There’s always been a stigma when it comes to Sunday concerts. Especially one on a bitter night in January. A month notorious for everyone being broke due to last months events. However you wouldn’t think it was such a night, as the sold out venue was packing in metalheads of all ages, as if they were sardines. And as old and new friends become uncomfortably close with each other. The opening band starts the night.
I Am: If you’re unfimilair with this band I wouldn’t be surprised as, before this tour, so was I. But if tonights show is anything to go by, with their self branded genre of “Tex-Death”, they brought enough nasty riffs to make the most vanilla of metal fans to forcibly make a face full of disgust but loving every second of it (you know the face). While the crowd seemed unsure at first. The Bands mix of Hardcore/Thrash/Death Metal instrumentation topped off with a vocalist that looks half gorilla and half hair product, whilst sounding like an 80’s hardcore vocalist fronting an 80’s death metal band. Safe to say the crowd didn’t stay still long. And neither did I. Check em out and do yourself a favour.
Rivers Of Nihil: The next band to hit the stage was Rivers Of Nihil, now on the last stretch of their album “Where The Owls Know My Name” they’re meticulous in their playing. “It’s all muscle memory at this point” Brody Uttley told me in our interview before the show. And they prove that in their performance, unlike some bands who have been playing a certain set for so many months/years. While they may be playing note for note perfectly, the lights are on but nobody is home. Music, or at the very least GOOD music needs to have passion behind it. And every single member of the band bring that with them. Their musical talent and immense passion makes for an intense watch. If you’ve been sleeping on this band, please stop, check out their last album, and just picture that live. That should give you an idea how amazing this band is.
Fit For An Autopsy: Being a journalist you’re meant to be neutral in everything you write about. And with Fit For An Autopsy I’m going to have an extremely difficult time doing so. Because if I wasn’t there for the review, I’d still be there at the front screaming my lungs out. Fit For An Autopsy have been on a juggernaut level path lately. With their 2017 album The Great Collapse (my favourite album of that year) and an amazing follow up with The Sea Of Tragic Beasts. Safe to say they’ve found their sound and become masters of it. Live they have an almost Yin/Yang element to them. With songs like Mirrors which pulls at the heartstrings and make fans want to sing their hearts out whilst locked shoulder to shoulder with a complete stranger. Then finishing with songs like Black Mammoth, a song accurate to its name, as this mammoth of a song with lyrics about political curruption (inspired heavily by the events that happened at Standing Rock in Dakota) with riffs and drums that brings everyone to a headbanding outbreak, and lyrics that cut through the bull and hit straight to the soul. If you want a sore neck from headbanging, and a sore everything else from the pit, check them out, and I’ll probably see you there.
Carnifex: Carnifex are a band I’m not unfamiliar with. As this outing made it my 8th time seeing them perform. And with some bands that might make you want to give them a miss. “Seen em before, nothing new” mentality that unfortunately plague some bands who have been at this for a while. Carnifex however are thankfully not one of those bands. Making this their 15th year at making a racket. They’ve avoided becoming a victim to the same thing their Deathcore peers fell victim. The plague of becoming a stale, standard, Deathcore band that has caused many bands of the classic scene to disperse. Carnifex‘s heart however keeps beating, probably because of their distaste for playing to the rules of any genre. Deathcore, Deathmetal, Black Metal, all Genres with their cliques that don’t like change. Carnifex instead says “SOD THAT” and puts all 3 genres with a splash of anything else they want in a blender. With the speed and technicality of a Death Metal Band, the breakdowns that have led to many a broken nose, the image of a Black Metal band. With Scott Ian’s tall and somehow stretchy movement (especially in pants that tight, my dark lord), and a vocal pitch that will give any Norwegian a run for their money. Carnifex bring enough raw visceral brutality to make you wanna go do some unsavoury things in the woods that would make our Pagan forefathers proud. With enough power and bass to feel it in both your backside and your soul (literally, be careful near those speakers boys and girls).
Thy Art Is Murder: I have fond memories of this band. It was 2013, and I was in the basement room of the now demolished Soundcontrol (R.I.P). CJ the vocalist rips of his hoodie to reveal a Manchester City t-shirt (In Manchester, on Derby day. Brave man) and announces the next song is a little banger called “Whore To A Chainsaw” whilst just to his right there was a parent couple clearly there with their 13 or so year old daughter. The first note hits the guitar and before I knew it I can see them dragging their little girl home. I laughed then got punched in the face by a man my fathers age. Great night in all. Now 7 years later the band have shown their level of theatrics as the band kicks of their set with…Vengaboy’s “We Like To Party (The Vengabus)” playing as their opening. Instead of having a traditional ambient build that sounds like it’s been directly ripped from the Silent Hill Soundtrack. Which to me, is in keeping with the band as I know them. They’ve always brought an element of fun to their performances, to CJ’s leopard printed shirt contrasting the Mic stand made of skulls along with a backdrop with enough Pentagrams to make a Pagan blush. “We’re just a couple of daft c****s from Australia” CJ comments between songs, “So let’s have some f*****g fun like”. Fun is certainly something you can expect at a Thy Art concert (along with all the other bands now that I think about it), granted you always have the idiot in the pit. Every show has one these days. But for the most part everyone is there to have fun and look out for one another. And with Thy Art‘s stellar performances with enough head banging material to cause whiplash and enough iconic lines for the audience to scream back, they always create a night to remember.
So yeah all in all a fantastic night. Granted I don’t think these bands are going to match all of you guys taste. But I think that those who check out these bands will dig what they hear. You owe it to yourself to check them out whenever they’re playing near you.