It’s good to get out of the country now and again, and so it was that I gladly accepted an invitation to forsake my normal Saturday routine of a late afternoon of premier local metal followed by an evening of avoiding the local smiks back in Belfast to head south of the border down Dublin way for the launch of the latest album by controversial death metal punks Coldwar.
The venue, which I’d visited only once before, is somewhat off the Irish capital’s beaten track – in fact, the directions I was given were along the lines of “turn right at the end of the street and keep walking until you can go no further, and it’s about 100 yards further on!” – but a healthy crowd had joined your travelling northerner to celebrate this auspicious occasion.
To be brutally honest, one of the main reasons for making this all too infrequent trip was to catch openers Killface, who have been lighting up the Irish scene like a halogen lamp for the last few years, and especially since the release of their pummeling ‘Feeding The Dead’ album (which sent certain members of the PM reviewing team into galaxy-spinning states of apoplexy with their collective endorsement). Well, I can certainly see what all the fuss is about, as the five piece proceeded to rip the venue and early comers a collective new one, with their intensely destructive grindcore-edged death metal.
With vocalist Brady prowling the stage like a caged lion, the rest of the band are tighter than a nun’s shit as they deliver a highly impressive set which, combined with their extremely positive attitude both on and off stage, bodes well for their enthusiastic ambition to break out of Dublin and bring their, if not unique but convincing style of grinding DM to a wider audience. https://www.facebook.com/Killfaceirl
It’s been a long time since Belfast overlords Overoth last played live (mainly due to writing and recording commitments) but while absence may make hearts grow fonder it equally certainly does not decrease the fury, intensity or passion for stepping onto a stage and flaying the skin off an audience… and these four Belfastards certainly prove the point as their technical death metal, delivered with precision and fluidity, is deadly in its efficiency and efficient in its deadly effectiveness.
‘God Of Delusion’, the first track to be previewed from their ambitious new album, is fast and furious, its Morbid Angel-meets-Slayer vibe delivered via a crushing but precise bass riff overlaid with beautifully interwoven guitar lines. Frontman Andy does his best to beat a reaction out of the largely apathetic crowd, but this latter does not in any way detract from a positively nuclear assault which proves to be the most effective set of the night. https://www.facebook.com/overothband
After what had gone before, it must be admitted that Coldwar are something of an anti-climax – despite the majority of the audience having arrived just a few minutes before their advertised stage time…
Yes, their uncompromising, no holds barred blend of hardcore punk meets death metal is brought together in one ingloriously furious amalgam. Yes, even the venue’s muddy sound manages to bring the layered subtleties of new tracks such as ‘The Falcon Cannot Hear The Falconer’ through the punishing main riffs.
Yes, Trevor’s vocals deliver the band’s message with a visceral viciousness over the band’s heavy, bottom-ended and tight riffs and efficiently effective riffs and bludgeoning solos.
But, there’s just something missing: something I can’t quite put my finger on but this was a tight and efficient performance which could have lived up to its incentive but ultimately failed to realize its maximum potential.