Whitechapel + The Acacia Strain + Impending Doom

02 Academy Islington 12/4/11

The Welcome To Hell Tour – Quite a title I must say and it sure doesn’t have any problem living up to it.

Christian death metallers Impending Doom open up the show¸ their first time touring in the UK and what a first time it was! Exploding onto the stage with brutality and intimidating presence. They got the crowd going instantly¸ blasting out old school tracks from the album ‘Nailed.Dead.Risen’. I’ll admit however was odd to see such a devout Christian band on a bill where the other band feel the total opposite. At times it almost seemed like vocalist Brook Reeves was cleansing the crowd. It this was overlooked however¸ their set was near flawless and was a fantastic opening band. 8/10

The Acacia Strain is a band that feels like religion is ‘bullshit’. A rant from vocalist Vincent before unleashing into final song JFC (Jesus Fucking Christ). Almost seems slightly odd why these bands would tour together¸ but I’ve heard there were no hard feelings backstage. This however is one of the many reason I love TAS. They don’t give a fuck! And that’s what metal is all about; speaking your mind and raging against the system. Not only do they do this but as they do¸ the crowd gets more and more involved and in the end sparks a sea of chanting and jumping from the London crowd. With breakdowns heavy enough to cause avalanches and a massive stage presence¸ TAS destroyed the 02 Academy¸ much to the delight of the metalhead masses who tonight are out in full force. 9/10

With the crowd already destroyed by Impending Doom and The Acacia Strain you would think they wouldn’t have anything left in the tank. You’d be wrong. Whitechapel got everyone in the place off their feet and their horns up. Cranking out new material from ‘New Era Of Corruption’¸ which went down brilliantly. The pit was in full force. It certainly did look like some kind of circle of hell! Phil Bozeman¸ although small¸ can somehow create such a massive personality on stage and his low-end growls are inhuman. ‘Possession’ and ‘This Is Exile’ were obvious crowd favourites¸ the latter creating a wall of death¸ which literally ran from one side of the venue to the other. At the end of the night people were left battered and bruised. I for one couldn’t move my neck too much from all the headbanging. Whatever you call them¸ Death metal¸ Deathcore….Whitechapel do it like only they can. Carnage.

Review by Graham Ray

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