Gig Review: Sepultura / Sacred Reich / Crowbar – QMU, Glasgow (1st November 2022)

The first day of November is All Saints day, but instead of saints we have three powerhouses of the metal world on display in Glasgow this evening. Doors at the QMU are the ungodly hour of 5.30pm due to the snowflake nature of the local authority regarding noise pollution but this also has its advantages as we have less waiting time for the audible pleasures ahead.

Crowbar (c) Gavin Lowrey

QMU is an interesting venue as there’s not many in the UK that can boast a Chinese/Asian take away in the foyer as well as a cashpoint to drain your bank account for all the merch. Three bands means lots of merch!

Bang on the 6.10pm start time, Crowbar begin proceedings with the drum intro of opener “Conquering” from their Broken Glass album. The sound, for a venue that doesn’t get a lot of metal acts, is very good and not surprisingly downstairs is full from the get go.

Crowbar are the undisputed kings of sludge metal and riffmeister general Kirk Windstein is their general. He plays his part with aplomb. With his guttural vocals and Bayou accent he has the crowd eating out of his hand.

Heavy is their middle name and the lower the better, in fact it’s that low and heavy it sets off the high heart rate warning on my Apple watch. Due to time constraints, we only get nine songs, but it’s well worth the early start. A third of the tracks come from their latest album, “Zero and Below” and “Bleeding from Every Hole” being the best of them. And then, in the blink of an eye, it’s all over. Short and sweet but certainly perfectly formed!

After a short break and a few technical issues with their drums, Sacred Reich grace us with their presence and open up with “Divide and Conquer” from their latest album Awakening. The crowd is slightly bigger than for Crowbar as the balcony starts to fill up and things roll on at breakneck pace. Vocalist/bassist Phil Rind is on top form, engaging with the crowd at any opportunity, laughing and joking throughout.

Their ten-song set contained five songs from their last release, 2019’s Awakening, which reminds the youngsters in the audience that they are born of pure 80’s thrash. The sound is slightly worse as there is too much of the drums in the mix and the vocals are patchy at points, but on the whole it’s a good performance. No Sacred Reich set is complete without “Surf Nicaragua” and right on cue we get a turbocharged version to round things off.

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Sacred Reich (c) Gavin Lowrey

The QMU is hot, sweaty and rammed to the gunnels as Sepultura take to the stage to raucous applause before launching into “Isolation” once the intro music has subsided. Vocalist Derrick Green makes for an imposing figure as he moves across the stage. Dressed more like he could be on a Brazilian beach he cuts an athletic figure and clearly means business from minute one, with his vocals being spot on as well as a clean crisp sound that all bands kill for.

Having such a big back catalogue can be a bit of a hindrance when it comes to live performances, but over the next 90 minutes they pull from seven albums and give seventeen tracks which is a pretty good balance. You’re never going to please everyone, but this is about as good as it gets.

There are two opposite ends of the spectrum on show with guitarist Andreas Kisser being the real showman of the band. He poses around and engages with the audience at any possible moment, and bassist Paulo Júnior quietly broods stage right, looking like he’s in his own bubble with nothing seeming to bother him.

Set highlights include “Propaganda”, “Cut-Throat”, “Refuse/Resist” and the stand out from their latest album Quadra, “Guardians of the Earth”. Of course we had to get a bouncing rendition of “Roots Bloody Roots” and that’s what brings the mayhem to an end, leaving everyone fully satisfied and smiling.

Carlsberg don’t do metal shows, but if they did, this would probably be a good example!

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Photos by Lowrey Photography

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