Live Review: Revocation / Goatwhore / Alluvial / Creeping Death – Rebellion, Manchester 13.02.2023

Phil Pountney

After a relatively stress free jaunt across the Pennines, I was met with a winding queue which hugged the perimeter of the Rebellion and even though the doors were advertised as a more traditional 19.00hrs opening, there still seemed to be a lot of back clad warriors piling in as the sounds of crunching death metal could be heard blasting out from inside the club. 

It was a relatively smooth entrance and once inside I took up my spot and relaxed into what was to be an evening of brutal carnage given the billing that had been constructed for this tour. 

Creeping Death were impressive with their trade within the confines of the cosy club, Alavi stalked the stage with pride and confidence, constantly interacting with the crowd and whipping them up into a frenzy while Mejia was an absolute tyrant on the bass, providing the thick core to which the others hung off and decorated the tracks with the harmony and melody which was weaved in amongst all the angst which was orchestrated on stage. As the transatlantic bruisers signed off from a fairly brief but successful set, I reflected that it had been a nice warm up for the trio that were still to come, Creeping Death had raucously poked the crowd with a fierce slab of death metal and had got the fires well and truly sparked and ignited beneath them. 

Next up, Alluvial, and another bludgeoning American death metal outfit, and this one was out to take no prisoners. From the opening chord the floor opened up and generated a circle pit which any city should be proud of. Muller was reminiscent of a pit bull, prowling the stage and trying to incite a riot within the ranks of the boisterous crowd and on many occasions they obliged, starting the obligatory circle pit which pretty much ensued into chaos more times than not. As the fleeting set progressed the band seemed to relax into their surroundings and this made for a tighter and more aggressive set, sparking into life a huge and violent ‘Sleepers Become Giants’ before they furnished us with one last brutal offering before departing the stage, and the now rampant Manchester crowd.

It was then time to welcome Goatwhore, and welcome total and utter chaos, brutality and destructiveness beyond belief. From the moment the blackened death horde hit the stage the whole venue just erupted in scenes which were reminiscent of a backstreet LA club hosting an eighties thrash gig, crowd surfers invaded the stage in droves (given a helping hand from Falgoust II on many an occasion, even missing his vocal cues at times to ensure the safety of the incoming surfer), showcasing varying styles and degrees of height in their departures from the stage. The whole floor turned into a swathing circle pit which depicted the love and adoration that Manchester held for Goatwhore and the tracks that they were dispensing with impressive passion and pride. As the set progressed it was if the increasing mayhem which was building momentum on the floor, and a lot of the time on stage, only seemed to drive the band forward with the intensity and ferocity with which they delivered their goods. As the set closed out and the band gestured their thanks and gratitude to the Rebellion congregation, it could certainly be reflected on that we had all just been witness to a success of massive magnitude, and if there is one thing that Goatwhore needed to take back across the pond with them it is that they need to return to these shores with a headline show of their own, and they most definitely need to make it quick sharp. 

So, onto the headliners of the evening, Revocation, and judging by the amount of Revocation shirts and hoodies proudly adorning torsos this evening, this was by far the main draw for many inside the Rebellion tonight. The stage was turned round but as I had feared, the swift fifteen minutes which had been pencilled in for the switch simply wasn’t enough as the band didn’t grace us with their presence until ten minutes past their allotted start time, but they soon eradicated any frustrations with their brand of fierce and antagonistic technical death metal. As the set developed the crowd seemed content with just confining the bedlam to the floor rather than spill up onto the stage, probably partially through fear of disrupting the technical callous death metal which was being conjured up before them. It also had to be noted that all the mayhem and havoc which had been summoned for the sub headliners must have taken its toll on the crowd as there was a significant reduction in the movement and crusade which was now on show, the circle pits were still there but dramatically diluted which did seem a little strange considering we were now well in the midst of the headline set. That being said, the band were polished and precise throughout, proffering up a differing style to their predecessors yet they were by no means less savage or intense, just in maybe a less obvious, smack you in the face, type affair. 

As we were left to depart the evening we were left with a resounding, overwhelming, feeling of accomplishment tonight, a huge success of epic, brutal and aggressive quantities, Each fraction had brought it’s A Game and this was one bill that will go down in history, and if there ever is a chapter in folklore dedicated to Death metal gigs then this will certainly verge on being firmly rooted within those pages. 

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