Friday, 18 December 2009

Gig Review: Nile - Wulfrun Hall, Wolverhampton - 16/12/09

As one of only two UK dates, and with 5 bands on the bill for only £13, you’d expect tonight's venue to be full. You’d be wrong. Arriving at the venue 15 minutes after (the admittedly early, 6:30) doors, just in time to catch the start of the set from tonight’s openers, we find roughly 50 people lingering in a space capable of holding just over 1000. Still this does nothing to deter Hackneyed (6), who put on a solid performance of their well-played, if not slightly dull brand of death metal.

With about another 50 people having shown up, and some of us wondering where the hell everyone else was, it was time for Ulcerate (6). Who, much like Hackneyed played a well-performed, tight set of well written but fairly unoriginal death metal. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am a fan of death metal but I do feel it’s a genre that reached its peak in the 90’s and everything that was come about in the scene since has, for the most part, been uninspired copies of older bands.

Speaking of older bands, up next were Swedish old school death metaller’s Grave (7), showing the new guard how to do it and getting the first decent crowd reaction of the night in the process. Playing a mix of songs from the full range of their back catalogue, even dipping back in to their debut release Into The Grave a couple of times, Grave manage to do a great job of getting the crowd in the mood for what's to follow.

By the time Brazil’s Krisiun (6) hit the stage the room has filled up a bit, though not as much as you’d of thought. With a sound that's influenced by the likes of Morbid Angel and Slayer, though if you’d watched Krisiun tonight, that fact wouldn’t have been lost on you, they do manage to get the cword riled up, even seeing the first pit of the night.

Tonight seems to have, for the most part seems to have been a display of the best of mediocre death metal. Let’s hope that tonight’s headliner’s Nile (8) can make up for the otherwise lack lustre bill. And with just over an hour of their trademark Ancient Egyptian themed death metal, the American’s do just that. An ideal set, aside from a small technical glitch at the very end, has the small but dedicated crowd leaving happy.

Overall gig rating: 7/10

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