Home / Opinion / Event Reviews / Conjuring Fate – Belfast, Limelight 2 07/06/2014

Conjuring Fate – Belfast, Limelight 2 07/06/2014

Conjuring Fate by Marc Leach Photography
Conjuring Fate by Marc Leach Photography

When Northern Ireland metallians Conjuring Fate last year decided to call it a day, it was quite a shock for the scene in this part of the world as, after eight years together, the band’s ascendancy had appeared to on the upward slope.  However, the ‘break’ turned out to be something of a rehabilitation period for the band (and, some might admit, its members), as the news that they were returning, rejuvenated and with a new line up, was greeted with huge expectancy:  so much so that, when their new video, ‘House On Haunted Hill’ (below), was premiered right here on PM, it generated an unprecedented number of shares for an unsigned local act…

For the launch of the EP from which the above track is taken, the ‘Fate carefully chose the venue for their return to live action – it was on this very stage that they had bade ‘farewell’ a little more than 12 months earlier, and so it was highly appropriate that the Limelight and its weekly RocKD Saturday evening promotion serve as both the time and the place for their re-emergence…

Donum Dei by Marc Leach Photography
Donum Dei by Marc Leach Photography

Opening proceedings, youngsters Donum Dei prove why they are one of the hottest prospects in the Northern Irish firmament at the moment.  Over the past few months, a combination of hard work, determination and positive attitude has seen this young quartet grow in both confidence and ability:  OK, the influence of early Metallica still looms large over their shoulders, but they developing apace and finding their feet in a highly competitive marketplace.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donum-Dei/144914665575849

I’ve always thought that September Cross are stuck in something of a time-warp, and this evening did nothing to change my opinion, as their sound is very much that of late ‘8os British and European power metal.  However, it has to be admitted that what they do, they do well, as they are a tight and confident musical machine and know how to lay down a mean line in hard-hitting riffs and punch-the-air anthemics.

https://www.facebook.com/septembercross

Astralnaut by Marc Leach Photography
Astralnaut by Marc Leach Photography

Talking of tight, they don’t come much more so than Astralnaut:  their dirty, sludgy doom oozes from the speakers with the inevitability of a Japanese mudslide, crashing over everyone before it and drawing it deep into their heavy-ended groove.  Their set once again is delivered with a practised ease and solidity that belies the intensity of the musical experience and proves both cathartic and enervating in equal doses.

https://www.facebook.com/Astralnautmusic

As mentioned above, the return of headliners Conjuring Fate was one of the most eagerly anticipated moments on the NI metal scene so far this year – so much so that by the time the new look quintet climbed the steps to the Limelight stage, there was a much healthier crowd assembled before them than there had been for quite a few well-known ‘name’ bands who had played the same venue in recent times.

The band look gobsmacked by the reception, but if they are feeling slightly overwhelmed they do not show it, as they rip into a set for which many of the superlatives employed above seem unnecessary.  Opening with the EP title track, the five lads are immediately in their element:  after all, this is the environment where all bands really prove themselves… and, for the ‘Fate, it’s as if they have never been away.

Conjuring Fate by Marc Leach Photography
Conjuring Fate by Marc Leach Photography

The band’s core element of guitarist Phil Horner and vocalist Tommy Daly are clearly relishing being back in action, with the former not content to remain in his stage right position but wandering among the crowd and the latter grinning from ear to ear throughout.  The new rhythm section of drummer Bogdan Walczak and bassist Steve Legear are tighter than their singer’s wallet, while new guitarist Karl Gibson gives absolutely no hint of this being his first ever live gig, as he exudes both confidence and ability throughout his baptism of fire.

Stormzone guitarist Steve Moore joins the action for the tumultuous finale of ‘Backwoods Witch’, crowning off a performance which shows that unsigned local acts are more than capable of standing shoulder to shoulder with their ‘bigger’ counterparts in terms of not only drawing a crowd but delivering exciting heavy feckin’ metal shows and sounds a clarion to metallians everywhere to get out their and “support your scene”… after all, didn’t some band called Iron Maiden start off playing down their local pub on a Saturday evening?  I wonder what ever happened to them…

https://www.facebook.com/ConjuringFate

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff