Decapitated + Aborted
26th February 2012
By Leo Kindred
A Sunday evening, and having survived the weekly onslaught of scones and pots of tea in trying to stave off the usual malaise/boredom of another sabbath it is now time for that other destroyer of tedium: vicious death metal.
The aggression and sheer gut-punching energy of Aborted sees things off to the start things deserve.
The unholy enthusiasm which infects the performance seeps into even vocalist Sven de Caluwé’s banter, to the point nearly every song title is introduced in the following manner: “OK, this song is called WARRAGH-BLAR-BRAAAAAAALGH!”
Consequently it’s hard to get an understanding of the setlist, but brutal hits of bruising, pummelling and scraping riffs n’blasts, which whilst not exactly the next big thing since the invention of the plough in ground-breaking concepts, are certainly effective for the Belgian troupe.
Decapitated though are a whole other kettle of fish, albeit ravenous, mutant, killer fish made of pterodactyls.
After a lengthy absence from these shores it’s a joy to witness one of the pioneering talents of the death metal genre back in action. Rhythmically iron-clad and mind-bogglingly intense, they give a one-off feel of being a truly exceptional act, a highlight in the genre that, given the band’s tragic recent history, is made all the more important.
Rafał ‘Rasta’ Piotrowski vocals are faultless and when he dives into the crowd it lends a complete package to a show with both the sound, the substance and the heart.
Vogg’s guitar work is other-worldly in its devastating and expertly worked chunkage, and the seamless delivery on tracks like ‘Post(?) Organic’ and ‘Spheres of Madness’ is the stuff most other bands in the genre would sell their kidneys and half a bladder for.
The bands deceased and absent members, former drummer Witold ‘Vitek’ Kiełtyka and vocalist Adrian ‘Covan’ Kowanek respectively, are honoured with cheers, applause and chanting from the assembled with the only thing that maybe casts a slight shadow on the otherwise amazing night of death metal quantum-awesomeness is the medium-sized Sunday night turn out and, as the band finish their set, Vogg launching into the intro to Slayer’s epic ‘South of Heaven’, only to halt and announce they’re done.
This last point in particular, is as disappointing as waking up from an erotic dream just as you’re about to do the good stuff; you suddenly realise that it seems all too perfect and before you know it your awake and it’s time to go to work.
Still. Despite the tormenting cock-block of their finale, I can come away from this (no puns!) knowing one of my best ever death metal gigs has just transpired before my very ears.