LIVE REVIEW: Leeched @ The Deaf Institute, Manchester (01/02/2020)

Credit: Ralph Barklam

Date: February 1st 2020
Venue: The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Support: Tuskar / Geist


Bleak and unrivalled devastation was the aim for Leeched with their recently released sophomore, ‘To Dull The Blades Of Your Abuse’, a record that just doesn’t seem to let up to give you time to take a breath of air.

Taking it out on the road, they intend to eclipse any light in their path, including a hometown show at Manchester’s The Deaf Institute.

Openers Geist [7] come along to open proceedings with their enraged and confrontational crust hardcore being delivered with fierce precision. Frontman Ian Hunter‘s vocal delivery gets a little lost in the mix here and there, but when it bursts through on its own, it’s visceral and chaotic, and cuts from last year’s full-length offering ‘Swarming Season’ give your ears a battering nice and early.

Things are a little bit different for Milton Keynes two-piece Tuskar [5], who blur elements of progressive metal and sludge to create cuts here that are undoubtedly weighty and intimidating. Guitarist Tom Dimmock unleashes some gnarly riff work, and Tyler Hodges handling both the drums and some formidable vocal work makes them at times sound like a bastardised Death From Above that’ve been dragged through the plains of Hell.

Unfortunately, as talented and loathe-driven as the duo undoubtedly are, there are a handful of moments where it just seems like the songs delivered here offer a promise that doesn’t get delivered, and sometimes meander ’til they overstay their welcome.

Nihilistic and nasty from the off, the room is draped in darkness as Leeched [8] ensure that their uncompromising tone is set from the off, beginning with the backing haunting recording of the mostly instrumental ‘The Hound’s Jaw’ before grasping us firmly by the throat, and submitting us into the menace that is to follow.

The trio are turned quartet, backed by bassist Luke Rees and guitarist Joe Clayton (both of Pijn) to help add some extra depth and walls of noise to the crushing ‘Earth And Ash’ and the cataclysmic ‘I, Flatline’. Thanks to the helping addition of Rees on bass, frontman Laurie Morbey has more focus on his gargoyle-esque vocals, along with a floor tom of his own to batter when he isn’t roaring down his microphone.

It’s all very bleak, dismal, and ultimately devastating. Few bands go as hard or as heavy as Leeched, and clearly they plan to lay waste to any venue and crowd that will have them.