The Black Dahlia Murder, Skeleton Witch, Flesh God Apocalypse
02 Academy, Newcastle 20 January 2012
Friday night and it’s off to the 02, a healthy crowd had gathered outside and we couldn’t wait to get inside from the biting wind.
Tonight’s show was in the upstairs room at the 02 and it was pretty jam packed as Italy's brutal/symphonic horde Flesh God Apocalypse took to the stage, these guys really impressed playing a five song set which I really enjoyed, ( actually rephrase that they were fucking amazing)!! 'The Violation' and set closer 'Thru Our Scars' got my attention, and I immediately went and got their C.D ('Agony') from the merch stall afterwards. These Italians are extremely heavy all dressed in dinner suits and corpse paint entertaining isn’t the word, they were totally absorbing and compelling!! Being the opening band is never easy, especially facing a hardened North East crowd, but these guys were fantastic and really got everyone's blood pumping and ready and eager for more of the same.
The 02 was nearly full by the time Skeleton Witch took to the stage and the crowd had already formed a healthy sized mosh-pit. Chance Garnette’s death-metal growls pierced the thick, intense guitars perfectly. Skeleton Witch blend thrash and melodic death metal and did not disappoint. Chances stage banter was totally brilliant and kept the mosh-pits and the beer drinking going. There was no let up as Skeleton Witch played quite a few new tracks from their latest album 'Forever Abomination' such as 'The Horrifying Force (The Desire To Kill)', 'Reduced To The Failure of Prayer', 'Infernal Resurrection' and also a nice chunk from their earlier albums, including 'Submit to the Suffering', 'Strangled by Unseen Hands', 'Repulsive Salvation', 'Beyond the Permafrost', 'Sacrifice for the Slaughter god'. Skeleton Witch finished tonight’s totally enthralling set with 'Within My Blood', after their performance they all go and meet the crowd in the lobby which is totally brilliant, really nice down to earth guys and I will be catching Skeleton Witch again very soon!.
Now for tonight’s headliners, The Black Dahlia Murder kick in with the intro and then 'A Shrine to Madness', a frenzied mosh-pit erupts as these Michigan metallers slay the academy in a frenzy of melodic death metal. They don’t give you a chance to breathe as 'Moonlight Equilibrium', 'What a Horrible Night to have a Curse' and 'Vulgar Picture' rip into the crowd. Vocalist Trevor Strand is amazing, energetic and knows how to entertain. There were a few stage divers and it’s always nice at the Newcastle Academy when the security staff let the youngsters enjoy themselves and don’t become unnecessarily heavy handed.
Standout tracks for me personally were 'Carbonized in Cruciform' and final two 'Blood in the Ink' and 'Death mask Divine'.
A lot, as to be expected, was played from the new album 'Ritual'. The band put in 110 percent and Shannon Lucas’s drumming was far beyond exceptional tonight, with brilliant guitar work and in your face vocals from Trevor Strand. This was a great set.
Afterwards Trevor came down to the main foyer for photos and autographs.
It has to be said that T.B.D.M. don’t look like a traditional metal band, but it is the music that’s relevant, not how they look, and if you have never seen them before you are missing an amazing night of some outstanding brutal death metal.
Review by: Seb Di Gatto, Photos by: Alison Bear