Obituary and Onslaught
feat. Dam and Dead Beyond Buried
The Underworld, Camden, London, UK
5th July 2007
All live pics and review by HannTu
It promised to be a night of pure mayhem when American death legends Obituary and UK thrashers and nostalgic favourites Onslaught rolled into town, and the sign on the Underworld’s box office window saying “Sold Out – No tickets on Sale” further heightened the tension and excitement in the air.
Dead Beyond Buried
This up-and-coming band from Essex, London certainly has a lot of potential, and with a bit of luck will be playing bigger venues in years to come. Heavy, brutal death metal with uncompromising vocals and some good drumming, they kept it short, sweet and undeniably ferocious. Very well received in the Underworld and worthy of opening up for Obituary and Onslaught.
The Londoners play some pretty good technical black metal, that remind one of Emperor slightly. Their website even states that it was Samoth who got them signed to Candlelight Records in the first place because he liked their music. Whatever it is, they weave a web of black atmosphere that sounds very good on the record. However I feel that their music doesn’t really translate live. During their set, there weren’t a lot of what I call ‘party’ moments. Where Dead Beyond Buried had a lot of bang-your-head passages and opportunities for crowd interaction, Dam have periods of inactivity where they play their instruments (with great technical ability it must be said) without getting the crowd involved. The singer is a bit too nice to be fronting a black metal band, rarely showing aggression or any vitriol. I kept waiting for the mild mannered mouse to turn into the raging Hulk but that didn’t happen. I mean sure, the ‘evilness’ and gimmickry of bands like Watain get tiresome after a while, but it’s not good to have your black metal singer beaming like a ten year old kid and asking in a timid voice “Did you enjoy that?” Anyhow, the music is good quality stuff, and quite an enjoyable if slightly forgettable set from Dam.
The thrashers from Bristol were, by all accounts, pretty big in the 80s thrash scene but then faded away circa the early 90s. However a reunion in late 2004 brought back three of the 1989 IN SEARCH OF SANITY lineup: Nige Rockett, Steve Grice and James Hinder – together with THE FORCE (1986) singer Sy Keeler and Sy’s guitar buddy from the band Mirror Mirror Alan Jordan. They have recently released their album KILLING PEACE, and are touring pretty heavily in support of it (they are touring UK with Destruction later on in the year, which you can bet I will NOT miss).
I won’t pretend to be a huge fan of Onslaught, I haven’t heard their old stuff nor their new album, so I can only go on what I saw at the live performance. They were very good, very personable and looked extremely happy to be there. Sy Keeler is the consummate frontman, grinning widely, never static and even interacting with the stage divers. Speaking of which, onstage security seemed unusually lax, allowing people to walk around onstage, even letting them stop to have a chat with drummer Steve Grice. All this made for an awesome number of people climbing up on stage to hurl themselves into the sea of receiving arms below. The floor was a raging maelstrom of people thrashing along to the numerous guitar solos and classic thrash riffs coming from the twin attack of Alan and Nige. What else can I say, they rocked the place out!
The Floridan death-metallers were very quick in coming out onstage, due to the fact that Onslaught only finished at five past 10, with the 11 pm curfew looming large. With Obituary appearing only at twenty past, were we about to watch a forty minute set?
Not a bit of it. Just as Vader finished half an hour after 11 a couple of weeks back, so did Obituary finish at 11.30 as well. And what a killer set it was too! Ralph Santolla, filling in for the imprisoned Allen West sported a couple of Dean guitars with the huge Dimebag-style headstocks that almost dwarfed him, in fact some of the stage divers that were up on stage towered over him. On the other side of the stage, Trevor Peres looked slightly bored to be there, but he did let loose some furious screaming leads. Put together, they created the heavy, stomping midpaced riffs that Obituary are famed for. John Tardy’s massive wall of hair masked an infernal growl slash scream, while brother Don’s drumming was spot on and as technical as any other death drummer in the business.
Let the pictures speak for themselves! Also, for the record, the sheer volume of stage divers as well as the massive mosh and circle pits were among the most extreme I've ever seen before. Everyone it seemed was crashing and smashing into each other, falling down and picking themselves up and going in again. Brown didn't have to study smoke particles to derive his theory of kinetic motion, he should've just come to an Obituary gig!
Thanks to Darren at Plastic Head for the spot on the guest list.
Dead Beyond Buried: http://www.myspace.com/deadbeyondburied