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On stage: Decapitated

- Decapitated vs Kataklysm - Feb. 2010 - Manchester (GB) -

- Decapitated vs Kataklysm - February 3rd 2010 - Manchester (GB), MoHo -

First band on was Neuroma, a young death metal band from Liverpool. A lot of my friends know the members personally so I was quite looking forward to the set. When the band began playing it was obvious that the sound was a bit off. The drums overpowered everything and drowned out any good riffs that the band may have up until, I think, the third song. After this the sound became much more clearer.
Unfortunately the sound wasn't the only problem with this local band. They have far more deeper issues it seems. The main one being a singer with about as much metal attitude as a dildo. His attempts at humor were pretty appalling and his case wasn't helped by a Michael Jackson inspired shout of 'OW!' at the end of one of the songs. His vocal performance seemed akin to someone growling 'cuckoo' repeatedly into a microphone with which he seemed intent on simulating oral sex. The rest of the band were at best average, with the exception of the guitarist on the left (Paul, I think) who gave the impression of being far too good for this band. At the end of the set Neuroma finished with a solid bit of mid-paced death metal riffage that was easily the best thing they'd done.
Up next were Man Must Die, a Glaswegian technical death metal four-piece. I'm afraid the music of Man Must Die didn't particularly grab me. The occasional section made me take note but overall I was beginning to think this gig was a lost cause. However, I must give credit to singer Joe McGlyn for his efforts in trying to get the crowd going. His attempts to gee up the crowd were excellent and once again he gave the impression of needing to be in a better band.
When Kataklysm came on the whole vibe of the gig, which up to now had seemed a aura of complete mind-numbing boredom, changed. The Canadians were electrifying as they launched into one face melting song after another. So good was the music and performance of the band that I was even inspired to jump in the pit; a rare occurrence indeed!
Everything about Kataklysm just epitomized what a death metal band should be like on stage. The band were tight knit and musically spot on. Singer Maurizio Iacono's magnetic personality kept the crowd going whilst the crunching riffs ensured that no one's head was still. They finished with crowd pleaser In Shadows and Dust. Decapitated were going to have to be really special to win this battle.
Unfortunately Decapitated never even came close. Once again the sound was absolutely awful and, although obviously talented, the band didn't seem to click. It felt like I was watching a support band after the headliner, it was just odd. Of course I know that this is an almost completely new lineup for the Polish veterans following the tragic death of talented drummer Vitek in 2007, but I think there's a long way to go before they rival the Decapitated of old.
I had to leave early to get my train so I didn't see the end of Decapitated's set, but I can't say I'm disappointed with that. In the Manchester battle of Decapitated vs Kataklysm the Canadian posse were undoubtedly the victors. It was worth the entry fee just for Kataklysm and I definitely can't wait to see them again.

Mike Thompson


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