Review by Chop
Having negotiated a violent pre-show hailstorm, followed by a nearly as frenetic queue at the bar to obtain a St Patrick’s Day celebratory pint of Guinness, it was somewhat of a relief to sidle into the main room to witness the five bands efforts’.
Left For Red either suffered from technical issues or haven’t been around for too long, judging by their epic fifteen minute set. Genuinely I’ve witnessed far longer soundchecks. They had their moments, the bass guitar tone was impressively rich, but overall their set raised far more questions than it answered. Their old school take on metal encompassed elements of rock and roll, sleaze, and nu metal, but it was all over way too quickly. Jury’s out until I’ve witnessed a lengthier stint from them…
It was good to see Adrenaline back on stage at long last, their quest for a replacement drummer for Higgsy now fulfilled and with new material at their disposal. It would appear that the newer material – whilst still incorporating the familiar Adrenaline sound – has a more technical approach, with tempo changes galore and more intricate overall structure. The melody is still there in abundance, as are the effortless power and admirable groove. They seemed very compact as a band, clearly they’ve spent many an hour in the rehearsal room, with the end result being a powerful set that the band looked to be enjoying immensely. Closing tracks ‘Enter The Reaper’ and old favourite ‘Inertia’ highlighted the differences between new and old and wrapped up a highly enjoyable half hour.
Neosis upped the ante in terms of technicality, five string bassist, seven string guitarist, and octopus drummer providing a perpetually changing musical platform for fans of polyrhythmia. Clearly few in the venue were prepared to give them a go as the room thinned out alarmingly. For those open-minded enough, or appreciative of Xerath or Enochian Theory, they played a blinder. Their loops got a bit distracting, and admittedly there was little to differentiate between individual tracks, but they deserved way more respect than they received. On a bill more in tune with their musical stylings I’m sure they’d go down a storm. Keep your eyes peeled for the next time they tour.
Fans of old school, or biker metal, were treated to a master-class of the genre by Revoker. Personally they did little for me musically, however I’d make two observations; firstly the crowd loved them and went ape-shit from the off, and secondly I have to admit they are very, very, good at what they do. Their songs were all suitably anthemic, with huge sing-along choruses, and they possessed a frontman who worked the crowd absolutely effortlessly. The level of mayhem on the floor was massively impressive for a main support and they threw down a clear ‘follow that’ challenge to the headliners. Nothing wrong at all with their performance, just not my bag, or possibly wrong band, wrong time….
If mayhem summed up the floor for Revoker, quite how you’d sum up the fury in the pit that greeted Chimaira from the word go is anyone’s guess, although the fight that broke out during their opener put a dampener on things somewhat. Two fights during Cannibal Corpse’s set recently and then this – is this the start of a disturbing trend? I certainly hope not. Back to the music quickly methinks…. The drummer’s snare tone was close to orgasmic, guitars were slicing, bass resonant, vocals biting, and the keyboards alternated between supplementing the whole and adding an extra dimension of sub-bass. The overall effect was punchy yet bruisingly powerful, a heady concoction of thrash chugginess, metalcore, nu metal, and hardcore. Without demeaning the previous sets, Chimaira showed why they’ve been on the circuit so long, a class act, stylish and accomplished, yet more than happy to dish it out to the appreciative horde. The set as a whole was of the highest quality, although towards the end ‘Destroy And Dominate’ ‘Pure Hatred’, and ‘Resurrection’ whipped up the crowd into an absolute frenzy and concluded an assured performance.