Carnifex + Oceano + Aversions Crown @ Mama Roux’s 27 February 2018]

Tonight I visited Mama Roux, the little gem of a venue in Digbeth, on a snowy night in Birmingham. Upon entering, the venue itself was the busiest I’ve ever seen it for a show in this niche of metal, pure uncensored Deathcore; a brutal mix of Death Metal and Metalcore.

Up first, Aversions Crown, a band I’ve heard of multiple times but never seen. The band warmed up the chilly venue well, delivering tight and brutal breakdowns, with singer Mark Poida encouraging the crowd to go crazy whenever possible. ‘Hollow Planet’ an older song from their back catalogue of work, reminded me of Chelsea Grin, Mark’s guttural and deep lows crushing through the whiney guitars. He thanked the crowd for being so enthusiastic early on, even showing his appreciation by telling one fan, ‘ I love you too bro’, and getting a selfie with one guy at the front. He ended by thanking the room for supporting the scene. A good show by all accounts.

Oceano followed suit, singer Adam being one of the most physically and vocally intimidating figures in the scene on a live stage. His voice is just as brutal as it comes, the lows having a strong Phil Bozeman vibe to them. ‘District of Misery’ is bound to cause a few waves at any Deathcore show, the cheers from the crowd scattered across the room when the drumming intro began. Recently signed to the prestigious Sumerian Records; their latest album ‘Revelations’ (2017) was well received by fans tonight, particular attention to ‘Human Harvest’, Matt’s vocals reminiscient of the late Mitch Lucker with earth shattering lows shifting to demonic highs instantly; accompanied of course by the piercing 8-string guitar of the Djent.

The moment Scott stepped onstage, we all knew it was going to be a fast, cathartic, brutal experience. Carnifex, considered one of the pioneers of the Deathcore movement, formed in 2005 and are signed to Nuclear Blast Records.

Kicking straight off with newer material, ‘Slow Death’ (2016) the band get arms up the air early. The song had a huge Death Metal aspect to it, much more than original songs, with hints of Black Metal and even a slight touch of Hardcore. The solo is beautifully executed, the fast picking on the monsterous 8-string guitar provides a great technical side to their work.

‘Hatred and Slaughter’ (2014) was more classic Deathcore, with aspects of Thy Art Is Murder and Despised Icon. The groove from the bass is always noticeable in their songs, it transforms what could’ve been a muddy clash of instruments into a well structured and conceived display. Lyrically the songs always linger around negative themes which, although suiting of the genre, does get a little repetitive in my eyes.  Moshpits. Big ones.

‘Die Without Hope’ (2014) instant Whitechapel aspects throughout, the spindling and fast nature of the guitars reminded me of The Faceless. Scott’s vocals have a uniqueness about them however, I find their songs have much more clarity about them compared to most Death Metal/Deathcore bands, while in most cases being even heavier and skillful when it comes to songwriting. ‘Until I Feel Nothing’ (2011) was much more raw and rough around the edges, Cannibal Corpse vibes throughout with the showy sinister riffs and sheer anger in his performance.

‘Lie to My Face’ (2007), I hoped they would play this one. Brings back some fond teenage memories and I’m glad I caught it live. Scott performs it with passion and energy; as if he were peforming it for the first time. This one went down well with the crowd; the old material runs though the veins of the people here tonight.

Great gig, definitely warmed up the large crowd who piled in to see this massacre unfold.

Reviewer/Photographer – Neale Hayes

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