Head Cleaner, Birth Through Gore
Eightball Club, Thessaloniki, Greece

So the night was closing at hand. There were two times I missed the gigs of Benediction and couldn’t wait to see one of my teenage heroes on stage. It was around 8 o’ clock when I arrived at the venue. The schedule was announced the day before and it was going like this. First the two support acts would play then the club would show us the Champions League game through a projector and then Benediction will take charge of the stage to a closer for the evening.

Five minutes after eight the stage was captured by two guys. Those two of Birth Through Gore; unfortunately these two were the band. Lacking drummer and bassist the duo gives us a great show of brutal death grind gore metal. Their frontman Aggelos with his great vocal capacity filled the stage; not to mention his great communication with the few people of the audience. The empty space of the rhythm section didn’t make any impact on their music. The duo gave us a great performance and a good starter for the gig.

Next going on stage were Head Cleaner. The band that created by the former vocalist of Homo Iratus take charge of the stage and start blasting our neck with their death metal. Head Cleaner is a descent death metal band and Jim Evgenidis did a great job putting together great musicians. The drumming of Bill was outstanding for once again. The bass work of Leyteris gives the boost needed. They play less than an hour but get us warm enough for what was about to follow. Thinking it over there was something I forgot. Benediction would play after the final game of champion’s league. So the warming we were getting from Head Cleaner was pointless after all. Yet pleasantly the crowd was increasing in numbers. Two songs had a guest appearance each; one by birth Through Gore’s singer and one by Genna Apo Kolo’s singer. Great moments both, but somehow these appearances gave me the impression that Jim was getting tired. And this was their only disadvantage. Although Jim – the singer – was running up and down the stage like another Barney Greenway, his vocals seemed to getting lower and lower in volume.

After the final song from Head Cleaner the screen for the projector came down behind the drums on stage. Unfortunately we had to watch for almost three hours the final game of champion’s league. I don’t mind to watch football as I am a great fan, but I was longing to see live Benediction. And as the game was proceeding through the penalty kick shootout, I was getting drunker and sleepy. Thankfully – as a BVB fanatic – Bayern Munich lost and it was time for the greatest gig before summer time.

It was a quarter to one when the speakers start to play the intro track of “Killing Music”. And in a minute after five British guys take their positions on stage. I was really drunk and couldn’t get my ears adapted to recognize the first two songs. Believe that one of them was “Contropolis”. Anyway of course I didn’t mind at all. I was watching death metal’s most punk-est band and my body was driving me to the mosh pit. Their crust-ier album of “Killing Music” is a guide for how to mosh without stopping. And as Mr. Dave Hunt announced “The Grey Man” as a song for those about to boil and eat children the pit was formed in no time. After a few seconds most of the approximately seventy people were stopped. There was a guy lying on the floor because he crashed on the floor after an unsuccessful stage diving. Dave Hunt did notice the accident and stopped the band playing as he wanted to know that everyone was ok. This most unfortunate moment was over as the guy was ok and taken care by someone responsible for the gig. So “The Grey Man” was continued with the crowd being more careful after the incident. After couple of songs the energy was on again. As Mr. Hunt introduce the other members each one on the introduction of a different song. Something that I believe was unnecessary for everyone knows Darren Brookes or Peter Rew.

The flashback on the greatest albums of Benediction was inevitable. “Unfound Mortality” and “The Grotesque” take us to a journey back to 90’s. And again back to 2001 with “Nothing on the Inside” and the beautiful “Suffering Feeds Me” that was dedicated to the women. I want to mention that the only song from their greatest – in my opinion – album “The Dreams You Dread” was the self-titled track. The absence of “Down On Whores” is the negative aspect of the gig. I know that they don’t play it live and I will be with the question why probably till I die.

Unfortunately their set list was no more than an hour and a quarter and without an encore. As Dave Hunt introduced us to Frank Healy, the bassist, and saying truthfully that this would be their last song; the bass lines of “Magnificat” brought the crowd in the venue in state of amok. After the four and a half minutes of the song were ended I was full of memories, nostalgia and of course full of bruises and my body aching still as I write this report – two days after the show. Too bad I must wait to see Benediction next time. I hope that this won’t be long cause those m*******ers are killing music, metal riffing, beer drinking and hell raising since 1989.

Kostas “Krotidas” Triantafyllidis