Review written by JOHN DOE!
Finally another metal gig arrives in Darlington, my hometown and possibly one of the most boring places on the planet. Still, in support of this wondrous occasion I made my way out with eager expectations, as not only was this a metal gig, but a brutal death metal gig (for the most part) featuring headliners Scatorgy from Hull, Darlingtonian two man grindsters Twice the Trauma and stepping in last minute local punk act In Evil Hour.
Twice the Trauma – 8/10
As first band Twice the Trauma entered the stage, the somewhat bare crowd seemingly doubled into what became a reasonable number. Not packed out, but healthy enough to make this a decent gig. The two man combo consist of a lone guitarist (complete with lab coat and covered head to toe in fake blood!) and a lone vocalist. The rest of the music supplied by a backing track (though apparently they’ve named the ‘drummer’ as Cunty!).
Aside from a technical hitch with the guitars on the first track, Twice the Trauma blast through several hyper speed grind/death numbers with leanings towards Napalm Death as well as some of the more comedy acts in the Goregrind scene. The between song banter from the duo is like watching a comedy act, and is fitting towards the already comedic nature of the song titles, such as ‘Burnt Remains Delayed My Train’ and ‘Shouldn’t have had that Coffee’. The sound is a little chaotic at first, but toward the end, the balance between the backing track (mostly hyper speed programmed drums), the guitars and the vocals evens out. Final track ‘The Pig Riders of Leeholme’ takes a bit more of a blackened sound and is very reminiscent of Anaal Nathrakh, and was my favourite song of the set.
Whist Twice the Trauma don’t excel in technicality, they make up for it with catchy and amusing songs and a great stage personality. I could never get bored of watching them perform.
In Evil Hour – 7/10
These local punk metallers stepped in only the night before to save the gig. The band that dropped out were supposed to be bringing a good portion of the backline, so it’s fortunate a solution was found at such short notice. I have to confess, I absolutely hate punk in any of its forms, so I didn’t have high hopes for In Evil Hour.
However I’m pleased to say I was pleasantly surprised with their performance. They hit hard, with a powerful and energetic sound and as the beers flowed I found myself nodding along with the beat. Although female fronted, I never got the impression that the band use her as a gimmick and her vocal performance was quite varied, from typical punk shouting/singing to some decent screams and growls.
Kudos to them for saving the gig and for putting on a tight and enjoyable performance, despite clashing with my tastes!
Scatorgy – 10/10
I’d seen Scatorgy before a couple of years ago in their home town of Hull so I knew what to expect. However what I didn’t expect is to be absolutely blown off my feet.
Scatorgy pummel into their set at lightning speed shifting from super-mega-hyper blast death metal to groove and grind sections. Guitars and bass tear away at fast technical riffing with intricate timings thrown in freely. The vocalist (who’d only joined the band 2 weeks prior to the performance) stomped around the front barking, grunting and pig squealing and odd as it may seem is quite a talent. Sure, I realise it’s just a guy screaming but to those who do it (or have tried it) he is top notch!
All that aside though, the real and most noticeable talent on stage tonight is the drummer. I can honestly say I’ve never seen a drummer this fast before, and I’ve seen hundreds of black and death metal bands live over the years. Perhaps it was the beer flowing, or the fact that the Tap ‘n’ Spile is a small dingy hovel which really didn’t acoustically cater for the size of the sound rig, but seriously this drummer is shit hot and his blast beats were simply out of this world.
So as the small but active crowd (myself included) moshed away at the front, the bassist announced the last song and it’s as if that 40 minutes lasted only 4. Luckily as we all cried out for one more, they kindly obliged.
I can honestly say that Scatorgy are easily of the best death metal bands I’ve ever seen live, and are certainly destined for great things. In a scene I’d pretty much lost interest in over the last few years, Scatorgy have proved to me that Grind/Death metal can be exciting, interesting and utterly brutal. I eagerly await their debut album which is due out early 2013. Check them out!
All in all this was a fantastic night for the Darlington metal scene and one of many more to come I hope!