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Gig Review: Angelcorpse @ Whammy Bar, Auckland - 26/07/2017

06 Aug 2017 // A review by Matt Mutinous
Mid week gigs are always the hardest choice for most music fans, but it's not often at all that a band like this comes to town. Angelcorpse had been a big part of the Tampa death metal scene in the late 90's, so I decided to take my good friend and fellow musician, Nik Davies along, to try and catch a glimpse of the good old days of American death metal. Wednesday night in the city, we strolled down K-road to the notorious Whammy Bar, posted firmly outside the entrance was the cliche small gathering of leather jackets and cigarette smoke, a trademark of underground metal gigs.

After greeting a few familiar faces we ascended down the dodgy staircase as the first support band fired up from beneath. Local Blackened Death masters, Exordium Mors were in full swing, pounding the pavement above with their screams of blasphemy and pain, clutched within their atmospheric style harmonies and awesome blast beats. Always a great experience witnessing this infamous act, the perfect way to kick off the night.

Beer in hand and packed in between the leather clad crowd that seemed to fill every shadowy corner, Wellington legends Heresiarch hit the stage. Drowning the room with their brutal growls and diminished tones then smashing the most pit with rapid rhythm and echoing screams. Well executed and straight to the point, always highlight to see an act live for the first time.

Standing room only the entire crowd stared at the stage as the headliners burst out of the darkness into a frenzy of blast beats and belting solos that seemed to melt the face off of, some of the shocked on lookers. Taking control of the crowd, front man Pete Helmkamp was the clear perpetrator, barking dominance between songs whilst giving off an awkward energy that was clearly embraced by the avid fans.

Playing nearly all of the of songs I knew from their earlier albums like Hammer of the Gods and The Inexorable, plus a number from their slightly more recent Exterminate, I could begin to see the dedication and pride this so called 'old school' band, had in continuing their unique sound and holding a solid fan base all around the globe. Despite past line up changes, this was a formidable three piece, packing out shows on weeknights, delivering an up close and authentic taste of real American death metal peppered with blackened kvlt.

Overall a good turn out, nice beer and the venue provided a great atmosphere for the show. Minimal social interaction ensured full attention was on the bands, well-picked support bands and a fast turn over made for an all round professional and entertaining night. It was clear that this was serious business for the vast majority of the fans and was reflected by each of the band's performances.

-Matt Mutinous -3 stars

Heresiarch - Harbinger Live

Exordium Mors - Live

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