On the sixth of September I was fortunate enough to photograph Sodomized Cadaver, Democratus and other support acts. Overall the night consisted of five brutal death metal bands, from one man acts to between 3 or 5 membered bands.
The five bands played at the very well known Cardiff venue, Fuel. Fuel is renowned for its heavy metal culture and its rock scene in the Welsh capital. Although there might not always be bands performing there, Fuel will always have something metal/rock related going on. Whether it’s karaoke or just a night out at the bar, there is always heavy music on. Even though the venue has a capacity of 200 people, the crowd was lively enough, bearing in mind there were around 80 to 100 people during the event that evening. The evening was just amazing with bands playing new releases and old songs. They all showed their talent and what metal meant to them in Wales.
Opening the show, one man band Misanthropia got up on the stage at 6.30PM and started the night well. Playing lead guitar and vocals, he set the standard for the remaining four bands. Even though it started off slow, the crowd that was in the staging area enjoyed the warm up for what was in store for them. The crowd was around the front of the bar and outside for the first set as not many people have heard of Misanthropia and the venue slowly filled up as the night went on. Misanthropia had a 30 minute slot in the show and showed the small audience what he loved – death metal. He did this by shredding the guitar and screaming into the mic as he was singing. He tried to get the crowd going but there was very little response as there was next to nobody in the room for him to call for any pits. Full marks for effort, though!
Taking the stage at 7.15PM, Cerebral Atrophy was another one man band but drew a little more audience in as the lead guitarist and vocalist of the band was Ryan Howes from Sodomized Cadaver. Howes was different to the first act as he played the guitar and sang over pre-recorded backing tracks on a laptop plugged into his amp. He was very brutal in a way that definitely started to draw the crowd in.
I really enjoyed his music as it showed the audience and I what death metal was all about and how brutal it can get. This set the bar higher again as there were still three more bands to play. He enjoyed every second of it and was to later step onto the stage for a second time to perform with the headliners.
Setting foot onto the stage at 8.00PM, the four-member band Sepulchre drew a lot of attention from the crowd from the beginning and I started to see numbers increase in the audience. The lead singer, Darren Evans, was lively from the moment he got onto the stage. He was able to engage with the crowd, motivating them and rocking out as hard as he could. He was screaming down the mic saying “When this song kicks in, I want to see you guys kick in and tear Fuel apart!” He was able to persuade the crowd to start moshpitting and even though there were only four people in the mosh pit, the crowd enjoyed the atmosphere.
They then went on to play a recent song which the fans loved. This eventually got the crowd lively and ready for the final two bands. Overall they seemed very energetic and showed how much they loved the life on stage and generally seemed to enjoy bonding with the crowd.
Democratus started their set off with a bang as they opened up with some old songs getting the crowd rowdy. Now the baying horde was drawn in as the room was now filled with around 80-100 people and this stayed the same for the rest of the night. The mosh pits were consistent and the crowd were bellowing to the songs as loud as they could. The lead singer Steve Jenkins was very energetic and photogenic. He got himself right into the crowd he was singing in the fans’ faces and getting involved with the fans while both off the stage as well as on stage.
As the night went on it was time to say farewell to Kerrin the lead guitarist as he was departing the band. This then led to Kerrin having the last two picks of the set list. Jenkins then kindly presented Kerrin with a bobble head as a token of appreciation and then played the last two songs of the night. With Kerrin giving it everything he had left for one more time with Democratus he ended in style in Cardiff, his hometown.
Welsh trio Sodomized Cadaver set foot onto the stage at 9.35PM as the final band of the night. These guys really showed the crowd what Welsh death metal was about. Playing old and new songs, Sodomized really got the crowd turned up and partying. The Welshmen showed their talent by playing a variety of brutal death metal songs such as “Raped by Ebola”. This was one of their well known tracks and really got the crowd hyped and craving more. The crowd was moshpitting, dancing and also headbanging to the slow riffs.
During “Raped by Ebola” Ryan Howes, the lead vocalist, allowed the crowd to sing the chorus of the song through the mic and bonded really well. Strangely, for the last song of the night, they ended on “Raped by Ebola” for the second time! The crowd demanded that they play that again as they had time for one more song. Gavin Davies, the drummer, brought the crowd up on to the small stage to sing, dance and headbang to the final song of the evening which was very rare as you don’t see this happen at many venues any more. But that’s how much love they have for their fans and how much they enjoyed interacting with them.
Overall all bands that performed on the night played really well and showed a love for death metal in Wales. I would like to thank Gavin Davies, Fuel Rock Club, the bar and the promoter for putting on an amazing event for the local community to enjoy and inviting me down to document the night.
Images by Elisio Williams Photography