Cattivo might as well have been Megiddo as four bands channeling the Horsemen of the Apocalypse laid waste to each other and around 300 astonished devotees in the packed basement club, punishing the world with four divergent takes on death metal. On this night, all four bands eviscerated, something that’s not always the case.
The first band up, Delaware’s own Scorched , were insanely innovative and riff-driven, bubonic chords that could have come from Gruesome punctuated the gory, bloodmonger vocals of swamp monster Matt Kapa. Artificial Brain may hail from upstate New York as indicated by the streetwise accent of bizarro, goggled, strobe light-wielding vocalist Will Smith, but their music is from a world beyond. Askew Voivodian, Vektorian, Nocturnus-like rhythms littered a hellscape, a futuristic wasteland where only robots that were once men battle for what’s left of a civilization. If I had to choose a winner, the duke would go to the absolutely nihilistic and dreadfully engrossing Blood Incantation whose vampiric, infernal space opera (by way of Denver) was a light-devouring spectacle of sound for the soul. An intergalactic version of Nile or Death, Blood Incantation showed themselves to be absolutely celestial musicians whose intensely thoughtful, complex songs feature epic, thrilling arrangements that are as infinite and cold and black as space itself.
Finishing off the evening were obscure yet legendary Finnish headliners Demilich who by no means disappointed with their important, subterranean, avant-garde take on death metal, which certainly had to have had an impact on the other bands that played beneath them. Inspiring jaw-dropping awe amongst tape-trading old heads and younger bangers alike, Demilich carved their name onto the ground with lightning, their caustic, primordial ooze of a performance bringing to mind Cynic, old Carcass, even older Celtic Frost, as well as Pestilence and Atheist. It was as if they’d only been rumored to exist until then only to shock the crowd as they rose from a realm below before the portal to their world closed. ‘Twas an evening of impossible death metal acts doing impossible things as a relatively innocuous metal-core band played at a larger venue across town.
For the true worshiper of the underground, Cattivo was the place to be.
– The Grym Hessian
A few photos taken the night of the show by our dear Grym Hessian: