Cattle Decapitation // Signs Of The Swarm // 200 Stab Wounds // Vomit Forth // Live Review // The O2 Islington Academy // London

Tonight the plague is back in London town.

San Diego-based death grinders Cattle Decapitation are back in the UK brandishing their unique blend of grinding death metal. Sighting a huge tour package with some of the hottest new bands. Connecticut slammers Vomit Forth, Ohio death chuggers 200 Stab Wounds & Pittsburgh deathcore creatures Signs Of The Swarm.

It might be early doors at tonight’s SOLD-OUT show, but the venue is already filling up nicely as Vomit Forth takes the stage. The best thing about VF is vocalist Kane Gelaznik’s stage banter. Telling the crowd to move forward & that they paid good money to be scared by the bands & the mosh pit. As the band unleashes their perfect blend of slamming death metal with hardcore-style riffing the crowd is already moving & hooked.

One of the most chaotic tracks on the band’s last album “Unrecognizable” goes over so well. The current lineup of the group is so tight & the live sound they have created packs a huge punch. Getting a sneak preview of two new tracks featured on the band’s upcoming album also translates to a live setting perfectly. Adding more texturing like “singing” sections & different styles of breakdowns has seen the band since their 2018 inception progress rapidly & I’m all for it.

Closing with their set out with “Pain Tolerance” gives the crowd one more chance to get in that pit. As the band builds to the chorus the pit erupts even more. “What’s your pain tolerance?” Kane screams before the last ungodly breakdown closes out their set. A sonic barrage from these guys & I’m so lucky to finally see them over these waters. This new album is gonna be ridiculous.

Now Up is one of the hottest bands right now flying the flag for the new way of death metal, 200 Stab Wounds. These guys know how to start a set. The intro sample from their album “Slave to the Scalpel” begins as the band takes the stage & smashes straight into “Masters of Morbidity”.

These guys are a well-fine-tuned machine. Some bands can be album-tight & it sounds too fake but 200 Stab Wounds are so precise & barbaric at the same time they are just as good live as they are on record.

Vocalist & guitarist Steve Buhl commands the stage & audience. The guy also has the lead playing chops too. There were a few times I had to watch in awe at his ability to rip through a solo section perfectly & not miss a single note, flawless!

“Drilling Your Head” gets a huge crowd response & sees the first crowd surfers in the evening. The band really stepped it up & with the level the crowd were already, now it’s a frenzy!

200 Stab Wounds do not disappoint live, Another band I’ve been waiting to see since finding their “Piles of Festering Decomposition” EP in 2020 & they are sure to bring it live. Like Vomit Forth they have a new album on the horizon & it’s going to blow everyone else away that’s for sure if tonight is as high as the bar they have set for everyone else.

Now for a chance of pace, with their unique brand of deathcore, Signs Of The Swarm takes the stage. Kicking up the energy & stage production these guys are pro. “Pernicious” kicks off their set & with a few great choice breakdowns the pit is already starting. “Pray for Death” from the band’s newest album “Amongst the Low & Empty” helps bring the first circle pit of the night before the band switched into a style groove chugging section which had me headbanging hard!

These guys have the energy & put on a great show. “Shackles Like Talons” closes out the groups set on a huge high. Helping to bring a different flavour of extreme metal to an already stacked lineup is hard but these guys crushed it.

Now the main event. As the lights dim & the band takes the stage the mighty Cattle Decapitation unleashed into “Terrasitic Adaptation”. These guys are like primal animals. Right from the first section frontman Travis Ryan’s fantastic stage presence is there & the band is locked up. As the bridge section comes in the crowd is singing at the top of their lungs giving it their all right from the beginning which is amazing to see.

As they blast into “We Eat Our Young” it feels like the perfect one, two-punch. This track gets a huge reaction & it’s nice to see a band this far into their career still have tracks on their newest album that are still great singles & become a live track and this is one!

“Bring Back the Plague” really showcases how strong the current lineup of CD is. The chaotic & blistering riffing but still being able to create atmosphere & a great tune you could even hum is a feat. And this track, like so many of theirs, is great for a live performance. Travis’s crowd interaction plays into the fans giving back in the live setting. When looking at the crowd there wasn’t one person not singing along, moving in the pit or headbanging. And that’s a hard feat to do, getting everyone in the crowd engaged doesn’t come overnight & CD has been able to harness what makes them phenomenal & have the crowd in the palm of their hands.

As the band brings the night to a close their most ethereal & monolithic track “Kingdom of Tyrants” is the perfect choice. Personally, it’s my favourite of the bands but its sonic impact is a perfect set closer. As the crowd gives their last few drops of sweat & ounce of strength singing along with Travis, “Once we are freed, we’ll starve again, Once we are bled, they’ll start again” echos in the Acdmadys walls reverberating just how titanic Cattle Decapitation are & just how much of a league of their own they are.


Review: Guy Williams

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15.03.24 UK Leeds @ Stylus – LOW TICKETS
16.03.24 UK Birmingham @ O2 Academy2 – SOLD OUT
17.08.24 UK Bristol @ Marble Factory – UPGRADE
19.03.24 Germany Wiesbaden @ Schlachthof – SOLD OUT
20.03.24 Germany Munich @ Backstage Werk – UPGRADE
21.03.24 Austria Vienna @ Szene – SOLD OUT
22.03.24 Hungary Budapest @ Barba Negra
23.03.24 Czech Republic Prague @ MeetFactory – LOW TICKETS
25.03.24 Germany Berlin @ Lido – SOLD OUT
26.03.24 Denmark Copenhagen @ Pumpehuset – SOLD OUT
27.03.24 Sweden Stockholm @ Fryshuset Klubben – LOW TICKETS
28.03.24 Norway Oslo @ Inferno Metal Festival
29.03.24 Sweden Gothenburg @ Pustervik – LOW TICKETS
30.03.24 Germany Hamburg @ Fabrik – UPGRADE
31.03.24 Germany Bochum @ Matrix – UPGRADE