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Friday, 15 March 2013

Time, where did you go?

A brief explanation folks; my current job means every time I get a spare few minutes, I sleep as opposed to blogging. So now you know.

By enough of this shameful self pity. The Metal Harmony world has been full of wonder of late as for the first time in many months, I managed to haul my frankly disgusting carcass to a couple of rock solid gigs.

Bro Dude and I are long time fans of a number of lesser known punks bands, and a couple for weeks back we got to see the mighty China Drum on their WTFYB Tour - the acronym stands for Where The Fuck You Been due to their 12-year hiatus. After boarding the train and imbibing a number of chilled German lagers, we descended up the North London venue and met up with a couple of hundred other 30-something punks hell bent on beers and cheers. After chatting with the singer/guitarist from local punk outfit Philtrum (for whom Bro Dude now plays bass) the Drum came on stage in exactly the way we wanted; Can't Stop These Things followed by Cloud 9.

The best thing about China Drum is that they are a truly 1990s band. Their blend of punk and indie can be found in also-rans like Sugar and Veruca Salt but they stand alongside Leatherface and Snuff as examples of how fucking spectacular the UK underground can be. The Garage in Highbury was nowhere near capacity but the people who were there knew all the words and the atmosphere was spectacular.

Skip forward a week and it was time for the most exciting moment of 2013 so far; Black Dahlia Murder, Cannibal Corpse and Devildriver. Sadly my pal The House was laid up with the plague so I was riding solo amidst a groundswell of the bullied and unwashed, and wasn't it a wonderful thing.

The Black Dahlia Murder have a number of detractors as, despite the fact that they are heavier than a horny rhino's ball bag, they have fun with their music. Trevor Strnad is a fucking excellent front man and his genre-defining (I'm thinking death core) vocal whipped the crowd into a complete mess. Despite struggling a bit with the sound levels TBDM were as good as I've ever seen them, and by the time Miasma came on the pit was complete bedlam.

The stage was set for Cannibal Corpse, and as the most brutal band in history, expectations were high. George 'Corpsegrinder' Fisher took the stage with his menacing stance, and after a few minutes of continual sound fuck ups, apologised and started again. It was the musical equivalent of getting part way through a blowjob and having to go for a piss. Still, their archetypal death metal malice get the crowd going, and I Cum Blood was greeted with cheers and hair from all corners. For this scribe though, I always get a bit bored during Cannibal Corpse. They take the stage and it's carnage, but after ten or so songs I can't help but find myself waiting for it to finish. The traditional ending of Hammer Smashed Face and Stripped, Raped and Strangled was typically awesome though.

And then, Devildriver. Long time readers will know how much I adore this band and tonight, they were outstanding. Dez Fafara could not stop smiling and it felt like the whole band were having an amazing time. As classics such as Not All Who Wander Are Lost created monumental circle pits, I stood at the back like a fat old bastard with a smug smile on my face. This was what it was all about. A couple of thousand like-minded individuals going mental to the heaviest music you will hear today.

The next day, a bloke in my office asked me about the gig. I sent him a link to a Cannibal Corpse video to give him an idea of what went down. He told me that everyone there looked like they had issues and to a degree, he's probably right. He also asked if George Fisher had ever killed anyone, but we'll skip past that. The thing is, it was a gig that genuinely brought a mass of metal fans together. There were old Kreator fans standing with Suicide Silence (RIP Mitch) fans, and everyone was there as one. It was the perfect example of how metal gives us something to be a part of.

Fucking amen.