Gig Review + Photography by Steve Gerrard

It’s a fiercely cold night in Birmingham and snow is falling outside Mama Roux’s as an almost sold-out crowd stays warm inside for something far more brutal in the shape of deathcore royalty with Aversions Crown, Oceano and headliners, Carnifex.

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By the time I arrive, openers Disentomb are done and dusted but I’m told they were impressive and the line for their merch seems to indicate they won some new fans tonight.

Australia’s rising stars Aversions Crown are soon taking over the stage though and, although they’re laying down some fiercely down-tuned riffs, they seem to be having a blast. Frontman Mark Poida looks convincingly pissed off as he barks out his lyrics but just can’t remove the smile from his face between songs. His bandmates may not be quite so animated but they keep heads down and deliver the band’s mechanical and atmospheric style well, complete with 8-string guitars cos well… six strings just won’t deliver enough noise!

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Although only second on tonight’s bill, Oceano are greeted like returning heroes and, in their all too brief set, show how they’ve perfected their own unique sound in a genre that gets constantly criticised for its lack of originality.

The guttural vocals of Adam Warren receive constant cheers from the crowd and there’s a profoundly industrial punch to their sonic assault as they shift between old crowd favourites and newer tracks from 2017’s Revelation album. This is a band who have defined their own vision on deathcore and its hard to fault their performance here tonight.

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Which only leaves headliners Carnifex. Some might worry that they’d seem a little anti-climactic after Oceano’s impressive set but the Californians take it all in their stride and waste little time in proving why they’re considered such an influential act on the scene.

I first caught Carnifex a decade ago when they opened for Parkway Drive and have been a fan ever since. Scott Lewis makes for an engaging frontman as the strobes flash around the stage, nicely complementing the ferocity of songs like Drown Me in Blood and the bottom-heavy grind of Slow Death.

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Six albums, one EP and hundreds of live gigs have honed Carnifex into a formidable machine. At no point do they show anything less than total confidence and belief in their sound and the technicality of the musicianship is often jaw-dropping.

The whole night is a no-frills affair and Mama Roux’s is a great venue to see a show of this calibre. There’s a definite connection between bands and fans and there’s plenty of movement in the pit until the very last riff of Hell Chose Me closes out a fine night of intensely brutal metalcore.

Musically, these bands may rely a little too much on breakdowns and low frequencies. There’s certainly little in the way of nuance, but nobody here tonight is complaining. And as we make our way out into the sub-zero temperatures and frosted pavements of Digbeth, everyone leaves with a satisfied warm glow inside.

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One Response to “Carnifex + Oceano + Aversions Crown at Mama Roux’s, Birmingham, UK – 27th February 2018”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Gig Junkies Year in Review 2018 Says:

    […] Hot Snakes + Blood Red Shoes Album Review: Technology by Don Broco Album Review: Microshift by Hookworms Highly Suspect Nadine Shah + Life The Mavericks The Lovely Eggs + Porky the Poet + Mr Ben and the Bens Album Review: Sleepwalkers by Brian Fallon Rat Boy Jorja Smith + Mahalia Arch Enemy + Wintersun Bowling For Soup + Aquabats + Army of Freshmen The Chainsmokers + Sigma HRH Metal 2018 Hell Is For Heroes + A + Vex Red Brian Fallon & The Howling Weather + Dave Hause King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard + Mild High Club Album Review: Love Is a Basic Need by Embrace Morrissey The Front Bottoms + The Smith Street Band + Brick and Mortar Jake Bugg Carnifex + Oceano + Aversions Crown […]

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