Monday, April 22, 2024

Suffocation leaves Manchester breathless

Slam is an oxymoron of a genre, it’s a beautifully ugly genre made up of disgusting vocal stylings and expertly crafted dumb guy riffs designed to get a crowd to be as volatile as possible. It’s impossible to explain its appeal, you either get it or you don’t, this show made a damn good attempt at an explanation however. 

First up was Organectomy from New Zealand and they came on to the foreboding and grandiose Uruk Hai theme from Lord of the Rings which makes even the smallest rooms seem massive. After just 10 minutes of preposterously heavy slam riffs, the first pit opened and it was just a mess of uncontrollable swirling violence. 

Organectomy

The majority of their set focused on their latest album Nail Below Nail which is a fantastic bit of belligerent slam-infused collection of caveman death metal anthems like ‘Concrete’. The album may be incredible but the live show elevates those songs to impossible heights of brutality. Tyler Jordan is a brilliant and charismatic frontman and his disgusting “empty soda” vocals match the energy perfectly. 

Organectomy

Next was Enterprise Earth, a band some may remember as the opener for Shadow of Intent last year. Enterprise Earth blasted on stage with ‘The Reaper’s Servant,’ a breakneck thrasher that undulated and shifted in tempo creating some intense moments of blistering hostility and crushing heaviness. 

Organectomy

Enterprise Earth’s newest vocalist, Travis Worland may be a relatively new addition to the band but he has slotted in perfectly and made it his goal to absolutely dominate the stage as thoroughly as possible. Travis had so much energy and aggression that it became impossible not to get amped for the incoming onslaught as he climbed on the barrier ready to rip people’s heads off. 

Enterprise Earth

Stage banter can be corny at times but everything that came out of Travis’ mouth felt like a genuine threat and sounded like it was written by war hardened poets. Hearing phrases like “when this kicks in, I’ve got you for five more minutes” and “show me violence,” might not seem all that impactful on paper but seeing him scream those things in your face is certain to get you ready for war. 

Enterprise Earth

There was still a lot of variety as some of the tracks featured these spacey clean passages which invoked the likes of Cynic and Obscura. The breaks were brief but they were welcome. Just to the side of me was a swirling vortex of chaos and the closer you got to it, the less you valued life. Colossal destructive steamrollers like ‘They Have No Honour’ got the vicious group moving and it just didn’t stop until the band left the stage. 

Enterprise Earth

Death Magick was dedicated to local slam heroes, Ingested. It wouldn’t be the last reference to them either as almost everyone on the bill gave them a shoutout as the Slamchester legends they are. Manchester may have some of the greatest pop music ever written but we can still hold our own when it comes to disgusting sloppy slam riffs.

Enterprise Earth

Up next was the mighty Sanguisugabogg, the New York slam metal legends who have been gaining immense popularity through their shitposting as well their feud with a certain hairline impaired gentleman on Twitter. The room was absolutely packed by the time they hit the stage and it only got crazier once they started. Security were working overtime and must be commended for the stellar job they did herding the maniacs back to their natural habitat.

Sanguisugabogg

According to security, there were 64 crowdsurfers in the space of half an hour which works out to just over two crowdsurfers per minute. The set was so crazy, the photographers had to leave the photo pit early for their safety, an incredibly rare occurrence in live music. 

Sanguisugabogg

Sanguisugabogg performed a wealth of sludgy Morbid Angel-style death metal including ‘Pissed and Dragged by a Truck’. Guy Namington is a formidable frontman but still has a sense of humour; “Just like our dicks, this next song’s a real knee slapper, it’s about f*cking dead bodies” said vocalist Devin Swank before slamming into the terminally horny crusher, ‘Necrosexual Deviant’

Sanguisugabogg

The final song of the set and their biggest hit was dedicated to the Queen because she is ‘Dead as Sh*t’ and the crowd lost their minds and took to the circle pit in loving tribute to one of the longest reigning monarchs. Hopefully, they’ll be back soon and perhaps the timing will work out and they’ll dedicate it to Charles.

Sanguisugabogg

Once Sanguisugabogg finished, the room seemed less full but there were still a wealth of violent lunatics ready to throw down. Suffocation burst on stage to the discontent hostility of ‘Seraphim Enslavement,’ a track from their latest album Hymns from the Apocrypha

Suffocation

Hymns from the Apocrypha took up a significant portion of the set which was more than welcome, Hymns shows off Suffocation at the absolute peak of their abilities as well as unleashing their new vocalist: Ricky Myers. 

Suffocation

Ricky may be new to the band but he fits perfectly, his versions of classics like ‘Effigy of the Forgotten’ and ‘Pierced from Within’ have an element of brutality that is rarely matched in the extreme metal scene. No one will ever replace Frank Mullen, the man is a living legend, but he still knocked it out of the park. 

It’s always exciting to see members of supporting bands playing with the headliner, many will fondly remember Trevor Strnad performing on stage with Cannibal Corpse. Suffocation performed ‘Funeral Inception’ with Organectomy vocalist Tyler Jordan and Devin Swank was brought up to sing ‘Liege of Inveracity’. It’s amazing when masters of the genre bring out members of younger bands as it shows they have confidence in the new school picking up where they left off after they retire. 

Suffocation played ‘Catatonia,’ the first song they ever wrote as Suffocation, which has this slow paced ominous groove and harmonised guitar work before bringing in fairly thrashy riffs. It speaks to how well-defined their sound was at the very start of their career that they can still play songs as old as this and still have it make sense in a modern setlist. 

Suffocation

Suffocation ended with a right hook, ‘Clarity Through Deprivation’ was the last chance to unleash chaos and Manchester delivered. The whole crowd saw red as the grinding riffs steamrolled through the sound system as hundreds of voracious Souls lost all sense of control for the last disgusting breakdown of the night. 

Suffocation

Suffocation are an important band in extreme metal and it’s safe to call them one of the most important bands in the development of slam. Their inclusion of the new school of slam is wonderful and showcases their confidence in the future of the genre. Every band on this bill gave a masterclass in concocting pure filth and how to elevate an already visceral reaction from a rabid crowd. 

This whole show was absolutely revolting and I loved every second of it.

Suffocation
Lamestream Lydia
Lamestream Lydia
Self-proclaimed journalist, Progressive rock enthusiast and the most American sounding person you're ever likely to meet in the North of England

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