It’s a Saturday afternoon in Belfast, and that means there is only one place any self-respecting metalhead should be… down the ‘Slimer’, necking pints, enjoying the craic and breaking necks at the weekly RocKD! This weekend’s show is an extra bit special, as it also marks the official launch of the long-awaited debut EP by rising stars 7 Days Dead… but we’ll come to them anon!
Bands are a bit like Translink’s south Belfast bus service – you don’t see one for ages and then they come along twice in almost as many weeks. This certainly was the cases this evening’s openers, Red Six – I hadn’t caught them live in several months, maybe longer, and now here I am for the second time in a fortnight, standing in almost exactly the same spot, being pummelled into the floor of refurbished Limelight by their heavier than a super-destroyer barrage of fuel-injected groove. It’s another great performance – in fact, a well-respected promoter beside me reckons it’s the best she’s ever seen them, and who am I to disagree?
Next up, Spittin Bones have travelled up from south of the Oirish border to subject us to their brand of ‘Sensory Deprivation’ – which an apt title for what they do, as they are one of the least impressive bands I have seen grace the RocKD promotion in quite a while. Not that I’m which to bode anyone any ill, but technical problems with drummer China’s kick pedal cuts the set short, to the relief of many present…
Normal order is restored with the atmospheric arrival of the mighty Honey For Christ: the trio always deliver superlative live shows (which constantly leads me to wonder why they’ve never been bigger than they are!), and this is another prime example, especially as the Limelight’s newly refurbished sound system – so much clearer and louder than its predecessor – helps bring out every nuance of their melodic, technical death metal. It’s been a while since HFC unveiled any new material, a fact which Andy references when he introduces a new track, ‘Symmetry Of Sickness’, which turns out to be one of the heaviest songs they have produced in years, with its bonecrushing bass riff.
If 7 Days Dead had handpicked the support acts, then they had certainly set themselves a high bar to clear, especially in terms of Red Six and HFC… but they clear it with consummate ease, as this is by far the best show I have seen from the mid-Ulster quartet. To say that they are on fire would be an under-statement (and it’s just as well the nearest fire station is literally yards from the venue’s front door!). Musically, the three musicians are flawless, with Kaxxx in particular looking he’s having more fun than a five-year old let loose in a toy store with daddy’s platinum credit card, while frontman Ryan is having the gig of his life – jumping into the crowd, bantering and throwing water over them: at one stage, two punters enjoy themselves a tad too much, careering out through the fire doors and into street… The band quit the stage with the towering single ‘Haunted’ – and I can think of no better way to end an evening of metallic enjoyment!
‘Beyond Within’ is available now from http://7daysdead.bigcartel.com/
Follow 7 Days Dead on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/7daysdead
Listen to our interview with 7DD bassist Kaxxx at http://planetmosh.com/7-days-dead-interview-with-kaxxx/