Death To Cancer @ The Black Heart, London

January 20th, 2016
Review by Helena Byrne

death to cancer
The day has arrived! The highly anticipated and sold out Death to Cancer gig at Camden’s Black Heart. This poor little venue will be laid to waste after 11 bands representing death and slam from across the UK take to the stage with the addition of some scary-looking Italians. It looks quiet, but it is only 1pm after all. Time for a pint. After a short while the usual sea of band t-shirts make their way in and upstairs to the venue. This is where everyone is hiding…

Before long, Manchester’s Chainsaw Castration take to the stage with their brutal mix of slamming deathcore penetrated by high pitched screaming, drudging breakdowns and the expected introductions. ‘This song is about putting your hand up a woman’s vagina, grabbing the baby, twisting it and then pulling it out, it’s called “Contorted and Aborted”’, yes, wake up London. This young trio certainly put on an entertaining show, what a great start to the day.

Following fast are Fallen Apollo from Essex. While it felt like it took some time for them to settle and gain the audience, they pick up the energy and slam their way through to the end dragging the crowd with them in a sea of drudging riffs and vocals.

Masochist are to blame for the first mini pit of the day thanks to the relentless stream of riffs from these Yorkshire death metallers. It’s bouncy, entertaining and fast. Occasionally they give us a break with some slow breakdowns that turn the place into waves of hair, but ultimately they don’t let up.

Midlands-based, Spawned From Hate continue with a barrage of low pitched growling. This is relentless. They put on an amusing performance full of energy and slow slamming riffs, layering it with guttural vocals and blasting passages. It’s no wonder these guys are building a reputation.

Following are Atonement. Geoff Bradley never fails to disappoint with his one-man brutal death project from Bristol. The incessant growling and lacerating riffs have sent the crowd into another pitting frenzy but at least we’re all awake now.

Manchester’s Visions of Disfigurement are up next. It’s busy in here, hot and it doesn’t take long before the crowd is on stage adding their own death growls down the mic. There are people everywhere. Visions continuously blast us with some energetic slam breakdowns and after this performance I can see why their name is popping up all over the place.

Sodomised Cadaver are interesting. This guitar and drums duo from the Welsh Valleys deliver their own brand of brutal death through the expected back and forth of Welsh jokes. Again, there are a lot of people on stage adding their own improvisations… it seems to be an afternoon for this kind of frivolity.

Omnipotent Hysteria are another band I’ve seen everywhere in recent months. Their performance tonight explained everything as they subject us to an onslaught of riffs and brutal technicality, paired with the familiar and much-loved death metal growl. They’ve created a great mix here which certainly retains interest and this place is packed. Says it all!

The other Essex representative on the line up are Bludgeon. Known for their deep, unrelenting guttural vocals and riffs, they deliver just that. This is an assault on the lower end of our hearing and it’s intense. I imagine it takes some time to fully digest.

Necrosis are next. Yes! Time for some excellently constructed and delivered brutal death. Necrosis never disappoint and as expected from this Bristol-based band they tear apart the stage and the venue erupts into some serious bouncing. All that’s missing are the inflatable hammers.

Party Cannon! I’m so happy to finally see these guys and so is everyone else. The sound that vomits forth from these Scottish party slammers infects an already hyper crowd with a stream of colourful brutality which sends the place into another frenzy of pitting. Party Cannon are hilarious, the music is ridiculous and without a doubt they lived up to the hype.

Alongside Party Cannon are co-headliners Indecent Excision. These ferocious Italians end the night almost calmly as the crowd has somewhat dissipated. It’s a shame because they put on a great performance full of enraged guttural growling, slam-filled breakdowns and an unrelenting bombardment of blasting. Oh well, their loss, Indecent Excision haul the audience on a last energetic last drag through the pits of hell which is much appreciated.

Oh today was fun, hot and destructive. Most of all it was successful at raising over £500 for the charity Ballboys. The next installment of Death To Cancer will be taking place 2nd July at The Black Heart, this time in aid of ovarian cancer. Already confirmed are co-headliners Putrified J and Basement Torture Killings, alongside Operation Cunt Destroyer, Laceration and returnees Visions Of Disfigurement and Spawned From Hate among others.