Live Review: Decapitated / Signs Of The Swarm / Harbinger – The Corporation, Sheffield 24.03.2022

Phil Pountney

I seem to find myself getting down to South Yorkshire for gigs less and less these days, they all seem to be further north or across the Pennines for some reason, but this one was not to be missed. The mighty Polish Death Metal stalwarts, Decapitated, are celebrating 25 years in existence and this planned to be one hell of a party. 

First up was a healthy slab of Technical Deathcore in the form of Harbinger from London. From the off Dilan Alves stalked the stage with an ever-commanding presence, demanding more from the crowd with each brutal track that passed by. Sutherland and Griffiths flanked each wing and provided stability to the maniacal energetic whirlwind happening between them, with the skins pretty much pounded into submission by Joel Scott who put in one hell of an effort tonight. At one point, Alves even left the stage to join the front row and get up close and personal with the dedicated few who will have no doubt been drenched in the passion and commitment that was being exuded within the Corporation. 

So, a quick turn around and it was the turn of Signs Of The Swarm from across the pond. Deathcore was very much on the agenda and delivered with the utmost respect and hunger. Simonich appeared like a rabid grizzly, prowling for his next unsuspecting prey, hunting with keen enjoyment, and spitting out the vocals with damaging intent. The crowd had swelled to healthy numbers and the set was punctuated with violence and brutality on the floor below them, the pit had all the signs of the classics, frequent circle pits and even a wall of death which was orchestrated from the stage, although from where I was stood it was an epic fail as just one side launched themselves towards the other, creating more of a tsunami rather than a healthy competition. Towards the end of the set we even saw Alves join Simonich for a collaboration and an energetic effort which pictured both men visibly loving every moment on stage together. 

This was my seventh time seeing Decapitated live and they just are getting better and better with age. You could certainly tell that they are a well-oiled machine in the live environment and tonight did not disappoint. The set had all the classics, and the tracks you would expect to be part of a celebratory set list, although there was only one new track on show tonight which was a little disappointing. ‘Nihility’, ‘Carnival Is Forever’, ‘Kill The Cult’ and ‘Nine Steps’ were all absolutely crushing with the string work totally mesmerising and the fretboards being worked so hard I’m surprised we didn’t see sparks fly from them at times. The backbone, forged from the skins of Stewarts kit, was galvanised with steel, and allowed the rest of the band to feed off it and relay the energy back out to the crowd. Piotrowski was front and centre for the majority of the set, taking up the role of the governor and well and truly decreeing for wave upon wave of vehemence and savagery which the crowd duly obliged with. 

As the set drew to a close, the band looked visibly moved and genuinely appreciative of each and every person for turning up tonight to help them celebrate their anniversary and celebrate it in style. The whole package which had been brought before us tonight was a resounding success on so many different levels, whether it’s Technical Deathcore, Deathcore or just plain out and out Death Metal, this had something for everyone. The only quandary the night left us with was, since there were so many dates left on the tour, which city were we rushing to next.

Previous Live Review: Chvrches / High School - Brixton Academy, London 16.03.2022
Next Blu-Ray Review: In Cold Blood

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