Bonecrusher Fest @ Moho LIVE, Manchester

Bands: Carnifex, Beneath The Massacre, Within the Ruins, Molotov Solution, Betraying the Martyrs
Location: Moho LIVE, Manchester
Date: 15th February 2012

The sparse crowd slowly trooped into Moho, bringing with them a sense of excitement. This was my second time at the Moho (the first time being when I saw Epica) and I’ll admit, I was pretty excited myself. I’d briefly listened to three of the bands (Carnifex, Within the Ruins and Betraying the Martyrs) on the bill over the weeks leading up to the show so that I’d be at least have some clue to if I’d enjoy them or not.

Betryaing the Martyrs

By the time that the Franco-Anglo sextet Betraying the Martyrs had come on stage, the crowd has increased in size. The band are described on their Facebook page as “positive metal from the City of Love” which is certainly a unique take on the modern alternative music scene. I can safely say that Betraying impressed the hell out of me. Their live show energetic and exciting, none of the members seemed to be able to stay still on stage. The vocals were overwhelming like a stampeding horde of blood thirsty Vikings with a very Forever Never-esque sound. The use of titanic riffs and destructive drumwork just seemed to blend so perfectly well with one another and with the energy that just oozed from the frontman. Betryaing the MartyrsThough Betraying’s positive sound could be heard quite clearly, some of the keyboard sections were quite doom-and-gloom sounding (which to be fair was pretty cool). Surprisingly, I only found one thing wrong with the band’s performance and that was the clean vocals – They are brilliant, just the sound system didn’t do them any justice!

Molotov Solution

Molotov Solution brought some face-ripping, brutalising riffs with driving basslines and crunchy drum work. One of the songs they performed, The Final Hour, had a very nu-metal like sound at the beginning before transforming into a song of pure lycanthropic-like aggression. There was a certain buzz of excitement radiating from the band, it was no surprise since this was apparently their first time touring the UK. Before their performance of The Harbinger, Molotov’s frontman encouraged, well, more along the lines of commanded, the crowd to stick their middle fingers in the air and scream “Fuck the police” with him. The band’s live performance did lack a fair bit compared to Betraying the Martyrs.

Within the Ruins

And then came the halfway point of the show in the form of none other than Within the Ruins. I missed the beginning of their set due to having to relocate the photographer’s car [trying to find a decent parking spot near Moho Live is an absolute pain]. I got back in time to see them perform a track from the Creature album, unfortunately I never caught the name of it. One thing that really kept me in awe was the band’s use of melodic and technical riffs along with the bonecrushing drum work [See what I did there?]. Within are one band I’d happily see again. Beneath the Massacre came next with their fast-paced tracks at an almost Dragonforce-like speed. Musically, the guys are pretty damn awesome with their punishing riffs and drum work, topped with the demonic vocals but their live performance was like being subjugated to watching the X Factor.

Carnifex

The main event in the form of Victory Records heavyweight death metal act Carnifex couldn’t have come any sooner. Carnifex frontman Scott Lewis brought a atmosphere of power with him while the other members brought that good ol’ death metal barrage of riffs and drums which came down on the crowd like an executioner’s blade [See what I did there as well?]. Slit-Wrist Saviour (from the first record) went down extremely well with the crowd as Scott screamed his heart out on the stage, mesmerising the audience like some sort of death metal prophet. In Coalesce with Filth and Faith and The Diseased and the Poisoned had to have been the two most exciting tracks performed by Carnifex but obviously all the tracks they performed were exciting.

Carnifex

The Bonecrusher Fest Tour has a reputation for bringing more brutality to Europe than an ECW match and all the bands helped Bonecrusher live up it’s reputation that night though there were only three that lived up to the Bonecrusher name. Wanna guess which three?

If you guessed Betraying the Martyrs, Within the Ruins and the all-mighty, all-fierce Carnifex then you win the grand prize (which I’ve lost) but on a serious note, the three aforementioned bands were the best bands of the night and if I could, I’d follow them around on the rest of the tour, so if they ever come near you get a ticket and rock out.

Nico Davidson

Photography by Melissa Adams.

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