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Deicide at The White Rabbit Review

White Rabbit – The Amenta, Hour of Penance, Belphegor and Deicide - 26/06/2011.

White Rabbit – The Amenta, Hour of Penance, Belphegor and Deicide - 26/06/2011.


It was hard to believe it was an ordinary Sunday evening in Plymouth. For anyone who's after their Death Metal kicks Plymouth usually doesn’t have much to offer - but the White Rabbit is always a promising start; and on this particular Sunday, the White Rabbit had induced a healthy crowd with their congregation of metal artists from around the world.

From Australia, The Amenta were the first band to grace the stage - And I use the word ‘grace’ because it is a word that surprisingly sums up this metal quintet rather well. Although the riffs were fast and technical, frontman, Cain Cressall’s performance was eerie and elegant. Cain and his band were smeared with black body paint and equipped with peculiar contact lenses - they didn’t just play a gig, they put on a show. While his fellow musicians hoist and plunge their heads to the music, Cain moves slowly around the stage - gazing into the wondering eyes of his audience in black T-Shirts; and when he screams he prolongs his notes again giving a slow ghostly feel. This clashes with the rapid beat of the drums, creating a sense of being stuck in time. They are an interesting band to see live; and if you like your metal then I’d recommend checking them out.

From Italy, Hour of Penance was the least impressive of the four bands. Their performance seemed somewhat lacking and the vacant look on their faces didn’t give over an enthusiastic impression. They occasionally whipped their hair around but overall their performance was rather stiff. The music seemed louder than the screaming which made it difficult to hear any structure to their songs. Granted, this band do know how to play their instruments – but I think they need to re-evaluate their live performances.

Belphegor from Austria bought something fun to the evening. Like The Amenta, the artists of Belphegor were also covered in body paint which was smeared with sweat around their faces. Helmuth Lehner serves as a great front man, he is engaging and he really makes an effort to communicate with his audience. Every now and then he shouted ‘Fuck you Plymouth!’ and occasionally added something along the lines of, ‘Suck my dick!’ - His crowd saw the funny side of this, thankfully. This band was certainly the most energetic of the four and they were very entertaining to watch.

Last on the bill were Deicide from America, and they were clearly the band that everybody had come to see. Deicide have grit, gravel and guts and they execute their instruments effortlessly. Glen Benton has a voice that could scare a wild lion back to its mother – but what really impressed me was the astounding drumming by Steve Asheim. Ralph Santolla was face-melting on guitar but his fellow guitarist, Jack Owen seem a little bland due to lack of energy and stage presence. However, despite this Deicide were the perfect band to headline the night, and they sent everybody home with a smile on their face and a ringing in their ears. In the entirety of the evening I think it is safe to say that I did not hear one lyric that I could understand to be a word – but when you're at a death metal gig that is always to be expected.

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