Mutilation Rites, Sinmara, Ophidian I @ Húrra
Ophidian I kick shit off with a frenzy of dizzying riffing and blasting brutality. Their music treads intricate paths of stunning technicality and succinct songwriting wrapped up in the blast furnace bellows of vocalist Ingó, who commands the stage like a flaxen-haired Franco.
Their mix is low, so as to keep each note clear in the ear of the teach death connoisseur – conveying skill over brute force. They could do with upping their antics a bit onstage in order to stand out in the death metal crowd to those drawn more by animated performances (rather than fixing their eyes on blurred fretboard gymnastics). Their vocalist does, however, deliver in spades in the antics department.
Sinmara take stage with rancid renditions of the soundtrack to monotony, donning suits of heckle-magnet material. The grinding hymns to grimness that caress with violence on plastic bore with a vengeance on stage. With the splintering sub-genrefication of the black metal template and a “mainstream” following currently being attracted, loathe is them who package their fine product in the cloth of the dated and laughable. Their stage presence is like manifest muzak and the eye quickly wanders to the art adorning the venue’s walls.
Mutilation Rites, however, break the black metal mould, and perform with the conviction afforded mainly to professional touring bands. Tyler the Fill Creator leads the charge with pounding relentlessness as he bangs the skins as if they were speed bags, and peppers the pugnacious pounding with fills as urgent as Greek debt relief.
Michael “Shoehorn” Dimmit croaks like a demented old hag in the midst of her axe swinging death throes while Ryan “Blackened Tom” Jones sways back and forth like a pair of windshield vipers between growling spasms of vocal chord mutilation. Meanwhile George strums his sooty crust chords curiously as he cements the Rites aura of barely contained chaos.
The force is to be reckoned with, and it blasts its merry way with beats of deep seated determination and chord progressions as ravishing as they are rife with gloom and every song stops without a hint of foreshadowing on an unforeseen cymbal catch.