Napalm Death @ Progresja, Warsaw
|Event:||Napalm Death - Winter Assault Tour|
Napalm Death @ Progresja, Warsaw by jupitreas (16)
The Napalm Death show at the Progresja club in Warsaw, Poland, was quite a celebration for punks and fans of extreme metal in Poland. Napalm Death has played here before and Warsaw has been subjected to a string of great extreme metal gigs in the last few months and yet it was obvious to me while talking to random people at the show that the gig was a bona fide event, something that a lot of people were looking forward to. A lot of them even came to Warsaw from fairly distant locations around Poland. It was a different crowd than what you usually see at metal shows in Poland - the sea of long hair was not quite as deep as usual and tshirts from bands such as Amebix, Killing Joke, Discharge and Brutal Truth were certainly more visible than the standard fare Vader, Deicide, Suffocation and Behemoth merchandise that fans usually use for decoration. Clearly, this was a show that a lot of people had very high expectations for. Did the British grindcore legends and their 3 support bands provide the kind of intensity and brutality that people were hoping for? Read on to see.
The night started with a nice short set from Antigama. Being a Polish band, their performance was not really seen as something particularly special or unique by Progresja's patrons and the band frankly didn't really do anything to break out of the mold anyway. You could say that they treated their show as a typical warm up band, not offering the kind of intensity that you would expect from them when headlining. Or maybe its just me. Either way, although their Dillinger Escape Plan/Genghis Tron kind of music was quite original, it was not performed with the kind of fire that is capable to light the passion of the audience. In other words, they sounded a little sloppy, which is a terrible disadvantage for a technical band. In all honesty, I think the few echoes of Godflesh that made their way into the set were the most enjoyable part of their performance for me. When focusing on monolithic riffs, texture and a pulse-like beat, the band's music was quite powerful. Perhaps this is what they should pursue more in the future?
Luckily, the air of indifference after Antigama's show was quickly dissipated by the hyper-explosive crazy Czechs from Pigsty. In principle nothing more than your typical ultra-brutal pig-sqeelin' grindcore, nevertheless, Pigsty had the kind of alcoholic good fun attitude that finally got people seriously amped up, moshing and generally going ballistic. Once again - Pigsty's music is really basic - songs that are essentially one long blastbeat, vocals that sound like a pig being slaughtered, short instances of alcohol praise in between songs - something a lot of bands do. And yet, few bands that I have seen make it as genuinely fun and charming as Pigsty. The vocalist was particularly friendly, sharing his Polish beer with the audience, praising said beer to the great applause of the crowd and occasionally screaming random Polish obscenities that he probably learned from a fan backstage right before the show. It was all very simple but it worked. All I could hear from the people around me after the show was over was how completely 'awesome' Pigsty have been.
The Swedish Splitter was supposed to go on after Pigsty; however, one of the band members broke an arm or a leg or something right before coming to Poland. Obviously, this meant the band didn't perform at all. A shame really, since their albums are interesting and I was looking forward to seeing how they fare live. On the other hand, it meant that Napalm Death got to play earlier.
Since everybody was expecting Splitter to appear on stage, Napalm Death jumping out and hitting it off with "Weltschmertz" came as a pleasant surprise. Napalm Death, at this point in their career, are basically a well oiled machine designed to do one specific thing - raise a huge ruckus and expose the audience to possibly the biggest wall of noise in their life. Its not wonder that it is difficult to tell one song from another - all are delivered with the same kind of uncompromising brutality that it all blends together. Nevertheless, I see this as a good thing. This is what the band is about and it does it well. It works and obviously nobody comes to a Napalm Death show to enjoy complex nuanced compositions - its all about the power and the energy. For certain, even though it looked like Barney Greenway was a little under the weather that day, the band offered exactly that. But wait - there is more. New songs from the new album also made it to the setlist and let me tell you, they were actually quite recognizable amongst the other stuff played that night. Indeed, the new Napalm Death album is uncharacteristically varied and worth looking forward to. Another thing of interest - the band played Mass Appeal Madness, which is a song that doesn't usually appear in their setlists.
All in all this was a very enjoyable show and particularly Pigsty and Napalm Death offered some great music. I don't think people who traveled from all around Poland to Warsaw just to see their favorite grindcore heroes play were disappointed. Although the venue is just a 20 minute bus ride away from me, I know I wasn't disappointed.
Thanks go to Karol and Selfmadegod Records for making this review possible
||Written on 19.02.2009 by With Metal Storm since 2002, jupitreas has been subjecting the masses to his reviews for quite a while now. He lives in Warsaw, Poland, where he does his best to avoid prosecution for being so cool.|
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