Suicide Silence, Deez Nuts and Venom Prison At The Engine Rooms, Southampton 19th March 2017

It’s a cold dark Sunday night in Southampton. Which feels right as tonight is the first night on the UK leg of the current Suicide Silence tour. Tonight’s bill is stacked from the ground up. It will also be interesting to see if the new songs translate well to the live setting.

Opening tonight’s proceedings in unforgivingly brutal fashion are Venom Prison (9) who do not fuck about. They storm the stage amid a cloud of smoke and seizure-inducing lights and completely floor everyone. It’s rare to see a band on this kind of form. Especially when you consider they are opening for someone else in a half full venue. What’s great about Venom Prison is just how engaging they are. Larissa Stupar is one of the most enigmatic front women in all of music right now. A whirling, blur of hair and extreme anger, It’s hard not to question whether she may actually be possessed. The band themselves are a tight, focused unit relying on their songs rather than a flashy stage show to impress. The only problem with having Venom Prison as your opening band is that they set an impossibly high standard that you then have to follow.

Up next are Australian import Deez Nuts (7).  I will admit that Deez Nuts and their ongoing popularity goes somewhat over my head, but I understand why they are popular and I can see the appeal. They just aren’t for me, on this bill, in particular, they stand out like a sore thumb. Their bro vibes and beatdowns resonate well. It’s a stark contrast to Venom Prison before. The Amassed crowd are going bananas for it regardless. One thing Deez Nuts do have in their favour is that they know how to connect people. I will admit that even though some of their songs sound the same, there is a passion to the way they play them that goes a long way. They even managed to get a welcome reception for new material from an album that isn’t even out yet. I wouldn’t go as far as to say Deez Nuts converted me, but I will admit that they put on a good set I enjoyed quite a bit more than I was expecting.

Suicide Silence (6) hit the stage, but don’t receive the heroes welcome they were expecting. They choose to open their set with the Polarising ‘Doris’ and fail to get the crowd invested from the get go.  This seems to be the recurring theme throughout tonight’s set.  Whenever they play any one of their older songs be it ‘No Pity For A Coward’ ‘Wake Up’ or even ‘Unanswered’, the crowd comes alive. The moment they switch to a newer song, the crowd becomes static and uninterested. It seems like the backlash to the new album has left the comment section and entered the pit, which is a shame, because I personally like the new album.

It is evident however that it does not mesh well with their back catalogue. It creates a jarring gig experience that leaves a disjointed feeling hanging in the air. Even in-between songs and when dealing with technical issues, the band is met with cries of ‘teehee’ from the crowd.  It seems odd to see a headline band met with such disinterest and heckling from their own audience. Suicide Silence do nothing to combat or address this, instead, they just play their songs, albeit somewhat halfheartedly, even more so the longer the set continues. Whether this is just opening night blues or lives to become a running theme only time will tell. But tonight Suicide Silence comes across as a band going through a very real fall from grace.

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