20th June 2012
Review by by Chris Primitive
Photography by Michelle Murphy
After our interview with Malefice and Unearth earlier, myself and Michelle [Photographer] make our way to the front of the stage of the Underworld to watch these guys play!Romeo Must Die:
After a little wait, Romeo Must Die fly onto the stage! They storm the stage and crack the whip straight into their set. Pounding bass and drums these metalcore veterans show how to play some serious music. Killer riffs with breakdowns, the no nonsense Essex boys give it their all each and every time they take the stage.
Ben is slung so low that his bass is almost touching the floor, while Aaron stomps around on stage. With his massive frame you wouldn’t wanna fuck with the RMD boys.
Thrashy 2 step hardcore songs mixed with aggression and intricate lyrics give RMD their unique but known sound. Screeching riffs through their next breakdown before Adam’s vocals kick through the next few bars of brutality.
“Better of Dead” is the next one up off of their latest release Hardships in Season, Romeo Must Die’s stage presence is no bullshit. Adam wearing his Rocky Balboa t-shirt with the physique to match, you know they all mean business. RMD are the full package, switching stage positions with ease and fluidity, putting all the standstill bands to shame.
The energy levels are immense and the crowd is sweating just watching them.
Last song for the night, a song that even Biohazard would be proud of!
Adam gets everyone to kneel down together before jumping up as the song kicks in again, well everyone apart from two guys who decided they still like to kneel.
Romeo Must Die have certainly warmed up the crowd tonight!
Darkness comes over the Underworld as Malefice make their way onto the stage before kicking their set off with “An Architect of your Demise” off of 2009’s stellar hit “Dawn of Reprisal”.
It’s got me screaming DEMISE along with Dale!
It’s the first song I heard of all their material and still one of my favourite songs too, sounding better than it ever has before right now.
The next song is a song about doing crazy shit; something we can all relate too, maybe me more than most.
The backing mics aren’t on properly but it doesn’t take much away from the performance. Chugging hammering death core style metal slays the audiences’ sound system.
A killer track “The Midas Effect” taking us back a few years once more.
Pounding drums and technical string playing sum up what Malefice stand for, before Dale introduces the band.
During their next song, they demand a circle pit, and the crowd duly deliver.
Arms flailing and bodies bouncing off each other, I feel the urge to go nuts myself but I have to write this up!
These Reading boys are veterans already, but have so much more to give.
Ploughing through the set without the slightest delay or worry, they own the stage like it’s their own front room.
A pleasure watching this band who have risen high but have more rungs of the ladder in their sights and will definitely reach them.
The last song of the night has a circle pit going around one of the infamous Underworld pillars; the same pillar that about a decade ago I smashed my face open on it during a mental Converge show and the intensity is exactly the same as that night.
Dale has unrelenting vocal energy, not missing a tone or word as he barely catches a breath before another onslaught.
Tom on the bass must get the most insane neck ache as there isn’t a minute he’s not banging his head to his own troubled mind.
Malefice finish up leaving us salivating for more, luckily we have Malevolent Creation up next!
Maybe the stand out performers on the bill, the brutal death metal legends give us something different and something amazing!
They come onto stage with a little backing track and a hellish growl from vocalist Brett Hoffman. Hair and windmills galore, this is the shit I was born for.
Not so happy when they announce their next song “Slaughterhouse”, which is a title of one of my own bands tracks. I won’t hold it against them though. 🙂
The sound is immense and this is Florida based death metal at its very finest.
Who cares if the bill is a little different?! Malevolent Creation belong at the legendary Underworld.
Brett towers above the rest of the band and almost hits the ceiling when he raises his horns up! “Decadence Within” off of their debut album “The Ten Commandments” giving us fast paced death metal to all the legends that they share the boat with.
With speed ridden double pedal bass drum that’s making the whole Underworld vibrate, Florida’s own, take no prisoners. An eleven second growl turn scream shows that Malevolent Creation just opened up a can of death on us all. “Cornonation of our domain” from 92’s “Retribution”, penetrating my soul with sadistic evil intent.
Bassist Jason Blachowicz continues with his slow but effective head banging and Phil Fasciana playing his wailing riffs and sodomizing grinds.
They finish off in style and have bought the darkness to the Underworld tonight.
Such a short set for a band that has hours and hours of material, please get these guys back over here asap with their own headline tour!
Up next, our headliners and I cannot wait. It’s Unearth!
Unearth open up with a storm and “The Great Dividers” and the pits open up, a circle pit ensues, back to a pit, this is insane. Gang vocals from the crowd, stage diving, the lot!
All what you’d expect but just bonkers beyond words.
A classic Unearth song that just picks you up by the neck and smashes you in the face.
The next song and the euro style riffs that you only get in Metalcore with Unearth ignite the room. A beatdown filled song followed by a melodic solo with John Maggard’s backing vocals. “Eyes of Black” off their latest release “Darkness In the Light” is up, you’d think it’s the legendary At The Gates opening up this song, before Unearths intricate riffs kick in. Trevor industrious with his screams and shouts.
Blistering solo once more by Buzz, before the song breaks down and the pit becomes a blurd of bodies and sweat as the rest of the crowd bang their f*cking heads.
Trev asks for stage dives and as the next track kicks in the crowd duly delivers. What a mess of broken bodies flying off of the stage quicker than they came!
I can imagine our photographer is having trouble getting pictures right now without getting smashed in the face by a wailing leg or arm! One from “The Oncoming Storm” with “This Lying World” taking us back to 2004 with style and penache.
Unearth at their best with wailing solo and the simple yet effective hardcore “Chugg Chugg”.
One of the sickest stage dives I’ve ever seen with a dude in a white t-shirt doing a 180 flip straight into someone else’s face, I love it!
The Massachusetts’ quintet refuse to be broken while carrying on their assault and showing why they’ve been around nearly 15 years and aren’t going anywhere yet.
This one goes out to those who saw them the first time they were over.
It’s………..ENDLESS….a must have for the clubs back in 2004 onwards.
I remember this at the Camden Barfly years back, and the destruction of torso’s is just the same.
Time for some “2-step” before the meatiest of breakdowns with the crowd shouting along with Trevor “ENDLESS FIGHT!” The band show their quality by ad-hoc’ing their setlist halfway through and adding in a rarely played song. “Bloodlust of the Human Condition”.
A crazy heavy song with twiddly bits at the max!
One big circle pit, about 10 meters in diaemeter…which is basically the entire dancefloor of the Underworld. Just two more songs for us… “Black Hearts now Reign” giving my good friend Mikey “2-step” heaven. Circle pits open up again and the place is going ape shit.
Buzz gives some dude his beer and the guy near swallows the bottle!
Nick Pierce gives an immense drum solo before we are told it’s the final song of the night. “My Will Be Done” closes up this epic gig.
People are smashing into each other one side of me and a guy going off on his own on the other, although it looks like he’s trying to headbut the floor from a standing position.
Unearth play a flawless set, giving the crowd their desires and everyone a good night.
This is by far one of the best gigs I’ve been to at the Underworld in recent years, if you’ve missed this short tour, then you’ve missed out big time.
But wait?! An impromptu encore; something that Unearth only do in the rarest of occasions.
They come back on stage to give us one last throw of the dice and go out with a bang.
The crowds in for it as much as they were for the opening song, and Unearth are humbled by the crowd tonight.
A top class gig, giving me some soreness at work tomorrow. I look forward to catching each and everyone of these bands.
Check out our interview with Unearth and Malefice backstage and what they have planned for the future in our interviews section!