Live Review: Cryptopsy / Atheist / Almost Dead / 72 Legions – Corporation, Sheffield. 22.03.2024

With the doors being advertised at 19.00 I walked through the psychedelic entrance hallway of the Corporation to find 72 Legions signing off from their set with a few crushing and battering bars of Melodic Death Metal, the house lights then ignited and the band departed the stage to make way for the rest of the evening to step forward and us open. I was absolutely gutted to have missed the opening ensemble, but it just gave me a reason to make sure I catch them whenever they are on our shores once again.

Next up were Almost Dead and based on tonight’s offering they have certainly matured somewhat in the live setting since the last time I was exposed to their live ritual. Rolandelli was obscene with his antagonistic stalking, interacting with the gathered to try and rile them up into a frenzy with not a square inch of the stage being missed, he even got up close and personal with the front row when he left the stage and took up residence against the barrier for a brief period.

As the set progressed the riffs became more caustic and the vocals were increasingly venomous with the intent which they were spat out. Not content with roaming the stage and becoming familiar with the barrier, Rolandelli took time to march out into the crowd to incite a circle pit and he even went crowd surfing at a poignant moment in the set. All this saw for an energetic offering from these Transatlantic bruisers.

Next up were Atheist and our time with them tonight saw them bring with them a special anniversary set celebrating ‘Piece Of Time’, ‘Unquestionable Presence’ and ‘Elements’ and with tonight being their first time ever in Sheffield it commanded them to deliver a set which saw a busy house become ultra animated and enthusiastic, with a heroes welcome being afforded to the band throughout the whole of their set.

Classics were layered upon favourites and all moulded together to seamlessly entice the crowd into a frenzy. The 90s inspired set was technical and aggressive and saw Shaefer decree more of the crowd with each track that passed, and they duly obliged with increasingly enthusiastic fervour. The elements of jazz that tinge the complex and intricate tracks could make the whole spectacle appear a little unhinged and chaotic to the untrained ear, yet to the firmly initiated the whole event acted only as a platform on which to worship and adulate at the Atheist alter for what is pretty much a rare and sparse moment in time.

As the band departed we were left with the promise of a new album next year ringing in our ears, and coupled together with the new album I can pretty much guarantee that everybody in The Corporation tonight was dreaming of a tour back to our isle to accompany it.

After a brief turn round on stage we welcomed the brutal Death veterans Cryptopsy and as soon as the amps fired into action all hell broke loose. The band hit the ground running and relentlessly pummelled us with track after track, beat after beat and technical guitar lead after intricate string work. The vocals from McGachy were sinister and barbarous, executed with precision and power, ferocity and intensity ten-fold, while the drums were being battered in the shadows with an almost violent mechanic and mercilessness machinery esque force. The set was peppered with slight periods of respite before they launched headfirst into savagery and intense rage, which enticed us with a hunger, appetite and want for more extreme Death Metal, which the band accommodated with.

As the set closed out and the evening petered off we could only reflect on the proceedings which lay before us and surmise that tonight had been an evening crammed full of sublime Death Metal of the highest order, no holds barred barbaric and detonating extreme Metal and a celebration of the underground that we all love so much. Sheffield, you were destroyed.

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