Cathouse and to a more sizeable audience. Giulio’s drumming was emphatic and everything was so neat and streamlined but in an utterly devastating fashion. Enrico Schettino was providing the majority of the highly polished beadwork that heightened the feel of the music.
There was basically no time to mess about which is understandable when trying to squeeze a seven and a half minute track such as ‘Passages’ into your setlist within a restrictive curfew. The backing track aided in them remaining on time and focused as we got to the fifth track in ‘Angel Of Revolution’ which connected all the best elements of what Hideous Divinity are all about with some flashes of riffs and technical fills and bursts from the instruments and some deep growls from frontman Enrico Di Lorenzo causing a cacophonous combination of musical elements.Their fifth and final track for tonight was another off of ‘Adveniens’ in ‘Feeding Off The Blind’ which, whilst not their best, was a decent song to bring the set to a close.
Rings Of Saturn [4.0/5] were the most intriguing prospect for me as I was popping my intergalactic space cherry on this night and was very much looking forward to seeing them. To my surprise, there were only three of them who walked on stage as Lucas Mann was left behind and not joining the party.
Ian Bearer walked on and addressed the crowd with “Hey..” then they kicked into ‘Margidda’ and wasted no time transporting us into their mad dimension. It was frantic and crushing with highly intricate patterns were shifting up and down the fret board; the higher waves of notes shredded their way to the destructive bottom end to connect with the backing track in perfect symmetry. The next track ‘Inadequate’ came off the backing of a half pirate half neo-classical sounding back track before the insanity ensued once again.
It was a crazy spectacle to behold and I was glued to Miles Baker’s guitar, being hypnotized as the scales morphed into the crushing chords then to the tapping then back to a period of shredding and on and on and on as the blasts from drummer Aaron Stechauner transported the sound through us and Ian Bearer’s rapid and cutting delivery combined with all the elements to provide an (inter)stellar performance.
As Bearer put it, we only had 367,412 songs left but in reality this was the penultimate track which took us took us back to their inaugural album in ‘Embryonic Anomaly’ for ‘Abducted’ which introduced itself with a mighty sonic boom of bass from the backing track.
The set was coming to a close so we got the remaining 100,000 tracks in one go as they closed the set with ‘Unsympathetic Intellect’ but not before a little rendition of some Carlos Santana to bring the song in. It was a set full of skill, quality, technical ability and streamlined performance but there was just a little beef lacking at pints but it was still a seismic display from the.
Next up we had the headliners Origin [4.0/5] who I had last seen in Vancouver at the Bloodletting touring November so it had not been too long since I had seen them and there was a much bigger crowd awaiting them at the Rickshaw Theatre than there was at the Cathouse. The crowd at the Cathouse had increased but there was still a big gap in the middle of the floor as the band started with ‘Infitesimal To The Infinite’.
The techyness was there for all to suck on as the barrage of compounded brutality raged onwards. It was a case of smash after smash as ‘Accident And Error’ went into ‘ Wrath Of Vishnu’ from the band’s fourth album ‘Antithesis’. At this point Jason Keyser tried to get the crowd to form a pit of some kind but only a few responded and heeded his call. The music was smashing, the crowd not so much but there was a hell of a lot of goodness on the go, there just seemed to be some apprehension for the crowd to get involved.
We ran into some guitar tech issues which had Keyser tying to bide time by talking to the crowd. One fan got on the mic to profess his love for drummer John Longstreth and stating as if objective truth that he was the best drummer in the world. A touching moment before all was resolved and we were ready to get back into the music.
Keyser announced this next track as an attempt at creating a quasi-political song which they wrote to apologize for the current state of the United State’s political system. Wasn’t their fault I’m sure but even if it was unnecessary, ‘Truthslayer’ was necessary and was an absolute belter of a song which kept heads in motion whilst the minuscule pit continued. Keyser was giving a solid delivery as were the rest of the band but the reaction for the most part wasn’t there. There was plenty of adulation once a song was finished but not much movement for a band that is used to getting a solid reaction.
We were nearing the end of the show and Keyser tried to get a wall of death organized but there was only five people involved, three on one side and two on the other. Not the biggest wall of death that I had seen but it’s better than nothing I guess.
The penultimate track for the night was ‘The Aftermath’ which brought plenty of sweeps with drilling notes sending the sensory receptors into chaotic dishevelment but it was the right kind of assault that we all came down for.
The last track of night was as slow a track as Origin could possibly craft but it was still at least mid-tempo for the main part. Solid riffs with some technical bursts thrown in for good measure. And that was it, a solid performance to a surprisingly docile crowd. Was a solid night of music though and maybe next time we will see a bigger and more game crowd but even if the crowd isn’t there, there’s always the music.