As I entered the blackened Warehouse, I had no sooner secured my vantage point than we were being blasted with the brutal deathened doom of Leeds bruisers Slimelord, and considering these hometown barbarians were only the opening offering tonight the place was absolutely packed. From the moment the band hit the stage we were being pummelled with bass heavy attitude and thumping drum work with the six strings of Bradley and Jordan sitting slightly in the background, raising their heads above the musical frontline at random and sporadic moments in time to try and break through the muscle and barbarism of the heavier crunching lines. Ashworth stalked the stage from the off as if he owned the place and we were gate-crashing his party, the menacing intent which poured from his being was impressive to watch although his vocals were so low most of the time that they were lost within all of the crunching and detonating power. I’m sure that if the vocals were exhibited more prominently then we certainly would have been well and truly taught a lesson in the pounding world of death and doom tonight.
After a brief respite it was time for another dose of doom, this time however we had the added extra of some heavy sludge and post metal which all sat under the crushing and ferocious death umbrella of Conjurer. From the moment we were hacked apart by the dual vocal attack of Nightingale and Deeprose we were well and truly encompassed in a brawl of sonic proportions. Marshall took centre stage and was like a demented windmill, unleashing his neck on a pretty much continuous basis, only coming up for air at strategically placed moments in time before commanding it to display ferocity once more, an exhibition which would have stood quite naturally within any tulip field in the Netherlands. The vocals were antagonistic, barking out the lyrics with commitment and authority, both of the vocals sat on different levels yet intertwined to create an effortless display of growls and roars which joined together with raw beauty and decadence. As the set drew to a close it was time for Leeds to get up close and personal with the cranium propeller of Marshall, departing the stage, jumping over the barrier and hunting the crowd as he strode around the floor, bass in hand, provoking the packed venue into life before departing and allowing the crowd to swarm back into the space. Conjurer had impressed tonight, they were on point and injected with a satisfying dose of all things heavy, I for one will certainly be keen to check them out again if they come remotely within striking distance.
So, lets make no bones about it, the main reason pretty much every soul was gathered here in Leeds tonight was for the main event, the founding fathers of Death ‘N’ Roll, the heavyweights of the GrindCore world and huge influencers in the Melodic Death Metal movement, the unmistakeable Carcass. As the video screen, sat on both the wall and ceiling given the limited space available, kicked into life we were welcomed to the start of one hell of a party courtesy of Walker et al. We were continuously carved open with surgical precision to the delights of ‘Buried Dreams’ and the whole place went nuts, the venom which Walker was spitting his vocals out with was imposing and notable while Steer worked his fretboard with maniacal precision and toxic attitude. The set progressed with classics such as ‘This Mortal Coil’ and ‘Tomorrow Belongs To Nobody’, each delivered with precision and malice, true gems in the Carcass crown this evening. ‘Keep On Rotting In The Free World’ saw the crowd turn it up a notch in response to the bands genuinely polished supremacy, while ‘Heartwork’ was mesmeric and enchanting in the most deliciously brutal of ways, it is anthemic of titanic proportions and the gathered hordes did not disappoint with showing their appreciation for the beautiful art which was overflowing from the cramped Leeds stage. As the set closed out and the Carcass flock disappeared from sight, it had been an absolutely compelling lesson in how to deliver ruthless and fierce metal of varying genres and styles yet still embrace it and make it all your signature sound and do it with style and authority.
This had been a true lesson in violent and sublime deathened art and I honestly cannot wait to do it all again next week in a small field in the Midlands, I guess I’ll see you down the front?