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Sinocence – Stiff Kitten, Belfast – 7/3/2014


Be afraid.  Be very afraid.  Especially if you are heading to Hammerfest this coming weekend:  Belfast metallians Sinocence have emerged from a hibernation that has lasted nigh on four months just in time to cause Richter Scale-registering devastation to northern Wales.


Donum Dei - Stiff Kitten - March 7 2014Opening this diverse bill for the Sins’ official “warm up”/”send off” show, youngsters Donum Dei deliver another solid set of focussed thrash-edged metal tunes, characterized by tight guitar harmonies, the maturity of which belie their youth:  the lads are still a bit ropey in terms of their delivery, but this is a band which is very much a work in progress and setting out along a road lined with promise and potential.



It’s less than a fortnight since the PM team last caught By Conquest Or Consent, and they deliver another slick and efficient set of chunky, groovy riffs, played with energy and intensity:  if anything, they are a lot more together than the Limelight show we reviewed just two short weeks ago, and they impress all present with their commitment and raise the level of expectation for their forthcoming debut album to a level which pre-empts its hopefully natural success.



Little Miss Stakes - Stiff Kitten - March 7 2014Horror punks Little Miss Stakes may seem a little out of place, especially with their day-glo green neon face and body paint and skeleton suits (thank fuck they’ve dropped the dresses!), but once again deliver a highly enjoyable set characterised by songs about ‘The Ghoul Next Door’, ‘Killer Clowns From Outer Space’ and ‘Spastic Zombie’.  The lads certainly have a sense of the threatrical (very much in the mould of an earlier bunch of Belfast zombies, the Dead End Sluts), with frontman Mick Van Dyke having more than enough charisma to carry it off, and the songs are entertaining and  efficient in a Misfits-meets-Murderdolls mould.



Sinocence - Stiff Kitten March 7 2014Headliners Sinocence are evidently hungry for action after their absence from same, and they crash out of the starting blocks faster, harder and heavier than a Russian tank division heading for the Ukrainian border.   The vicious beatdown riff of ‘Long Way Down’ shreds next muscles at 100 paces, but it is the clarion call of ‘Making A Monster’ – with Moro’s abrasive, vitriolic spitting challenge to “WAKE THE FUCK UP!” – that really sets out their stall in advance of their foray across the Irish Sea.  With Anto a tower of strength stage right, and Jim swinging his bass like a man possessed on the other side, Davy is a thrashing dervish behind the kit, the band a relishing being back on stage and take the opportunity to premiere a track from their forthcoming ‘No Gods No Masters Vol 2’ EP:   while Moro stresses that it is still a work in progress, ‘Slave By Consent’ possesses a vocal that makes the hair stand up on the back of the neck of even the most battle-hardened metallian, and is complex and layered while merciless and unforgiving in its venue-destroying power.

Wales, you have been warned.  Prepare to “WAKE THE FUCK UP!”.


Sinocence open the second stage at Hammerfest on Friday (March 15).

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff