Gig Review: Baest / Damim / Madicide / Excursia – Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff (16 April 2022)

Excursia (c) Paul Hutchings

Easter Saturday in the Welsh Capital is always a bit messy. Throw in a hot sticky day where temperatures were higher than some parts of the Mediterranean (don’t the media love throwing that into the mix) and what better way to keep the thermometer at maximum than an evening of thrash and death metal in a dark, sweaty music venue? Thankfully, as live music really begins to get its claws back into normal life once more, this four-band bill drew a very respectable crowd and proved once more that there is hope.

Local outfit Excursia continue their musical journey that has seen them gig regularly on the Welsh music scene for the past few years.  Formed in 2015, the band has experienced a few line-up changes in recent times, but they continue to pack a punch live. Always aggressive, angry and determined to get the party started, the four-piece’s sound has changed from the Trivium worship of their early years, and they are now incorporating more styles and influences in their music. A solid set got the evening off to a good start.

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Madicide (c) Paul Hutchings

Excursia are Moshin the Roof On alumni, and they were joined on the recent Vol 3 release by Neath thrashers Madicide. The Welshmen had been inactive since 2015 until 2021 when they reformed, and it was a pleasing return to action in the Capital as they ploughed through a short but tight set which included recent single “Death March” as well as that exclusive MTRO track “Carnivore Incarnate”. Vocalist Ceri Roberts, stripped to the waist cuts an imposing figure and the band sounded full of energy and power. It’s good to see Madicide back on the scene and in such fine fettle.

Whilst the opening duo were decent, it was time to increase tempo and quality with the main two bands. Damim are no strangers to South Wales, having played Fuel several times over the years, with shows that are full of fire and intensity. Frontman Nathanael Underwood is full of brooding malevolence on stage, his burning focus centred deep in the blackened riffs that he propels forth. Spewing his vitriolic lyrics, it’s his between song humour that adds to the atmosphere and brings a balance that few can match. He’s also a very nice guy off stage as well. Pulling songs from all three albums, including a smattering from 2019’s excellent A Fine Game of Nil, this was another top class set from the London based outfit.

Damim (c) Paul Hutchings

It was only recently that Danish death metal masters Baest began to gain attention with their 2021 album Necro Sapiens. A truly wonderful exercise in quality death metal music, the quintet from the industrial city of Aarhus brought a show which must have left the foundations of Fuel in need of a structural inspection. Pulling over two thirds of their set from the latest album, Baest’s furious onslaught began with “Genesis” and ended with “Necro Sapiens” and hour later. There was no let up, their groove inducing metal encouraging pitting, head banging and an overall reaction from the healthy crowd that is not witnessed that often in Cardiff.

Punishingly heavy, there was energy in abundance on the small stage. The dual guitarists of Lasse Revbech and Svend Karlsson windmilled and hurled themselves around, flanking the central trio of drummer Sebastian Abildsten, an absolute machine by the way, free flowing bassist Mattias Melchiorsen and the prowling hyperactive vocalist Simon Olsen. By the end of their set the entire band was one sweating mess, something mirrored by most in the pit. Baest are on early on the main stage at Bloodstock in the summer. I for one will be front and centre.

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All photos by Paul Hutchings

Baest:  official | facebook | twitter | instagram | soundcloud | youtube

Damim: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | bandcamp | youtube

Madicide: facebook | twitter | instagram | bandcamp | youtube

Excursia: official | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube

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June 8, 2022 8:00 PM

[…] witnessed Madicide make a bit of a comeback after a break when they played in Cardiff recently. They also feature on the most recent Moshin’ The Roof On charity compilation. It’s […]

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December 27, 2022 7:40 PM

[…] Rock Bar in Cardiff, and it was another highlight of 2022 when Danish death metal maestros Baest rolled into the Welsh capital in April and levelled the venue with a highly impressive and brutal set. They would do the same in […]