Carcass, Napalm Death, Obituary @ Trix, Antwerpen, 31 October 2015

When it comes to old school extreme metal, the Deathcrusher tour is one of the most anticipated events of this year. Four bands on tour that were all founded in the first half of the eighties. But with no date except a festival appearance at speedfest in the Netherlands I resorted to going just across the border to see this tour in Belgium instead. Not surprisingly, the venue sold out days before the gig.

I was a little later than I had expected due to traffic issues, and finding a parking spot. But I was just in time to watch a bit of the US Herod, the only newer band on the line-up. I hadn’t heard them before. Their modern metal – I didn’t really recognise any thrash in it -seemed quite out of place amongst the old school madness of the next bands. They only got to play 3 or 4 songs or so. After a couple or so I went to find the merch booth, but all the cool Carcass shirts were already sold out, being not even close to half way through the tour.

Next up were the Canadian from Voivod. I only had heard them a long time ago and then decided they were not my thing. Live they sounded very solid, but still not a musical style I enjoy a lot.

Napalm Death is one of the oldest bands still going strong, even do guitarist Mitch is still not participating and they are using a session guitarist instead. No big deal really, he plays the songs quite fine. The band raged through their 45 minute set of mostly classic tunes with a couple of newer songs mixed in, including Scum, Life?, the Kill, Deceiver, You Suffer, Siege of Power, Suffer the Children and the everpresent Dead Kennedys cover Nazi Punks Fuck Off. They even squeezed in Unchallenged Hate as the set closer. Barney still races across the stage, filling in the pauses between songs with some political banter. A very solid Napalm gig but I would expect no less.

The next 45 minutes were for Obituary. Trevor appeared on stage with some Zombie-corpse paint, presumably because of halloween. Anyway, they opened up with the rather boring instrumental Redneck Stomp, followed by a couple of newer songs, which are mostly redundant with their earlier material. It only got interesting when they turned to their first two albums with Intoxicated. Dying really slowed down the set, and it would be better if it were Cause of Death, or Chopped in Half. They left out one of their best tracks when they went on the tour where they only played songs from the first 3 albums a couple of years back, but this time they added Find the Arise to the set. I couldn’t care much for Don’t Care, even though it didn’t really sound out of place. They finalised their set with the perpetual Slowly we Rot, for which the seem to slow down the intro more each time they play it.

After the equipment of the support acts was removed from the stage, the whole stage turned white, imprinted with the Tools of the Trade. A projector produced images on just de bass drumhead, which was a novelty to me. 1985 was played over the PA and the mighty Carcass appeared on stage. The set list focussed on their new album mostly, starting off with Unfit for human Consumption. They raced through they setlist, often playing three songs consecutively. Jeffrey made a couple of humourous speeches in between. The newer songs actually worked quite well among the older material, especially Captive Bolt Piston with the excellent dual lead guitar work. The downside of the newer songs is that they replaced the older material and Necroticism only got two songs, lacking Inpropagation. Fortunately they also touched Symphonies of Sickness, where Bill even sang the larger part of Exhume to Consume. They played very tightly, and seemed to paly much better together than the previous time I saw them. So an excellent gig from a band that I failed to see live in their classic era, but this was definitively a worthy replacement.

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