Kreator at Manchester AcademySupport: Sepultura| Soilwork | Aborted
February 28, 2017 at Manchester Academy
An early start for a monstrous four band bill at the Academy. Crowds were quite thin at the start, but soon built up through the night. It wasn’t quite full, but there were enough people to make it a memorable night as one of the best tours of the year so far landed in Manchester.
An early start in such a big venue for multi-national death metallers Aborted could have made hard work for the band, but they weren’t having any of it. Blasting from the start, they didn’t stop as, flanked by two encased skeletons, they raced through a half hour set of gore drenched tunes concentrating on material from their most recent album Retrogore as well as a few treats from earlier in their career. Vocalist Sven De Caluwe isn’t far from being up there with the likes of Benighted’s Julien Trechard and Cattle Decapitation’s Travis Ryan for not only being able to reach some insane depths with their vocals, but also being able to reproduce it onstage. Those comparisons stack up when the rest of the band are added as well. They are getting better with each release and are undeniably one of the better bands in extreme metal currently. ‘Termination Redux’ is an obvious highlight, but a sign of where the band are right now. A great start to the night.
It seems a long time now since Soilwork were being heralded as possibly the next big thing in metal. Sadly it didn’t pan out quite that way, but they still have a reputation for consistently strong output and shows. With only a short set tonight, the band were unable to show a wide range of the material, and were instead restricted to some of their more well known tracks and only one track from their latest album, with which they opened the show. They played well and got a decent reaction, but felt that they were a little lost on this bill, neither coming from a general thrash or death metal background. It was cool to see them still as inventive and uncategorisable as ever, but they would have been much better suited on the Meshuggah tour earlier in the year. Definitely worth catching though, next time they come over.
Sepultura have recently completed a series of shows for their thirtieth anniversary, and seem intent on pushing forward for as long as they can. With one of their finest albums in years in the bag, they used their hour to showcase a fair amount of new material, before blasting through a set packed full of not just classic Sepultura material, but era defining stuff from the late 80’s and early 90’s. ‘Phantom Self’ is a track which you feel will stay in their set for a long time, packed with influences from their earlier material. If there is a down side, I still feel that vocalist Derek Green struggles with some of the earlier material a little. Maybe it was a sound issue, but he sounded a lot fainter during ‘Inner Self’ than during ‘Roots Bloody Roots’ for example, but bar that small issue, they put on a hell of a show. The band seem re invigorated with this new album behind them, and willing to take on all comers. This is a very different band to the one that broke it big, and they seem to be on their way back their again. Am excited to see what happens next.
Kreator headlined and the already impressive stage show was added to again. More lights, (specifically more strobes), confetti cannons, dry ice, smoke, and full on pyro accompanied the German veterans as they, similarly to Sepultura, showed that despite being so experienced you can still be fresh and relevant, and even push yourself to produce material that rivals some of your most revered work. There was little interaction with the crowd as the band instead concentrated on providing a master class of thrash. Aside from the all out attack and songs abut war, Satan, Hell and other such thrash staples, the track ‘Fallen Brother’ brought everyone to a standstill for a few moments as the band used the screen at the back of the stage to show some of rock and metals lost icons, such as Lemmy, Phil Lynott, Dio, Jeff Hanneman amongst many others, and for a few moments you could sense a definite change in atmosphere as people raised the horns, their beer, or anything else that was nearby in memory to their heroes. That calm didn’t last too long though, as the band crashed straight into ‘Army of Storms’ and the chaos begun again. When done right, thrash is a lot of fun, and Kreator are living proof that there is nothing like fast riffs and numerous pits, to make a show go well. Everyone saw on the way back to the station and then waiting for a train had a beaming smile on their face despite looking broken, sweaty and generally dishevelled. Just an awesome night.
Aborted: ‘Divine Impediment’ – ‘Cadaverous Banquet’ – ‘Meticulous Invagination’ – ‘Hecatomb’ – ‘Coffin Upon Coffin’ – ‘Termination Redux’ – ‘Threading On Vermillion Deception’ – ‘Bit By Bit’.
Soilwork: ‘The Ride Majestic’ – ‘Nerve’ – ‘Rise Above The Sentiment’ – ‘Bastard Chain’ – ‘The Living Infinite I’ – ‘The Chainheart Machine’ – ‘Two Lives Wroth Of Reckoning’ – ‘Late For The Kill, Early For The Slaughter’ – ‘Stabbing The Drama’.
Sepultura: ‘I Am The Enemy’ – ‘Phantom Self’ – ‘Choke’ – ‘Desperate Cry’ – ‘Alethea’ – ‘Sworn Oath’ – ‘Inner Self’ – ‘Resistant Parasites’ – ‘Refuse / Resist’ – ‘Arise’ – ‘Ratamahatta’ – ‘Roots Bloody Roots’.
Kreator: ‘Hordes Of Chaos (A Necrologue For The Elite)’ – ‘Phobia’ – ‘Satan Is Real’ – ‘Gods Of Violence’ – ‘People Of The Lie’ – ‘Total Death’ – ‘Phantom Antichrist’ – ‘Fallen Brother’ – ‘Army Of Storms’ – ‘Enemy Of God’ – ‘From Flood Into Fire’ – ‘World War Now’ – ‘Hail To The Hordes’ – ‘Extreme Aggression’ – ‘Civilisation Collapse’ – ‘Violent Revolution’ – ‘Flag Of Hate / Under The Guillotine’ – ‘Pleasure To Kill’.