Firstly tonight, Feed The Rhino rock out with a song called ‘Tides’ which is a fantastic way to open proceedings here. Starting from a slow ominous introduction with clean vocals, it builds into a really impressive fist-pumping hardcore anthem.
Sadly everything else just seems lacklustre, with multiple breakdowns at inappropriate times. Theres no buckling down into the groove, no adrenaline pumping riffs to bang your head to, just lots of sudden bursts of noise. Except for ‘Tides’ which is a stellar song, it’s such a shame that the rest of the material isn’t as well crafted, as this is a band with a lot of potential.
Next up is The Defiled, and their dirty shock-rock meets metal breakdown sound fits perfectly with their Manson-inspired stage presence. The songs are tight and anthemic, their stage presence is explosive and they even have a sexy ballerina caught and killed by mad medieval doctors drama piece during their performance which is entertaining and really fits the atmosphere. You could see how much they are enjoying playing their home town, and how happy they are to have signed to Nuclear Blast Records. Deserved boys.
Next up, we hail to the mighty Gojira, who are definite contenders for best live metal act right now With riffs so devastating you worry the building will collapse, perfect timing and absolutely stunning lighting effects, everything here is a blueprint for how to make metal history. A magnificent live performance, and something from which every band touring can learn, as no one understands the power of riff like Gojira (except Bolt Thrower of course).
The final band of the night is the mysterious (and epic) Ghost, headed by their antipope vocalist in full satanic regalia and surrounded by his musicians in their trademark cloaks. Always a confusing band at the best of times given the secrecy regarding their identities, their sound of hard progressive rock meets early heavy metal never really clicked with us and seemed so alien from their on stage persona. They have such a strong black metal vibe with the overtly satanic theme, corpse paint and hidden identities that you would imagine their sound would be a blast-beat filled hate attack, yet it isn’t. What is on offer here is good, well-rounded work with a strong late 70s and early 80s vibe from very talented musicians that’s completely at odds with their presentation. If you can get over the mismatch then there is a good band here waiting for you and a great live show.