As I climb the stairs towards tonight’s venue I can’t help but wonder why exactly a band the size and stature of Hatebreed are playing in a small 400 capacity club venue when they could easily be playing any of the bigger stages in town. However the energy packed into the room tonight blows all those thoughts away by the time the headliners have smashed their way through their set, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
First up tonight are Grimsby’s DEMORALISER (7.5). The metal-core 5 piece take to the stage to a Star Wars-esque intro tape and as opening track Gilded In Gold kicks in lead singer James Dexter is prowling the stage like a rabid animal. He is a ball of energy tonight, which the stage struggles to contain to the point where he literally hangs from the ceiling!!
Demoraliser clearly have fans in the crowd tonight and songs such as Blood Meridian and Early Years get the energy levels rising in the pit with the initiated few making their presence known. The longer the band play tonight the more fans they are winning over, their groove laden bass lines and chunky breakdowns have a majority of the crowd nodding their approval and by the time they close the set with the quite frankly CRUSHING Checkmate it’s clear Demoraliser have won over their fair share of new fans.
The only thing letting Demoraliser down tonight is the front of house sound, it’s far too bass heavy tonight meaning that the rhythm guitar parts are almost lost in the mix.
Set List –
Gilded In Gold
Reap What You Sow
Eye To Eye
Sadly there are more than just sound issues hampering tonights performance by BLACK DOGS (5). The four piece from the north of England hit the stage with boundless energy with singer “Gollo” using the barrier at the front of the stage to elevate himself over the audience and beckoning those further back to step forward. The band launch into opening track Krokodil which reopens the pit whilst second track Savages is dedicated to those getting laid tonight.
Unfortunately for the band things start going downhill. The rest of their set sounds too frantic and under rehearsed. The songs are played with plenty of enthusiasm and dedication, however there are distinct timing issues between the band members tonight so the songs sound muddied. Even a well aimed political rant cant save the set tonight.
Set List –
Under rehearsed is definitely not a criticism that can be levelled at tonight’s headliners, having spent nearly 20 years honing their craft HATEBREED (9) walk out on stage to see the tiny venue rammed to near capacity and deliver a high octane performance.
Frontman Jamie Jasta keeps the between song chat to a minimum tonight, pointing out that they are on a really tight schedule (thanks to an early curfew the band only get to play for 1 hour!!) and he wants to make sure everyone gets their money’s worth. Well guys mission accomplished, in just over their allotted 1 hour Hatebreed manage to tear through 22 (yes 22!!) songs.
They plow through a high energy set featuring songs from every album, barely taking a second to draw breath themselves never mind giving the crowd a chance to. Older tracks such as In Ashes They Shall Reap and As Diehard As They Come stand shoulder to shoulder with track from latest offering The Divinity of Purpose, with every track being sung at full volume by the crowd with fists raised.
As Jamie pointed out during the set, Hatebreed have never had the big marketing push from their record labels or the “right look” for the magazines but what they lack in style and grace they more than make for in sheer brutality much like the assembled masses on the floor in front of them tonight.
If this is to be the last time Glasgow gets to see Hatebreed for a while (due in no small part to Hatebreed’s dynamic work ethic and determination that every fan everywhere should have the chance to see the band live) then that have left the city on a definite high note and the 3-400 people who witnessed tonights show all know they’ve just seen something very special and the last chords of Destroy Everything will fade a damn sight faster than the smiles on everyone’s face.
Set List –
To The Threshold
Honour Never Dies
Everyone Bleeds Now
In Ashes They Shall Reap
As Diehard As They Come
Tear It Down
Smash Your Enemies
Driven By Suffering
Last Breath (dedicated to the memory of Chi Cheng)
Beholder of Justice
This Is Now
Live For This
I Will Be Heard