Saturday, April 21, 2018

Necrodeath/Whiskey & Funeral/Lapida (Rome, 14th April 2018)

Bands: Necrodeath/Whiskey & Funeral/Lapida
Location: Defrag, Rome (Italy)
Date: 14th April 2018

There were huge expectations about the comeback of the mighty Necrodeath here in Rome, and, obviously, these expectations have been fully kept for a really skullcrushing live gig very difficult to forget for the future years to come. And you have to consider that the ticket cost only 5 euros, so why didn't you take this rare opportunity at a low price to see on stage one of the legendary extreme metal acts from Italy, today very respected around the world? The Roman date by Necrodeath is to be considered part of their long European tour intended to promote their fresh new album "The Age of Dead Christ" (Scarlet Records, 2018). The bands that supported them were two talented acts from the area of Rome: Lapida and Whiskey & Funeral. Instead, the location of the show was Defrag, a cultural association born in 2008 that's very close to a subway station in the suburbs of Rome, so it's comfortable to reach also for the people who live on the other side of the city without using the car.

Before the concert, in front of the location, I had the pleasure to meet, among others, with Giacomo Daniele, the boss of a young and prolific label called Hellbones Records. He came also to give me the debut full-lenght album of the Italian crust punkers Mefitica, so expect a nice review about them in the future days to come.

Said that, Lapida, whose muscular drummer Alex was wearing a tank top with upon the logo of the Chicago Bulls, opened the hostilities to offer to the lots of headbangers in the place an exhibition of pure fury. Even born in 1999 with only two albums realized starting from 2012, Lapida destroyed the stage with a bonebreaking death/thrash metal that reminds me a fuckin' lot of the Cleveland thrash squad Blood Feast, and I hear this influence from the hateful screams of Raptus (with his wonderful t-shirt that says "FUCK SALAD"!) to the chainsaw guitar tone of the axeplayer Condanna. But the nicer thing is that they played in a so intense way to frequently provoke a wild mosh as it should be, inviting the most crazy headbangers (included me) to risk their life into plenty of salutary physical fights. Instead, the strange thing is that Lapida, as last song, played a not so...eeeer...metallic song: "Territorial Pissing" by Nirvana! I have to say I never followed Nirvana in my entire life but I appreciated a lot this cover also because the same original song is very punkish and demented, so it's okay.

After Lapida, it's the turn of Whiskey & Funeral, whose first two full-lenght albums were reviewed by me on these pages while they released their third opus "Whiskey Crucis" (M.A. Productions) just last year. Unfortunately, I lose a little part of their show because I was drinking some beer with my ultra-metallic cousin outside the Defrag.

But, when I came back in front of the stage, I found a band always on fire with their intricate black/death/thrashing assault with some hardcore vibes (i.e. the scrapping "Santa Claus"). Leaded by the Montagna brothers (the singer/guitarist Stefano and the drummer Maurizio, that plays also in other bands like the merciless grindsters Buffalo Grillz) since their early years, Whiskey & Funeral have played with intensity and showing notable technical skills (in this sense, Maurizio impressed me a lot!). The only "problem" (the air quotes ARE mandatory since it isn't a real problem, in every case) is that their music is so complex and full of tempo changes that (at least when I was there) there was no moshpit during their show but...WHO CARES?

Trivia time: until the show of Whiskey & Funeral, the place was attended even by an adorable little child, that was just in front of the stage on its left side! Maybe is he the son of a Whiskey & Funeral's member? Anyway, with his innocent presence, he was able to soft an atmosphere made of inverted cross, ugly metalheads with evil faces, a world of good beer...and a FUCKIN' LOT of unspeakable blasphemies!

And the TIME HAS COME because HERE COMES NECRODEATH! One of the first pioneers of the extreme metal in Italy along with Bulldozer and Schizo, Necrodeath started their show with the horror intro that opens "Into the Macabre", so, here you are, in a fast and brutal sequence, 3 classics taken from that seminal album: "Mater Tenebrarum", "At the Mountains of Madness" and "The Flag of Inverted Cross"! Seriously, we could ask for a better start than this one! With Necrodeath, the mosh finally becomes truly violent with no stupid compromises and every member of the band is in a state of grace, from Peso with his unfailing hat to a really demonic Flegias. In particular, the performance by Flegias has been truly intense, also because he interacted so much with the audience to do, at a certain point, crowd surf! I appreciated a lot the variety of the setlist, playing songs taken from different albums, also if, anyway, I am mostly fond of "Into the Macabre" and "Fragments of Insanity". In addition to this, this show has been useful to me in order to listen, for the very first time, the new songs from "The Age of Dead Christ" like the ultra-fast "The Master of Mayhem" (a title, a program!) and the mephitic "The Triumph of Pain" or the strangely psychedelic titletrack with the result that I've had a very good impression about them. Absolutely mentionable was also the short participation, as bassplayer, of John, that played bass into Necrodeath from 1998 to 2008, in occasion of "The Creature".
But, in the end of the show, we entered a dimension of pure delirium! After playing "Church's Black Book", Necrodeath leave the stage, and so it seem that the hostilities are over. The audience starts to scream the unholy name of Necrodeath invoking their return (and, during those moments, I was going to be really voiceless!). Finally, Necrodeath answer the call to come back on stage to play a last, legendary song: "Black Magic" by Slayer! And so everyone lose his mind, ending this show at the top of violence and brutality!

No fukken other words need to describe the performances of the bands. Voiceless, deaf and sore, I left the place after attending a memorable show. And I said "memorable" also because there were plenty of true metal maniacs into the place and I met with a lot of them, moshing together as possessed demons. It has been my first time at Defrag, and I hope to come back at this wonderful location as soon as possible. I think that there will be many chances to do it in the future weeks to come, also thanks to the very active MetalFabbro, that is used to organize a lot of concerts in Defrag, included just this show. So see ya, metal maniacs, and let's start another...(NECRO)THRASHING MAYHEM!!!

P.S. Sorry for these dark photos but, "very intelligently", I used my other phone...and "my other phone" has got no camera flash!

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