It’s not often you can say a gig really blows you away. While the sweaty, exhilarating post-gig feeling leaves you with a smile on your face saying, ‘that was amazing!’, sometimes it doesn’t necessarily tick all the boxes. At Pestilence, Zealot Cult and Drakonis in Voodoo on Friday, however, every band on the night did just that.
Drakonis as ever lived up to the expectations of the well-acquainted Death-Metallers that stood before them, delivering a blinding set to warm us up for the night ahead. Make no mistake, this was more of a blood-drenched, horror-fuelled kick up the arse kind of warm up, as opposed to a gentle tap on the shoulder. Half an hour of sheer brutality – with a bit of funky swing to it in older favourites like ‘Fear of the Wretched’ – was just what was needed to kick the night into gear. Also, props to drummer (Lee McCartney) for playing right-handed – you wouldn’t have known anything was different if it wasn’t mentioned. Not a beat or note was missed, and every member delivered with attitude and power. One of the best Drakonis sets I’ve seen so far.
Next up were Limerick Death-Metallers Zealot Cult. A band I haven’t paid nearly enough attention to until now, I can safely say I’m a fan after Friday night’s performance. Much like Pestilence, they are everything I look for in Death Metal. They’re in no way dull or repetitive, a trap I find many newer Death Metal bands can fall into easily. Disgustingly brutal riffs, paired with Pestilence-esque vocals and, dare I say, one of, if not the best drummer I’ve seen this country produce; Zealot Cult absolutely delivered the fuck out of the goods in one of the tightest Death Metal sets I’ve seen yet.
Sometimes words fail you when you try to describe how good a band played live. Pestilence‘s set, for me, is another case of that. There’s a certain feeling in the air when a bigger band plays small venues, and the atmosphere in Voodoo as soon as they took to the stage was something else. The band blasted through a set of their first four albums – Malleus Maleficarum, Consuming Impulse, Testimony Of The Ancients, and Spheres – with sheer ferociousness and precision. Hearing those songs sound exactly like the album versions but louder is any OSDM fan’s wet dream. With the exception of a few minor technical difficulties (which were soon forgotten about as soon as the riffage re-commenced), Pestilence played a flawless set.
Thanking the audience and playing with smiles on their faces throughout, it was evident they were enjoying the atmosphere as much as the sweaty crowd in front of them. It’s certainly early days yet but I have no doubt in saying that Pestilence, Zealot Cult and Drakonis already delivered one of the best shows of 2018. One can only hope this isn’t the last of Voodoo hosting bigger Death Metal shows like this, because there really is nothing quite like it.
Review: Lauren McGowan
Photography: Liam Kielt https://www.facebook.com/LiamKieltPhotography/