Posted on by Oran

The closing moments of March sees a packed out Opium venue in the heart of Dublin city paying homage to 25-years of impeccable Death Metal from the one and only DECAPITATED. 

Upon entering the venue, the rumble of low-end aggression could be heard echoing down the long corridor entrance, which is a sound that I had not realised I cherished so much.

UK Metallic Hardcore crew, Harbinger were tasked to warm up tonight’s eager crowd with their infectious, heavy-as-fuck groove brutality, and to say they were not having the time of their lives, is an understatement.

Not a million miles away from Malevolence, the technical Deathcore tsunami that Harbinger brings to the stage is quite the spectacle. Vocalist, Dilan Alves stalks the limited space he and his bandmates have, to throw down as hard as they can and as the venue fills up, the band push even harder, dropping sonic asteroids made of ferocious chugging riffs and brutal grooves.

The band have a mini-album due for release on May 25th, entitled ‘A Letter To Anguish‘ and we encourage you to pick up a copy. Purchase here. 7/10

Down The Barrel Photography, exclusively for © 2022

Next up are Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania five-piece, Signs of the Swarm, who waste little time in keeping the momentum flowing from Harbinger’s killer set. Loaded with blast beats and frequent bass drops, threatening to rupture the average lower intestine.

Their latest album ‘Absolvere‘ gets a good airing with a few new tracks thrown in for good measure. Vocalist, David Simonich empties his lungs out to the best of his ability throughout the set, goading the audience for more pit action [to which they gladly supply] before driving home their Deathcore campaign to a, now, converted mass of sweaty grins and shallow breathing pit kids. 6/10

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With a career that stretches back to 1997, Polish Death Metal overlords, DECAPITATED are tonight celebrating their 25th Anniversary in the only way they should. Their lap of honor will see them grace stages across the UK and Europe laying waste to all that stands before them.

As things kick off with new track, ‘Cancer Culture‘ it takes a matter of seconds to be refreshed as to just why Decapitated are so highly respected, not only within their genre but in the wider context of the Metal community.

Perched high up on his drum throne, James Stewart [Vader] dominates throughout the night proving why he is one of the world’s most accomplished Extreme Metal drummers. A flawless masterclass, that at times would have the likes of Lombardo or Hoglan staring in disbelief at the speed and precision with which Stewart operates.

Fresh from their show in Limerick the previous night, what we are witnessing is a band that are on the top of their game. A well-oiled, majestic display of technical brutality that unfolds with ‘Pest, ‘Mother War‘, ‘Carnival is Forever’, before ‘Lying and Weak‘ and ‘Babylons Pride‘, which for those who know their Decapitated back catalogue, is a smattering of tracks from as far back as 2002 to present day and we’re only a quarter of the way into the show!

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There is little chat from vocalist Rasta, as they opt for the music to do the talking, and that’s exactly what happens with ‘Earth Scar‘, and a pummeling rendition of ‘Blasphemous Psalm’  that ignites the already frantic pit that little bit more.

The immense power of Decapitated is truly a sight to see [and hear] in a live environment and tonight is no exception. Judging by the glances between band members during the show, there is a sense that this is very much a highlight on their tour itinerary, as the entire audience [now like a provoked hornet’s nest] harvest every drop of adrenaline from the setlist and delivers it straight back tenfold to the stage.

Delving back to 2002’s ‘Nihilty‘ LP with ‘Names‘, Vogg [mostly shrouded behind his long hair] attacks his fretboard as if his life depended on it, churning out riff-after-riff of pure undiluted aggression.

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Finishing off with ‘Never‘, ‘Kill The Cult‘, the mind-blowing drumming from Stewart on ‘Spheres of Madness‘ and ‘Nine Steps‘ it’s clear to all that witnessed tonight’s performance that Decapitated are one of the most implacable forces in Metal, regardless of genre, and should be gracing stages far bigger than some of their counterparts.

Here’s to another 25-years of exceptional brutality. 9/10

Check out our full gallery below:

Catch Decapitated on the remaining dates of the tour which is as follows:

01.04.22 UK Manchester @ The Bread Shed
02.04.22 UK Swansea @ Sin City
03.04.22 UK Bristol @ Thekla
04.04.22 UK Birmingham @ O2 Academy 2
05.04.22 UK Norwich @ Brickmakers
06.04.22 UK Brighton @ The Arch
07.04.22 UK Milton Keynes @ MK11

Decapitated have a new album ‘Cancer Culture‘ due for release on May 27th via Nuclear Blast. Pre-order your copy here.

Oran O’Beirne 2022

All photos  – Down The Barrel Photography, exclusively for © 2022. All Rights Reserved.