Live Review: Monasteries w/Sunfall, Beyond Extinction and Gloomweaver at Suburbia Southampton!

It’s the final countdown… The last gig of 2022 for this writer happens to be our first visit to Suburbia in Southampton, a small but perfectly formed venue, ideal for underground Metal acts to cut their teeth in the live arena and hone their skills for when opportunity arises. It has been brass monkey weather this week but the thaw is finally here and we’re ready to get sweaty in the pit one last time with a bottle of Heineken 0.0. Don’t drink and drive people, it’s a mugs game.

The Gloomweaver [7/10] vocalist stalks the bit in front of the stage, unable to get on it due to the other members of the band and two drum kits, but makes the most of being on the same level, treating it like a floor show and making plenty of eye contact. His tattooed skull may put the fear of God into lesser mortals but this is a Metal show and he’s perfectly at home in amongst the whirlwind of riffs and percussive battery. Twin seven string guitars and a five string bass are in full force as “Council Of Wyrms” is given a blistering rendition before new song “Earth Eater” wipes the floor, the  breakdowns are immense, the sludge guitar tone of their misery fuelled Deathcore giving everything a satisfying crunch.

Essex Death Metal quartet Beyond Extinction [9/10] have all the venom and bloodlust of a band destined for Maryland Death Fest with a twin guitar attack as they launch themselves at the crowd with neck snapping brutality. They’re a well oiled machine at this point having reduced venues to rubble with extensive shows this summer and tonight it shows as they lean on that experience to devastating effect. Frontman Jasper Harmer is like an alligator, working the crowd before taking them like his prey to the bottom of the river for a death roll into submission. “A Face Without Features” and “Parasitic” are set highlights but it’s the wall of death during the final bone crushing breakdown section of their set that makes the buildings foundations shake.

It’s a bitter sweet night for Sunfall [9/10] as earlier this week the band announced that frontman Sam will depart for Australia once more. His second to last show with the band this time around serves as a reminder of how big his shoes will be to fill as he roars, rap screams and Slams his way through a set of cuts that sit in the centre of a Bermuda triangle of a perfect storm between Nu-Metalcore, Nu-Deathcore and Post-Metalcore fuelled goodness. The band are a powerhouse, bringing wave after wave of Groove with chunky rhythms that batter the crowd into submission. Recent single “Deadbeat” is an absolute belter and brings out the two steppers as the band keep the energy high, the expressions on their faces as they hammer out these cuts confirming they’re having the time of their lives and set closer “Quiet Kid” is an absolute battering ram.

The bands may have started out heavy and got progressively heavier tonight but having previously witnessed Monasteries [9/10] brand of devastation at Tech-Fest, we know they’re a whole new level of pain. The vocals from Josh Davies are caustic as the Technical Deathcore onslaught rips through the place like a plague wind, two steppers, chugs, downtempo breakdowns and spine juddering riffs all play their part as the band attempt to reduce to venue to rubble. “Digital Suicide” gets the obligatory circle pit to accompany the blasting as the band need a fleet of tow trucks for the sheer volume of breakdowns they manage to shoehorn into their set. “The Amygdala Chorus” is particularly vicious tonight with guitarists Aaron Wright and Craig Robertson going toe to toe to see who can sling the most crushing riffs. They have had an incredible year and including a trip to Holland and Herrie Festival and tonight the band are in a celebratory mood, letting their hair down before the last night of the run…


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