With a night of metal promised at the The Blade Factory, Getintothis’ Mark Greenwood catches a headline set by the acclaimed Acid Witch. Or does he?
Getintothis never minds a bit of chaos. In fact we thrive on it and we’re not too dismayed when we arrive at the Blade Factory to find that we’re somehow in the wrong place but actually in the right place. Confused? Not as much as the perplexed box office guys who seem genuinely bewildered that we’re here to review Acid Witch and should be on the guest list. Suddenly we are surrounded by teenagers in buttoned up denim shirts persuading us we’re somehow misplaced in a strange episode of the Twilight Zone.
We enter a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. We lurk in the shadows of the Blade Factory, fearing we are trapped in a lost dimension of the imagination. There are a few people about, so there must be something happening? Exploring a labyrinth of corridors we perceive an ethereal, omnipotent power floating just beyond the senses. Our soul is dispersed across levels of a post-industrial dungeon as it searches for beer, a pisser and a gig.
Eventually we locate all three, but we’re still confused as we, along with others stand in complete darkness and silence awaiting the arrival of Live Burial. In a material sense, the band are spot on, describing the current context with accuracy as the audience literally grope around in the dark for any visual clues that currently underline a phenomenological crisis.
Eventually some lights are switched on and we can just about make out the silhouettes of five Geordie gravediggers suffocating our facial features with remorsefulness clumps of dead soil. Live Burial are old school, re-animating the ferocity and imprecise thrash of bands such as Death, Possessed and Sodom. Their four-track EP, which includes the sumptuously poetic Separation Through Evisceration is well worth a listen and the band deliver a succinct live set that cuts to the bone, despite a tinny and slightly mushy sound.
The sound improves for Satanic Dystopia, a Manchester four-piece of considerable power and aggression who pack a mighty discharge of blackened death metal groomed on NWOBHM aesthetics. The band enact a series of bloody rituals that enact an utterance of political dissent and disgust, easily perceived in a maelstrom of decapitated body parts and failed internal organs. However, their set goes on a little longer than expected and we’d recommend the lads stick to short, sharp, shock tactics for future support roles.
A pair of battle vested metal heads engage in homoerotic horseplay as Finland’s Bonehunter inflict a cruel and bestial attack fuelled on Venom, Motörhead and Kreator. The three-piece rage rabidly through a furious set that plunders an infinite back catalogue fortified with classics such as Turn up the Evil and Graveyard Love. These charming young chaps re-define a retro-metal pastiche with extreme musicianship and hard graft, receiving inappropriate affection from an appreciate audience.
Now, I’d love to tell you about Acid Witch. The band are internationally acclaimed Detroiters with a staggering back catalogue of brilliant doom metal which often drifts into the realms of a dark psychedelic haunted with horror imagery and DeSadean poetics. However, somewhat bizarrely, the band don’t get to play. This writer has been to gigs regularly for over 30 years now, but never, ever witnessed a scenario where the headline act is erased from the event. Though anyone who attended the Nothing Nothing – sorry, Everything Everything gig a couple of years ago will know how the crowd felt.
Naturally, those who have busted a gut to witness the band are outraged and demand a refund from the promoters. We’re genuinely astounded and disappointed as to how this happened. Perhaps their non-appearance was due to noise abatement, lateness or general disorganisation on behalf of the promoters or the venue. We’re not going to dwell on this as I know the promoters are dedicated and conscientious custodians of the Liverpool Metal scene, evidenced in their immediate reimbursing of a disheartened audience.
We feel very sorry for the Acid Witch guitarist who takes it on the chin while also expressing his sadness for those who have turned out to see his acclaimed band.
Questions remain though. Why not shorten the sets of the previous bands? Or even switch the event’s running order? Who knows where the answers reside?
There is no more darkness, only strange speculation, cold stone walls and a smell of beer and sweat. The Blade Factory has emptied and I hope we’ll eventually find a secret exit. There’s a place where the wondrous imagination knows no boundaries. There’s a sign post up ahead, our next stop; Planet Pizza.
Photos by Getintothis’ Richard Price