I arrived at The Junction for Vulvodynia, Pintglass, Emerald Eyes and Abuse at the steamy end of what had been a sweltering day in anticipation of an evening of brutal music and was destined not to be disappointed. It was also great, on arrival, to find the place with a healthily large attendance from the offset. Definitely, a positive sign that this was something not to be missed.
Vulvodynia, Pintglass, Emerald Eyes, Abuse
The Junction, Plymouth. 9 July 2022
Words: Jools Green
Photography: Keith Conlin
It would be an understatement to call local opening act, Beatdown Hardcore outfit Abuse, a warm-up band. That would be a great disservice to them, given their ability to turn the pit into a furore within the first thirty seconds of their opening number, their vocalist in the pit amongst the mayhem.
The stab vest he sported seemed like a sensible accessory given the multitude of windmilling arms and spinning back kicks that surrounded him, causing me to have a degree of concern initially for our intrepid photographer Keith. However, he was able to outsmart and avoid it all with ninja precision.
Their set was very to the point and well executed, delivering tracks from their 2021 demo, Intro and Backstabber, as well as a track released last week, No Mercy, along with Nothing to Say, a longer piece and my favourite of their set.
Next up, Cornish Metalcore outfit Emerald Eyes maintained the atmosphere created by Abuse, successfully bringing more mayhem to the pit by their second number, which was less aggressive than Abuse’s but still lively and exciting.
Their set was drawn from their 2013 The EP and 2019s No Hope In Hell, including Preacher Eater and Dragged To Sea. Overall, I really love what these guys delivered. It was brutal, but with a subtle groove which made their sound utterly engaging, and I wasn’t the only one.
So righteous was their performance Jesus actually showed up halfway through their set. OK, it was just a guy dressed as him, but one true fact remains, a brutally superb set was delivered. h
Time to don your Hi-Vis vests because Pintglass from Guildford were next up, delivering their twin vocal brand of ground-shaking, Stella-fuelled, Beatdown Geezacore.
Drawing their set from their 2019 album Way of The Geeza, stirring the pit into a frenzy of excitement once more before instigating, very successfully, a circle pit which circumnavigated the pillar in the middle of the venue. This also involved going up and down two steps on either side of it and expanding practically to the four walls of the venue.
Quite an achievement. I loved the twin vocals, and there was an element of humour to the overall delivery, which really lifted the atmosphere. Another superb performance, also endorsed by “that guy Jesus” who decided to stay for the rest of the evening, so clearly it was a righteous event all round.
Finally, the band everyone was chomping at the bit to see, the South African Death Metal Titans Vulvodynia, primarily touring in support of their newest album and fourth full-length Praenuntius Infiniti, which is out now via Unique Leader Records.
Sound-wise, Vulvodynia meld melodic, technical and hyper-aggressive elements into their backbone of brutal slamming Death Metal in the most engaging manner imaginable, delivering a set that was as brutally intense as it was grippingly engaging.
Naturally, this was reflected in the pit, the lower part of the venue now a sea of colliding bodies, flailing limbs and flying semi-filled plastic cups of liquid, which I am pretty sure was just water, thankfully, and a blessing as the place was now a veritable sweatbox.
Soon after the venue encompassing circle pit around the pillar was once more instigated, I beat a swift retreat up beside the bar, which was just a few inches from its outer perimeter, a great place to enjoy both the spectacle and the music in safety.
There is no question about it, Vulvodynia came to The Junction and conquered the hearts and minds of everyone that witnessed their superb performance.
They gave one hundred per cent and loved every minute doing so, as did the three support bands. One hell of an achievement by all involved, given the heat of the evening.
I’m looking forward to their return already.