Pythia, Triaxis and Vine Messiah at the Face Bar, Reading – 6/10/2011

The night kicked off with Vine Messiah who played to a half empty room as people were still arriving.  Unfortunately their brand of heavy metal totally failed to find an appreciative crowd tonight – the audience were more interested in chatting at the bar than paying any attention to the band.  The singer’s talks to the crowd between songs sounded slurred and were frankly unintelligible with nobody knowing what he said.  A very disappointing start to the night, and not helped by one of the least professional sound engineers I’ve seen at any venue – he didnt touch the board all night, and spent his time surfing the internet (facebook mainly) and going outside for a cigarette during bands performances !

Rating: 4/10

Luckily Triaxis were up next and put in a far better performance than Vine Messiah.  By this stage the venue had filled up a lot more, and the crowd were clearly looking forwards to some good music.  Triaxis have just finished recording their new album so this was their first live show after a few weeks locked in a studio miles from civilisation, and it was obvious from the huge grins on their faces that they were having a great time tonight.  Triaxis treated the fans to some new songs from their forthcoming second album, as well as material from their first album.  The new material sounds great and based on their performance tonight there will be plenty of people wanting to buy it once it gets released. This was a great performance which wet down very well with the crowd.

Triaxis setlist:

Sker point
Rather fast
Severed sanity
Gates of damnation
Autumn hourglass
…and shadows creep

Rating 8.5/10

Tonight’s headliner was next up – Pythia.  This was their first show in ten months after a break to record their new album and during which time they had a lineup change (with Andy Nixon-Corfield being replaced on Bass by Mark Harrington) and singer Emily Ovenden took a few days off work to have a baby.  Given the long gap and the lineup changes then there was obviously some speculation as to how well they’d perform tonight.  Happily these doubts were dispelled almost immediately after they took to the stage and launched into a blistering rendition of one of the new songs from their second (as yet unreleased) album.  Next up they launched into Sarah – a fan favourite from the first album.  The crowd were loving it and there was plenty of headbanging from the audience.  There were a few technical problems but the band didnt seem fazed by this and didnt let it mar their performance.  Tonight’s set included four songs from the new album and four from the first album. The new material is sounding fantastic – still recognisably Pythia but faster and heavier than the first album.  New bass player Mark Harrington put in a great show – he was note perfect and acted the part too – it was hard to believe this was his first show with the band.  An excellent performance from Pythia, now lets hope the album comes out soon as based on tonight’s performance its going to be a great album.

Pythia setlist:

Cry of our nation
Betray my heart
Army of the damned
Just a lie
No compromise

Rating 9/10

About Ant May

I spend half my life at gigs or festivals and the other half writing the reviews and editing photos, and somehow find time for a full time job too. Who needs sleep - I've got coffee.