The Pint venue has undergone a revamp. The owners and promoter have increased the size of the stage, invested in a quality lighting rig, improved the sound system, and spoiled us with air conditioning. All of these improvements have made the Pint THE best venue in Dublin for underground metal concerts. Tonight, Sweden’s Scar Symmetry are in town with support from Beholder, Bloodshot Dawn and Awaken Dominion.
Getting in from the eternal winter outside, Planetmosh arrives just in time to catch the UK’s Bloodshot Dawn begin their set. Their mix of melodic death and thrash is warmly received by the punters. Each member is extremely animated on stage and the level of technical guitar work from Ben Ellis and Josh McMorran is astounding. Being low on the bill is always a challenge but they perform as headliners and engage in some comical lettuce (yes, lettuce) eating before the set closes.
Beholder are making their Irish debut tonight and before they start, lead singer Simon Hall warns those of us standing to the left of stage that guitarist Scotty Taylor is ill and may spew during the set. “He’s blaming the Ulster Fry he ate this morning and not the twenty pints he swilled the night before” jokes Hall. What follows is a master class in balls out heavy metal. Hall is one of the most affable and engaging frontmen on the scene. His warmth is infectious as he spills his soul to the assembly. When a singer invests time in the crowd he reaps the reward. Simon is colossal and during his forays into the crowd, he opens his own pit, sets up a mini wall of death and is the focal point of a crashing performance. Scotty (with puke pot on the floor nearby) and Martyn trade licks while Chris and Simon F. crunch the rhythm. Songs from “The Order of Chaos” are blasted alongside older stalwarts like “The Heritic”. “Here I Stand” is a highlight in an all too short set. Beholder have won over the audience and we hope it won’t be too long until they return.
Scar Symmetry amble through the crowd and begin to set up their gear. It is hands-on shows like tonight that make metal gigs so special. The lights go down, the backing track begins. Drummer, Henrik Ohlsson raises aloft his inverted drumstick cross and the assault commences. “The Anomaly” is immense.
Vocalists, Roberth Karlsson and Lars Palmqvist are as in your face as is possible. Each steps to the edge of the stage during his section and connects with the crowd. The contrast between growl and clean works perfectly in the live environment and their trade-offs are complimented further by the fret wizardry of Per Nilsson. Five albums into their career, it has been a long wait for Dublin to see Scar Symmetry and the crowd are in boisterous form.
Every fist pump, horn throw and chant is welcomed enthusiastically by the band. They are delighted to be here and the fans are reciprocating in kind. The sound is spot on and perfectly suited to the huge technical melodic death metal of Scar Symmetry. “Frequencyshifter” is one of the many highlights in a setlist that draws from their entire repertoire, but it’s the closing duo of “Reborn” and “The Illusionist” that sucks all the remaining energy from the adulating front section of the audience.
When the final notes have subsided, the five stand shoulder to shoulder and take their bows in front of a sea of hands before setting off into the halogen sunset. A cracking night of modern metal has drawn to a close.
If you do not catch Scar Symmetry on this current leg of their tour, do not dismay. They will be headlining the Sophie Lancaster Stage at this year’s Bloodstock Open Air Festival (Friday August 9th). Don’t miss them a second time.
Pitch Black Progress
Slaves To The Subliminal
Rise Of The Reptilian Regime
The Draconian Arrival
Photos by Down The Barrel Photography
Note : Apologies to Awaken Dominion who opened the show this evening. Planetmosh will see you the next time.