Decapitated have always had a special place in my metal sphere. They were one of the first bands I photographed properly with a DSLR and they also released, in my opinion, one of their best albums in 2017. Having only caught a small amount of them at Bloodstock 2017, I was highly looking forward to seeing them play some of their newer material. The crowd that was slowly gathering inside the venue certainly seemed to feel the same with a huge sea of Decapitated t-shirts from all eras of the band and an electrifying atmosphere.
Opening up the evening were Belgian death metallers Baest. Casually appearing on stage before smashing straight into their set, the heads immediately started banging as soon as the music started. Whilst initially some members of the crowd took a bit of time to win over, by the end of their performance nigh on everyone was either nodding or headbanging along to the Bloodbath-style riffs that were outpouring from the stage. Despite this being their first time in the UK, the band were oozing confidence with each member of the band giving 110% and looking as though they were having superb fun. Playing a set primarily comprised of songs from their debut album Danse Macabre, the band were the perfect choice to open up tonight and also have a new album due out in September this year. If you are a fan of Bloodbath-style death metal, I highly advise you to check them out.
After a slightly lengthy changeover, it was then time for the local (England) boys to take to the stage. Opening to a thunderous cheer from the now-packed venue, Dyscarnate immediately set about bringing their brand of modern death metal to the eager masses. The first large mosh-pits of the evening opened up as well with one stretching for a good third the length of the venue. Whilst initially plagued by a few technical issues, the band didn’t let that get to them with the trio powering through a range of songs from across their back catalogue including a firm favourite of mine, “Iron Strengthens Iron”. Whilst there were points where I thought the band could have engaged with a crowd a little more between songs, overall they delivered a fantastic set and can be summed up by one member of the crowd who saw/heard them for the first time as “F***ing brilliant”.
After a slightly quicker changeover and near removal of everything on stage, the now common dissonant intro music that signified the imminent arrival of Decapitated played. Opening with “One Eyed Nation” off 2017’s Anticult, the room exploded into life with headbangers and mosh-pits galore. The pace never let up with classic tracks such as “Post Organic”, “Visual Delusion” and “Day 69” all getting played which the crowd proceeded to lap up.
What was clear from the faces of the band was that they were having the time of their lives with vocalist “Rasta” in particular struggling to keep a smile off his face. Ending the show with the classic pairing of “Spheres of Madness” and “Wings of Creation”, the band delivered a spell-binding set and I highly look forward to seeing them once again this weekend at HRH metal!