Live Gig Report by Alan Daly
© Olga Kuzmenko
Photos by Olga Kuzmenko
Fans of death metal are in for a midweek treat as Kataklysm headline a night of heaviness in the recently renovated Voodoo Lounge in Dublin. Supporting them with varying flavours of sub-genres and catering to a wide audience are Greek quartet Septicflesh and Belgian quintet Aborted.
By moving the bar to the rear of the venue, The Voodoo Lounge has opened up more space for audiences to enjoy live music from the floor, but this is of little comfort to Aborted who find themselves cramped for space on the tiny stage, restricted further by the second drumkit and backline for tonight’s headliner. Vocalist and only original member Sven de Caluwé vents his pent-up frustration at the respectable crowd with his customary tirade of hostile and offensive vocals. His black-clad bandmates, mostly wearing matching “Raise the Dead, Kill the Living” shirts provide the apocalyptic thunderous rumblings and riffs likely to achieve both aims.
The patrons are initially slow to engage, but by the third or fourth song and after a beer or two, they loosen up and even oblige Sven with an occasional circle pit on his request. ‘Coffin Upon Coffin’ from their 2014 album The Necrotic Manifesto goes down particularly well with the fans, who are also treated to two new tracks; ‘Termination Redux’ from their recent vinyl EP release of the same name and ‘Bound in Acrimony’, which is also due to appear on their forthcoming album Retrogore later this year. Aborted are an energetic and crowd-pleasing opening act, and are worth the ticket price alone.
Next up, delivering a healthy dose of symphonic death metal are Septicflesh hailing from Athens and making their debut Irish appearance. They take to the stage with a theatrical entrance, opening with ‘War in Heaven’ from their latest album Titan which was released in 2014. Despite forming more than 25 years ago, the band perform a set comprised entirely of music created since their 2003 hiatus and 2008 reformation and seems to be unchanged from the other dates on this tour. The selection seems to please the fans in the audience nonetheless, with ‘Communion’ and ‘Anubis’ going down particularly well.
Frontman Spiros Antoniou doesn’t waste much time interacting with the audience and focuses on impeccable delivery of growled vocals and bass lines. It has to be said that the upgraded speaker cabs in The Voodoo Lounge sound great and have definitely added to the quality of tonight’s show. Septicflesh leave the stage as dramatically as they arrived, exiting one by one through the audience, high-fiving grateful fans as the final track ‘Prometheus’ fades out.
The final band of the night have also been on the scene for a quarter century, and evidently Kataklysm have a faithful following here tonight. Kicking off with ‘Breaching the Asylum’, the opening track from their 2015 album Of Ghosts and Gods, followed by ‘If I was God… …I’d Burn it All’ from their previous 2013 release, they struggle initially to get the response that follows for older tracks later on. One such crowd-pleaser is as ‘As I slither’ from a decade earlier which vocalist Maurizio Iacono dedicates to “all the innocent victims of terrorism”. By now the front rows of fans have really begun to let loose and mosh pits and head-banging ensue. Even though the tour is nearing the end, there is no sign of fatigue and Kataklysm deliver a blistering set of no less than sixteen tracks chosen from the last fifteen years of their career. The crowd continue to engage with genuine enthusiasm and by the time the encore of ‘Iron Will’ wraps up the show, there are plenty of sweaty, satisfied metallers making their way to the merch stand to meet and greet members of some of the bands who graciously offer to chat and sign memorabilia for them.
Overall an incredibly entertaining evening – three accomplished Death Metal bands with combined experience of over 70 years in one intimate venue in Dublin? Hell yes! Thanks to DME Promotions for bringing them to us!