The Heavy Metal Muppets is a place for all things Metal with a particular emphasis on the London Underground Metal scene. We are a bunch of friends who have been into Metal since the late 80's and want to share our enthusiasm with anyone else who's prepared to listen. The format varies and we hope keeps it interesting for everyone, so keep your eyes peeled for reviews, interviews, memoirs and live videos amongst other things \m/

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

London Deathfest XII - Deicide, Belphegor, Hour of Penance, The Amenta, Amputated, Basement Torture Killings, Serial Butcher, Fractured Insanity & Oblivionized - The Underworld, Camden - 25th June 2011

How long had we been waiting for this gig?! Fuckin’ ages. When I knew Deicide were coming to town I was so excited I almost wet myself. Not to mention my metal brothers Dave and Billy had made the trip all the way from the midlands and my actual, blood brother Jamie from Cambridge. We decided to meet at the Worlds End and if you read this blog often you know how I feel about that place...

Unfortunately we were too late to see Oblivionized who must have been on pretty much as the doors opened because we weren’t that late. Anyway, they’re pretty good if you like grind, check ‘em out here.

Fractured Insanity
We did, however, manage to catch Fractured Insanity. These guys were pretty much straight up death metal. It’s always going to be difficult playing this early on in the day. The place wasn’t very busy and everyone seemed to be pretty well behaved at this point. Having said that, this band put forward an enjoyable performance. I particularly liked their original concept for starting a moshpit. It involved taking an American football, throwing it into the audience and promising that whoever held the ball last would get a free CD. As you can imagine, chaos commenced, cut short by some massive bald guys, but hey, 10/10 for effort. One to watch I reckon.

Serial Butcher
Next up to grace the boards was Serial Butcher. Holy shit! They basically squeezed themselves onto the front of the stage and literally tore our faces off with their brutal and freakishly technical brand of death metal. They pretty much rooted themselves to the stage, and normally I like a bit more of a show, but somehow their music was so captivating that none of it seemed to matter. Their vocalist, Kurt Termonia, appeared to have just stepped off the beach wearing a tatty red t-shirt and flip-flops probably. I managed to have a chat with them afterwards and they said that they had been driving from Belgium since 2am and had a ferry to catch later on at 5am. Serious dedication to the cause. I’m more than happy that they made the effort because, in my opinion, they were one of the best bands all day. Excellent stuff.

Basement Torture Killings! They never, ever, ever get boring. This time they were down a few stage props but who cares? This was the first time Dave and Billy had seen them and they loved it! Their set is so intense and the stage show goes so well with it. This band has found something new to inject into the genre. I could watch them over and over again. Absolutely brilliant. These guys work hard too, apparently they needed to hop straight back in the van and make their way to Birmingham for the Terrorizer Grindhouse night. Top class stuff. If you haven’t heard these guys before, go straight out and buy their new album “The Second Cumming”. Do it now.

BTK were a hard act to follow but then along came Amputated from Bristol. This band absolutely slay. From the very first note to the conclusion of their set they battered us with their merciless, obscene themes. The place was going off to this band. They’re a bit more old school and churn the heavy as fuck riffs out. This was complimented by an unbelievable range of vocals that seem to spew from the tiny Mark. From guttural death grunts to unnerving pig squeals, it’s seriously impressive stuff. The banter between tracks was hilarious to say the least. This was definitely, for me, the best band of the day.

The Amenta
The Amenta followed. This Black Metal outfit from Australia were definitely imposing. The sinister corpse paint set the tone. I’m not a big Black Metal fan so it would be unfair of me to slate them because I don’t really know what I’m talking about. I found their stage show entertaining. One thing that did make me laugh though was Cain’s accent speaking to the audience between songs. For some reason it seemed so wrong, almost camp. Having said that, people did seem to dig them so I guess they’re doing what they do well.

We should have seen Hour of Penance next but unfortunately missed them because we went to catch Seed of Detest’s show down the road at The Dev. You can read about that here. I like Hour of Penance and you should definitely give them a listen.


We did, however, make it back for Belphegor. What can I say, more Black Metal. Like I said about The Amenta, it was OK, just not my thing. The stage show again  was fairly engrossing but unfortunately the music goes over my head. So for the purposes of this blog... It was OK.

Finally the moment we had been waiting for... Deicide. The gig, what there was of it, was good. That’s all. I don’t even want to go through the set. Why do Deicide always have to do something annoying? We were at the Camden Underworld, watching death metal. There’s going to be a mosh pit and there is going to be stage diving. Deicide are so full of themselves that they need to bring a herd of security to pummel anyone that tries to get on the stage. It’s pathetic. Further to that, the set was only about forty five minutes long and finished at around 9.30pm with no encore despite the relentless chanting for one. Glen must be in it for the money now because for us that had been at The Underworld all day and had waited months for this show were short changed. I won’t get excited about Deicide anymore, they are way too big for their boots. Give me Amputated, BTK and Serial Butcher over them any day.

And here's an extra added bonus review for you kids from Dave 'Causa Mortis' Rowley! Enjoy!

Deathfest XII – Camden Underworld

By David Rowley (Causa Mortis)

I’d been looking forward to this gig for quite some time. The Anticipation of seeing Deicide again for what seems like an eternity. The chance to see Home-grown talent like Amputated and the Basement Torture Killings in the small and sweaty Underworld was almost too much to take!
So after a long London Midland train journey from Burton on Trent to Euston, I arrived fit to burst! Hooking up with my main Metal Muppet Matt ‘Boojay’ Budgett and friends in the Worlds End, the stage was set for a full on onslaught of pure death metal madness.

First band up for us (We missed Oblivionized) were Belgian bruisers Fractured Insanity. They performed brilliantly for a band on so early in the day and to a pretty small and mostly sober crowd. They did what they could, including trying to incite a pit, even using the old trick of throwing an American Football into the crowd and offering a prize to whoever had it last. A very large gentlemen in the front row didn’t enter the spirit and palmed the ball about ten seconds in, thus resulting in no pit, and no prize. It’s a tricky when a band constantly tries to get an early crowd going with cries of ‘MOSH’ and ‘LETS SEE YOU MOSHING’, I figure, let the music do the talking and people will or won’t, especially when it’s half one in the afternoon and most people haven’t been up that long.  This aside, the band was tight, professional and put on a great show.

Next up was another Belgian band, Serial Butcher. These were one of the highlights of the day for me. An odd looking band if I’m honest, they didn’t really look like they’d been together that long. That all changed when they started their set. Brutal from start to finish, delivering a set mainly comprising of material from their current ‘A Crash Course in Cranium Crushing’ album (check it out, it’s amazing), technical without being too flashy, memorable riffs and almost avante guard, jazz type drumming. Very impressive and worth keeping an eye out for the future. We found out from chatting to them after that they’d left their hometown of Ghent at 1am that morning to get to Camden for the gig, and had to take the long drive back for work on Monday. Now that truly is a lesson in brutality and dedication to the genre. Check out their video for ‘Reduced to a Sausage’ on Youtube, very cool indeed.

Next up were Basement Torture Killings. Band of the day without question for me. Matt had been raving about them for a long time so I was looking forward to seeing them in action. They have everything going for them and deserve to be very successful. Awesome stage presence, Bertrand makes an excellent front man, his guitar playing and vocals are amazing. Keeping in Character throughout, deranged ticks and twitches…. homemade horror samples…sheer insanity. The Duel vocals with Bertrand and the stocking faced Tarquin reminded me of early Carcass. Excellent rhythm section in the fourth killer and the creepy Professor Kennith. It’s not often you get to see someone doing something totally different and unique in Death metal, but Basement Torture Killings are doing just that, sure they have an ‘act’ but it doesn’t come across as fake or gimmicky. Usually bands that use these types of theatrics are covering up for something. Weak playing or bland music, but the Basement Torture Killings have the songs and the attitude…watch your back, kids.

UK’s Amputated were on next, I only caught the start of the set as I got chatting to the Basement Torture Killings’ Bertrand…but what I saw was amazing. Clearly a band that know their shit. Tight but loose, deranged and guttural vocals…. energetic live show. Crazy banter from their lead singer…awesome band.

The Amenta were up next, Black metal from Australia! Good presence on stage, lead singer definitely played his part and put in 100%. It was nice seeing a black metal band in the middle of all the death metal bands, added a nice contrast and didn’t seem that out of place. Well worth checking out.

Ahhh, Deicide. I was very much looking forward to seeing them. I clocked Man-mountain Glen Benton coming off the tour-bus outside the venue…. so it was reassuring to know that they’d actually be there! They delivered a professional sounding greatest hits set; Dead by Dawn made a surprise early appearance, as did Lunatic of Gods Creation. But if felt no sooner had they stepped on stage they were off. No goodbyes, no encore. A short and sweet appearance.  Over enthusiastic security that were far too heavy handed, a very short set. But on the other hand, it’s always nice seeing Jack Owen do his thing on the guitar and witness the pure firepower of Steve Ashheim on the drums. I won’t bother with them again, but I will take away the awesome memories of seeing so many awesome bands with my good friend, especially Basement Torture Killings, Serial Butcher and Amputated. Roll on Deathfest XIII. 

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