I’m a great believer that when you go to a gig you should make every effort to see and support every band on the bill… but, sometimes circumstances conspire against you.
And so it was that, due to a scheduling conflict, as Belfast’s own Overoth (pictured left) took to the stage to open proceedings on this, the third and final night of the Irish leg of Bloodshot Dawn‘s tour in support of their just-released ‘Demons’ album, your reviewer and his partner found themselves at several thousand feet on a ‘plane making its final approach to Belfast City Airport… however, with the flight actually slightly ahead of schedule, and the happy happenstance of a bus sitting revving its engine outside the terminal, your scribe managed to make it to the city centre venue in record time – and without to spare to grab a pint before the main support climbed on to the tiny stage!
Doing the honours in this regard were Bristol’s Seprevation (https://www.facebook.com/Seprevation), who start their old school, no-nonsense death metal set with a furious intensity.
Despite the small crowd – there are no more than a couple of dozen people (but then it is a Monday, a night which is notoriously difficult to attract any sort of crowd to anything other than a cheap-ass £1-a-shot feckin’ student disco) – the appreciation level is extremely high and the headbanging in front of the stage is as relentless as the musical battery emanating from it, as evidenced when the quartet’s radical but affectionate cover of ‘The Trooper’ agitates one of the world’s smallest ever circle pits – just five people – into furious action.
The backbone of any good metal band is their drummer, and Jamie Wintle fulfils his role with energy and precision, coupled with some truly impressive double kick work. The twin guitars of Joss Farrington and Ian Aston weave wonderful melodies over a range of riffs which veer from pure DM through nascent thrash to classic metal, while frontman Lluc Tupman commands the stage with aplomb and an ease that belies the ferocity of the music.
It’s a set which demonstrates the commitment of truly dedicated metal bands to play anywhere where there is an electricty supply and a handful of people who are determined to turn up and support a form of music that constitutes a lifestyle choice for all of those concerned. And it’s a dedication which is reinforced by the headliners, who were returning to headline a stage where, some 18 months earlier, they had taken an opening slot in a stranglehold, slam dived it through the boards and sent the headline act home with their guitars rammed so far up their arses they need to re-string their tonsils!
Bloodshot Dawn’s pure naked aggressive death metal takes no prisoners – and makes no fucking apology for it either! Held together by the pummelling bottom end of new recruit Janne Jaloma – who “enjoyed” a baptism of fire at Bloodstock this past summer and is playing only his fourth official gig with the band – and Anthony Ridout, guitarists Josh McMorran and Ben Ellis pummel the small audience with brutal riffs and stunning solos which not highlight what excellent musicians and songsmiths these young south coasters are, but also that they could stand comfortably alongside any of the greats of the thrash/death metal crossover mien.
Coupled with their exemplary second album, ‘Demons’ (reviewed at https://planetmosh.com/bloodshot-dawn-demons/), Bloodshot Dawn have quickly shot to the top of the British thrash/death scene and should soon be extablishing themselves as a global force, signifying that the UK is ready to reclaim its position as the hotbed of metallic innovation.
Photographs © Paul Verner
The tour continues:
Thursday October 30 – Bristol, The Exchange
Friday October 31 – Brighton, Green Door Store
Saturday November 1 – London, Unicorn (with Kremated, Wretched Soul and Anoxide)
Sunday November 2 – Cardiff, Full Moon
Check out our interview with BD drummer Janne Jaloma at https://planetmosh.com/bloodshot-dawn-interview-with-janne-jaloma/