Review by Brady Deeprose
For those that aren’t aware, The Crow Road are one of Northampton’s newest and most active promotion teams, working to put on great gigs and unite the acts in the local scene. The idea behind the C.R.A.D. was to bring in some bigger out of town bands alongside local favourites and put on a gig to remember. That was most certainly the case.
Local Deathcore nutters Chilli Con Carnage (I know, I love the name too) lived up to their reputation delivering a crushing set of dirty metal but to a small, largely disinterested crowd. Perhaps 2pm on a Saturday afternoon isn’t quite the time to best experience their music but hats off to the band for giving a dedicated performance to those that were there.
Birmingham-based Eradikator followed soon after and heads were banged without question. The bands short set was brimming with thrash-tacular energy and stunning musicianship throughout. The no-nonsense stage persona of Patrick Cox, bassist/vocalist, gave the band an air of professionalism that one wouldn’t expect from an unsigned act.
Another of Birmingham’s recent metal exports, Urgize were up next playing to a growing mob out front. The mad antics of stand-in front-man Kevin Ashburn are hard to ignore and, when combined with the melodic-death-metal-esque music, quite a show was put on. The sound, be it on stage or from the sound-mans doing, was pretty atrocious leaving a very treble-heavy mix that didn’t sit too well on the ears. A band that deserved much better sound on the night, rounded off their set with ‘Man’s Fall From Grace’, an absolute banger by all accounts.
When a band, local or otherwise, gets up on stage with no bassist, a few bemused looks are to be expected. Launching into their first groove-laden track, Black Ink Sun showed Northampton that brutality doesn’t have to be breakdowns and low tunings. After apologising that their bassist couldn’t make it, the then-three piece decided this wouldn’t stop them banging heads and snapping necks. Carlos Simmons, serious contender for the scariest bloke in Northamptonshire, was treading the ground like a man possessed…by an incredible vocalist. Some serious aggression mixed with the bands technical skill proving that, even at ¾ strength, BIS are a force to be reckoned with.
Anti-Faith are brilliant. From the stage clothing and image to the chilled out, uniquely proggy tracks, the band have a hell of a lot going for them. Deranged lunatic Alex Dickson, posing as the bands singer, stands centre stage, shirtless and announces, ‘’We’re here to make you feel sad and stuff.’ The following 30 odd minutes are a whirlwind of creepy, ethereal passages, haunting vocal lines and disgustingly heavy riff sections. New single ‘Exit Wounds’ is an absolutely brilliant song, so much depth and emotion that is rarely found in a relatively unknown band…everyone starts somewhere.
Few bands would want to follow Anti-Faith but luckily, Rannoch are a band that don’t care who they follow. The 8-stringed brutality brought by the 4-piece is impressive, a clarity of sound that hadn’t been heard until this point in the evening. Easily the most virtuosic playing of the evening, the vocalist and lead guitarist Ian Gillings swept away the competition with some technically outstanding playing. This tight cleanliness was, for me, the bands downfall though, leaving none of the rawness that their brand of metal cries out for.
Borelia Mass, one of Northampton’s most long-standing modern metal bands, followed suit with a fairly tight, accomplished performance. A little rough around the edges at times, the band weren’t quite as on form as I’ve seen them previously which wasn’t helped by the mix all but cutting out the keyboard. That said, the band brought the biggest crowd so far and kicked off the pits for the first time in style.
Djent – djent – djent…Must be the sound of local guitar hero James Weisner sound-checking with Decadent, one of the town’s most celebrated young acts, and for good reason. Despite still being down a guitarist, the band sound huge, their blend of tech, death and melodic metal going down a treat with the audience. Matt Dyne, despite being one of the most conservative looking, is the vocalist with the most depth to his vocals. The richness of his tone is a delight to listen to, and his stage presence is ever improving.
Black Acid Souls were, sadly, a band that stuck out on the night’s line up. Bringing a more classic approach to metal, the band tried valiantly to hold a dwindling audience. The night was aimed at a heavy-loving crowd, and BAS just didn’t deliver what the people wanted. Not to say it wasn’t one of the most polished, accomplished performances of the night, with the guitarists showing some of the less experienced bands on show how it’s done. From a song writing front, I found myself drifting in and out lyrically, but what struck me was a repetition of lyrics, which got quite tedious by the end of the set.
After playing Bloodstock this year, asylum escapee’s Gehtika were unleashed upon the Racehorse. There isn’t another death metal band around that have as much fun live as these fine gentlemen do, an infectious love of performance that drags in every last person in the room. The presence and pure insanity of the individuals on stage is astounding and would be ridiculous were the band’s music not so stunning. A modern take on death metal without getting to blast-beat heavy, Gehtika must have a future in the music industry: it would be a crime for this band not to get big.
The main article, No Consequence, stepped in fairly last-minute due to a cancellation, much to the delight of much of the crowd. Despite hitting the stage at around midnight, the bands blistering 45 minutes of tech metal was met with a fairly full room and some impressed metal fans. One of the frontrunners of the Basick Records family, fairly fresh from a storming set at The UK Tech Metal Festival in London, The Racehorse is a bit of a venue change. This didn’t stifle the band, as they bludgeoned their way through 8 tracks of tech ridden metal that left the crowd awestruck. The clarity of sound you’d expect from a band like No Consequence wasn’t there on the night but that’s the risk you run with smaller venues across the country.
As far as local music goes, there are few promoters doing it as well as The Crow Road and it’s events like this that give me hope for local music…long may it continue.
No Consequence Setlist:
- So Close to Nowhere
- Enemy of Logic
- Bury the Debt