Diascorium, Acral Necrosis, Pteroglyph, Vindicator, Rectal Implosion, Liber Necris, Gets Worse, Bong Cauldron, Elision, Tintagel, Termination
(review by mwj)

So, the next round(s) of my bank holiday expedition to Leeds, with an educational trip to The Library to learn of the upcoming nature of the local underground metal scene, as I only really knew of the headliners so far.

And it was entirely their bassist/my host’s fault that I found myself worse for wear on the morning and resorting to a proper meal in town for lunch (and hair of the dog to soak it up) before heading up the hill via the Fenton in some sort of practice for the traditional pre-Damnation warm-ups before getting to the venue just past the Universities for the first band soon after 3.

Termination were veritable youngsters (with parents in attendance to support) but that didn’t hold them back from giving a full on and foulmouthed performance. Some pretty good melodic swe-death from the At The Gates school, driven along by some fierce down-stroke guitaring and occasional d-beating drumming. Not sure how original it would be but the energy input more than made up for that.

Next into some technical death metal with Tintagel. Fair play, in my opinion whether they are trying to reference some Arthurian legend or whatever I think it’s a poor and unsuited name. Still, little distraction from some competent Nile-ish complexities, with some guttural slam death vocals over the top. Tunes have apparently been polished up for a few years before a band has been put together to air them, hope they can keep up this good consistency

A significant shift next with more conventional metallic hardcore from Elision. Certainly full of energy, with some thundering riffs interspersed with heavy beatdowns, ultimately it was a bit one-dimensional for me or else I was losing my second wind and went to put my feet up for a bit.

Just what you need to pick you up though is some reverberating doom, provided in this instance by Bong Cauldron. As if they were going to be anything else. Only treated to a two song set but these are both colossal riff workouts in the vein of Yob or Sleep, perfect mix of the ultra plodding and fast grooving. Recorded material is imminent and I look forward to hearing it

Gets Worse I had at least heard of before, downloading their fierce outburst of power violence recently. The rapid fire songs and the mad mix of structures could seem chaotic but when you tune in there is a real precision to the onslaught, especially from the unbelievable ex-Joe Pesci drummer Rich. Off set the serious business of the harsh music with an easy going on-stage presence and I’m well impressed, look forward to see them again at Blastonbury.

More technicality with Liber Necris next. I recognised the vocalist of Canaya fronting them but his performance here was even more unhinged in a proper two-tone extremity fashion, offset by some humourous banter. The rest of the band looked unassuming and pleasant enough but their focus on delivering diverse and intense complex grind was definite, some really interesting and intense stuff.

Another feet up break meant I missed the start of Rectal Implosion’s shortened set, but saw enough to know that they delivered more relentlessly sharp death metal, with their drummer temporarily replaced by machine only adding to the precision if restricting their output. Fine guitar shredding work led the way and ubiquitous vocalist Bernard guested to add to the brutality.

Vindicator provided us with a dose of ultrafast thrashing, putting me very much in mind of Possessed to start with and that could only be a good thing. Relentless double picking riffing backed up by some furious drumming, the lyrics were a bit traditional/cheesy and elements of a more retro/metal style seemed to be creeping in later in the set which didn’t appeal to me as much

Another interesting metal tangent among the lineup now with the first gig for Pteroglyph. The fact that they were inventively different meant they were difficult to categorise, quieter progressive technical metal building moods to kick in to heavier riffing sections overlaid with a strong sung vocal. There was an element of a more traditional metal accessibility perhaps not so much to my taste but couldn’t deny this was a good start to their project, an ep to be released soon.

Descent into the depths once more with some blackened death from Acral Necrosis. Real up tempo riffing and with satisfyingly filthy guitar and bass tones but it seems to take a little time for the three-piece to click into their groove but once there it was a ferocious hit, especially with the harsh vocals roaring things along. Not necessarily exceptional within their genre but with enough conviction to mark their place all the same

To close, Diascorium could almost be all the preceding bands put through a mincer, blender and wood-chipper and sprayed back out over the crowd. They take extreme metal diversity and complexity to another level, with veritable virtuoso musicians seamlessly shifting between tech grind to black metal to sheer jazz twiddle-mania. But what is noticeable through the excellent sound system here is that it’s not just random for the sake of it, just that each song is an aural and mental challenge to keep up with the flow of the convoluted and clever structures. Not easy at this time of night but rewarding all the same.

What a great collection of bands and my learning for the weekend is that the scene is full of strength. Further encouragement for a couple more visits over here for festivities in the coming months