A Monday night is probably the least favourite word in any touring band member’s vocabulary. Playing to twenty-or-so uninterested people in a decrepit toilet venue for little-to-no money sounds fun, eh? But Terror’s show at the dank, intimate surrounding of Southampton’s historic Joiners venue was one of those few times when a Monday night show in a grey town sees every band entice nothing less than carnage.
A sizeable portion of the sold-out crowd greets Desolated’s down-tuned and hellish hardcore. Having headlined the venue only a few months before, the band instantly hit their stride, inciting the kids at the front into a frenzy of flailing limbs. Opener ‘Betrayal’ pummels the crowd with brutal riff after brutal riff and it’s not long before stage-divers appear to pound the crowd even further. ‘Dead End’ throws some blastbeats into the mix, making their already brutal metal sound downright terrifying. Frontman Paul holds out the mic as a small pile of bodies scramble to scream and growl the band’s anti-religious lyrics. The grating feedback and concrete riffs of final song ‘Blasphemy’ sees the dancers throw themselves about the pit for the final demonic breakdown. Although Desolated are as subtle as a kick in the testicles from a pair of Doc Martens, they are already one of UK hardcore’s most formidable live bands.
Manchester’s finest, Broken Teeth, may not bleed originality but they are one of the UK’s hardest working bands. Through relentless touring of the UK and Europe, the five-piece has made fans the hard way, but now they are finally beginning to receive the response they deserve. The chugging metal-infused riffs of their crossover sound are met with rabid response. New tracks from the ‘Ain’t No Rest for the Wicked’ E.P provide Slayer-worshipping licks that rain down with ardent ferocity as the vocalist throws himself about the stage in a blur of hair. ‘The Seeker’ brings their set to a chaotic close in what was a headline-worthy performance.
There’s a tangible anticipation in the air for South Wales troupe Brutality Will Prevail and you’d be forgiven in thinking that they were the headline band such is the response they receive. Opening with short Harm’s Way cover the band launches into ‘Trapped Doors, Moving Walls’ and the opening screams of “Look into my eyes/I can see what you want me to be” are howled back at the band by a fervent crowd. New song ‘The Path’ is greeted like an old favourite, its more straight forward riff-orientated style being lapped up by those in the pit. ‘Reprisal’ displays an unrelentingly crushing selection of snail-paced chugging, opening a large vortex of flying limbs and steady stream of stage divers. Vocalist Ajay contorts his body into a plethora of violent gestures whilst challenging the audience to increase the already chaotic pit action to uncharted new levels. Despite some technical difficulties BWP’s momentum never flags. ‘Purgatory’ is a beatdown-heavy blast of pure bile that sits surprisingly well against the more progressive and expansive but no less brutal ‘Cursed’ and the driving momentum of closer ‘Heavy Eyes’. An almost flawless set from one of the UK’s most promising outfits, it’s taken them a while but BWP are now a solid and intimidating live act.
Any fears that BWP’s set would be the peak in energy are quickly extinguished. A mix of early thirties crusty punks and young hardcore kids welcomes Terror, a band that have been playing shows in sweaty little rooms across the globe for ten years. Scott Vogel is easily one the most charismatic frontman in hardcore, encouraging kids to stagedive, handing out the mic to the sweaty throng and never being short of a good old hilarious “Vogelism” (Google it). A career spanning set means no fans are left disappointed; tracks are aired from almost every release including the first song the band ever wrote. Of course, ‘Keepers of the Faith’ is saved until last and quite rightly receives the biggest sing along of the night from the humid, sweat-drenched room.