Live Review: Foetal Juice & Basement Torture Killings – Cardiff

Foetal Juice Unleash Video For Title Track Of New Album

Live Review: Foetal Juice & Basement Torture Killings - Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff
10th October 2021
Supt. Terrible Claw, Infested Angel
Words: Paul Hutchings

Sunday nights aren’t normally this heavy but if you were at Fuel in Cardiff recently then you’ll still be feeling the aftereffects as the heaviest tour for many a year ploughed into the rock club like an uncontrollable drunk driver into a lamppost. A healthy turnout for a Sunday night were treated to some of the UK’s most feral and vicious death metal outfits which left the ears ringing for hours and hours after.

With Hacksaw pulling out die to illness, the four remaining outfits were given longer sets which did nothing to dilute the pummelling dished out. Taking the stage bang on time, Birmingham’s Terrible Claw provided the most surprising and excellent set of the evening with 40 minutes of thrashing death which contained some excellent constructed songs. Named after Deinonychus, the dinosaur most commonly and incorrectly known as Velociraptor thanks to Jurassic Park, Terrible Claw slashed and sliced their way into the memory banks of the early arrivals. A crisp, clean sound, not something usually associated with this genre meant that the rarest of things at a death metal gig, the guitar solos, were clearly audible, cutting through the fog of bludgeoning riffs with rapier-like clarity. Dan Benton’s gruff vocals were indecipherable but being able to distinguish what is being said at a death metal show is like hoping Fuel will have any decent beer on tap. These guys are old school in both age and style; they nailed it.

Whilst Terrible Claw were a pleasant surprise, Infested Angel, another Birmingham outfit crossing the border were sadly a little less entertaining. “No bullshit homage to their genre forefathers” says their bandcamp page and they aren’t kidding. If there was ever a demonstration of the variation in death metal, then the contrast here with Terrible Claw was evident from the opening bars. This was a different and much less appealing sound, with less cohesion to both their sound and set. One thing I’ll always give credit for is the balls to get up and play and whilst their music jarred with me, Infested Angel pushed through their set. My view, for what its worth, is that a second guitar player would help immensely, not only in allowing vocalist Andrew Bryan space to deliver his vocals but also to provide some variation to rather one-dimensional solo work.

There were many rubbing their bleary eyes on Friday 13th at Bloodstock this year when Manchester death gore legends Foetal Juice wandered onto the RJD stage and proceeded to play one of the most entertaining sets of the weekend. Fifteen years and counting, the band’s “don’t give a fuck attitude” is brilliant. With a lack of sleep (due to going to bed at 9am), this was a creaking yet excellent set. There is one speed for Foetal Juice, and it applies equally whether they are in front of 10000 punters or 25. Onstage banter is always high, whether it be having a pop at drummer Rob Harries for messing up or merely thanking the crowd for moving, underneath it all Foetal Juice play room-levelling death metal. Absolutely epic stuff, wherever they play. If you haven’t experienced the likes of Septic Mollusc live, well, you need to have a word.

I’m not the biggest grindcore fan in the world so last band Basement Torture Killings were never going to thrill me. Their Denis Rader themed show is entertaining, and the band don’t half go for it. Diminutive vocalist Beryl (Millie Crampton) cuts a chilling figure, all sugar and spice until she unleashes a voice summoned from the bowels of hell whilst dismembering a poor stuffed cuddly toy. All this over the top of a cacophony of crushing grind. It’s a smack of brutality which lingers longer than maybe wanted. The gathered crowd lapped it up though so maybe it’s just me. I made my excuses and headed into the night, ears ringing and senses still trying to comprehend what had happened. It was fun!

Live Review: Foetal Juice & Basement Torture Killings - Cardiff

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