Sharkies, Hull – Wednesday September 10, 2008
When a young lad of 17 takes to the stage, on his own, with a gameboy in hand you would be forgiven for thinking he may have got lost on his way to the bathroom. The thing is Alex (or Chasing Freedom) is far from lost. From the moment he switches on and begins using his console to play songs live.
It’s the tiny consoles time to go big beat and the hardcore Goth/Industrial crowd are bemused, amused and captivated by this one man doing everything that Crystal Castles does, on his own. Proof then, that a life spent playing games can take you far. This teen has found something that is truly niche and with this unusual sound he may indeed have found his gold coins, castle on the hill [insert end of level cliché here.] Maybe if he stomped his feet a bit more and moved around slightly he could inspire the first 8-bit mosh pit?
Caffeine Kill on the other hand are “balls out” ferocious Industrial Metal. The Bristol four piece has worked hard to craft a new sound since their long time vocalist Jay departed last year and the work they have put in has seen them thrive with recent support credits including Combichrist and their own dedicated fan base following them.
Newer material, from the pounding beats that form the backbone for ‘Mind of Hate’ to the synths that infect and overtake the limbs during ‘The Fake’ mix in well with the rejuvenated sound of older works like ‘Clown Man.’ The undeniable standout for their set though is ‘Daylight Dies’ which displays Lees ability to carry a tune as well as scream to scare hell. This new sound is definitely set to destroy bigger stages.
Headliners and locals Systemyk have a lot to prove as the year ends. With mixed reactions for their debut album dumbing down the solid performances they give in a live arena it will be interesting to see how the new album we have been promised can advance the band. On a side note, the new disk will be produced by Paradise Lost’s Greg Mackintosh who will take up the reigns again after sitting out on the label debut.
Tonight though, with new drummer Matt (from York metallers [Digi]Core) old stuff sounds heavier and faster, the vocals on newer material sound more commercial and the guitars are turned up to 11. The atmosphere is certainly there for the groups hometown return, this helps to help make a real show for the surprisingly big crowd.
Nowadays the band sound more like a thick mixture of Killswitch Engage if they were being beaten repeatedly by Gary Numan (and his many keyboardists) there is evidence that a sharper more progressive edge has been added to this big metal machine. This seems to be largely due to the drumming, particularly on older material like ‘Darkside’ which playfully stabs with its mix of dance elements and ultra heavy beats. This coupled with a massive version of ‘Fear Inside’ which toward the end of the set sounds for the first time, like the band anthem it should. Finishing the evening with a defiant and proud rendition of the crowd favourite ‘Can’t carry on’ the band move forward confidently to their few European dates and what will hopefully be a prosperous new year.
Check the bands out:
CHASING FREEDOM: www.myspace.com/chasingfreedommusic
CAFFEINE KILL: www.myspace.com/caffeinek