|Halloween Deathfest - Abertillery Playfest - 31st October 2009|
|Written by Gaz E|
|Sunday, 01 November 2009 22:35|
It's All Hallow's Eve, the night he came home, yet the most horrifying thing on show in Abertillery tonight is the shocking lack of backing that this gig has been afforded. Some people must have watched Wayne's World 2 a few too many times - "Book them and they will come" was the fictional mantra of that movie that some people appear to feel was as important a piece of literature as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Happily, the five bands that have donated the blackened body parts that form the Frankenstein's Monster of tonight's bill are ass-kickers for whom this putrid promotion is a mere flesh wound.
With thrashers Brabazon pulling out of the show due to the fact that their drummer had left the band - yet somehow filming their own episode of Hammer House Of Mystery And Suspense as they played a gig the following night - it was down to Smithgrind, who had joined the bill at relatively short notice to open proceedings. Hailing from Pontypool, apt given the recent Canadian zombie flick of the same name, the band turn in a great performance full of grebo metal and what a certain Mr Miret would describe as loud, fast, street rock 'n' roll. A very decent start to the horrorshow.
Next up are This Is Suffering, a young five piece who have been together for only around nine months, although you wouldn't think that was the case given their confident performance. As noisy as a backyard full of bulldogs, but with stabs of melody haunting their songs, these young Frankensteins are recommended to fans of Bring Me The Horizon and scores of other bands of that ilk that I am way too old to be able to name. Killer kudos to a couple of the band for their blood-spattered seasonal attire too.
How sickening is it to see a teenage trio of terror like Dead End whose combined age is less than some members of the other bands and who, between the three of them, definitely have more hair than the other nineteen band members on the bill combined? Not at all when the band concerned are as good and as genuine as this; confident and classy metal with a fistful of old school thrash punching you in the gut. You can't help but root for these guys....I mean kids. Bigger things are predicted, and rightly so.
Halloween is a special time for this reviewer, made all the more special tonight as it is the first time that I have managed to see Fell On Black Days play a gig with all five band members on stage for the entire set. Did it make a difference? Well, even though their previous sets with members going AWOL have still been incendiary, tonight is the final proof that I needed to convince me that these noisy fuckers deserve to be huge. Fresh from a support slot with The Defiled and Ted Maul, FOBD attack like modern movie zombies - lethal not lumbering - ripping throats out with their murder music. A car bomb made flesh. A satanic shoutout to guitarist Mark Tranter who has been worshipping at the altar of metal with a collapsed lung - who needs to breath anyway?! Fell On Black Days slay.
Could the corpse-painted paying punters take anymore brutality? They had little choice; suddenly the empty stage jolts back into undeadly action as Lifer hit their stride with the subtlety of an Abel Ferrara movie; uncompromising, unforgiving and edgy as fuck. Loud enough to make your ears bleed, your teeth grind and give your migraine a migraine, Lifer have fashioned a lethal set of material that contains severe metal monoliths. They close their punishing set with a new song that promises that their future is as fierce, fiery and furious as their present. Killer.
As the witnesses to the night's acts of violence stumble into the autumnal air as they ready themselves for the stalk 'n' slash journey home, ears ringing and eyes bleeding, they find themselves haunted by a cold, harsh fact; the spectre of South Wales metal is as active as ever, sightings will continue, blood will be spilled - join or die....