February 2018

Wednesday 21st February 2018

Conjurer bring The Mire to Pi Bar

with Calligram, Attan and Garganjua

Reviewed by Kashif Hussain

Conjurer have already made a name for themselves as one of the biggest upcoming metal acts to come out of the UK. Having played festivals such as Damnation, Bloodstock Open Air and UK Tech Fest before even releasing their debut album, there are definitely bigger things coming for them in the future.

Pi Bar hosted the first night of their tour in support of their upcoming debut The Mire, and the tiny stage could hardly contain the sheer chaos brought by the headliners and their similarly wild support acts.

Calligram Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Starting things off was Calligram, a blackened hardcore outfit from London. Vocalist Matteo had broken his foot playing a different gig about a week before, but this did nothing to hamper his performance. His use of a crutch in place of a mic stand added a somewhat theatrical element to their performance, which featured all of the fury of hardcore plus the grimness of black metal, sure to please fans of both genres.

ATTAN Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Coming all the way from Oslo to support Conjurer on this tour was Attan. They proudly displayed their Norwegian musical heritage in the form of black metal influences in their metallic hardcore sound. Slightly more focus on the blackened aspect of Calligram, plus some post metal elements in their closing track Edward, whose climactic ending meant that their set rightfully went out with a bang.

Garganjua Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Local doom metal band Garganjua were next, and they certainly delivered on what their name alludes to: massive, sludgy stoner riffs. Think a heavier Electric Wizard with the reverb turned up to 11. Their slower riffs compared to the previous two bands were a welcome change, but the heaviness remained consistent.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of Garganjua, performing at tonight’s gig.

Conjurer Photo: Kevin Gaughan

The much-anticipated headline set consisted of Conjurer’s upcoming release played in full, but out of order and interspersed with the majority of tracks from their EP I from 2016. Vocal duties in Conjurer are shared between Dan and Brady, who also share guitar duties. Their roars, screams and growls play off of each other extremely well, just as well as their dissonant and chugging grooves.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of Conjurer, performing at tonight’s gig.

Conjurer Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Highlights include the single Retch from the upcoming album. As if the djent-influenced breakdown section wasn’t brutal enough, they brought it back slower than before to ensure that every head in the room was banging. Scorn was similarly ferocious, sounding almost like a doomier ISIS. The Mire’s title track is post/doom/sludge metal at its peak, with crazy fast blast beats and plenty of mosh moments.

If tonight’s set proved anything, it’s that The Mire is already a contender for one of the best metal albums of the year, and is definitely a step in the right direction for the Warwickshire quartet. It’s set to be released on 9 March, and can be bought from Bandcamp at https://conjureruk.bandcamp.com/

 

Sunday 18th February 2018

Metal to the Masses Heat 1

at Duffy’s Bar

with The Surrealists, Septolith and Earls

Tonight’s show was organised by Resin Events and Metal 2 the Masses Leicester.

Reviewed by Martin Baker

Ladies and gentlemen, Metal to the Masses 2018 is finally here! It was great to witness the first heat get under way with a line-up that I was eager to see.

First up were Post-Hardcore Noise Rock group Surrealists who kicked everything off with an interesting intro as they came onstage to a mix of different guitar sounds and textures created together set their Noise Rock scene.

The Surrealists Photo: Kevin Gaughan

The music tied in nicely and it all comes together with strong and funky bass lines and some great drum beats. In the beginning I felt that one of the guitarists spends a bit too much time looking and playing with different effects on his effects pedals but with such and enthusiastic vocalist/guitarist for backup it was nice to have that balance, especially when he worked his way through the crowd on numerous occasions, and managed to end up flat on his back at the end of their set!

The Surrealists Photo: Kevin Gaughan

All things considered Surrealists are a bit rough around the edges but definitely one band to go see and watch for the future, they left me feeling pumped and excited for the rest of the evening!

Earls Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Next on-stage were Skum Punk duo Earls who straight away made an impression with their theme and they were definitely delivering a message! They played with passion and conviction with some seriously catchy lyrics and riffs, which we can all relate to, my favourite was “I wanna get drunk and I wanna get laid,” I mean, who can’t relate to that?

Earls Photo: Kevin Gaughan

For a two-piece band they created an amazing full sound and they managed to get everyone engaged and enjoying themselves and after their set I can safely say I had a smile on my face and I was reciting some of their lyrics, I’ll leave you to conclude which ones!

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of Earls, performing at tonight’s gig.

Septolith Photo: Kevin Gaughan

After another short break it was time for the last band of the evening Septolith! Straight away I was excited with the idea of a Metal band with keyboards and when they kicked off it was nice to see some classic riffs and catchy tunes but early on, in their first song I think, there were some technical issues that seemed to stop them in their tracks. A few blank expressions and some head shaking but eventually they managed to get things sorted and carry on.

Septolith Photo: Kevin Gaughan

With a more upbeat song they got the crowd back into it and I was happy to see some nice shredding to satisfy my ears and get the vibe back. I particularly liked the slower melodies combined with the lyric style and keyboard aspect which sounded brilliant.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of Septolith, performing at tonight’s gig.

In the end the judges decided that instead of just one band going through to the next heat, TWO bands would go through and a Wildcard would aswell!! So everyone was pleased with Septolith and Surrealists going through and Earls being the Wildcard.

Thanks go again to Simon Yarwood for organising everything and keeping the Leicester Metal scene alive and also to the judges who attended and gave their expert help in choosing the right acts to go through. I look forward to the next heat!

 

Saturday 10th February 2018

Deadly Circus Fire at The Shed

with Event Horizon and The Surrealists

Tonight’s show was organised by Vault.

Reviewed by Kashif Hussain

While Finches of Attica were playing upstairs at The Shed, the intimate basement stage, also known as The Vault, hosted a spectacular night of heavy music led by Deadly Circus Fire.

The four-piece prog band from London played a selection of tracks, including songs from their 2015 release The Hydra’s Tailor, alongside some stellar local support acts.

Event Horizon Photo: Kevin Gaughan

First to take to the stage were newcomers to Leicester’s music scene Event Horizon. Their set consisted of alt metal with a noticeable influence from post hardcore and a bit of pop punk, evidenced by their energetic rendition of Green Day’s Holiday. Hopefully we’ll see some big things from them in the near future.

The Surrealists Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Speaking of energetic, The Surrealists are always a treat to watch. The Leicester-based quartet’s name underlies their music, which can be described as noisy post-hardcore with hints of groove.

The set featured the singalong staple Glenn Branca From Sri Lanka, while vocalist/guitarist Ryan Taylor is definitely not averse to mingling with the crowd while performing, even climbing a bar stool as the mosh pit opened up in front of the stage.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of The Surrealists, performing at tonight’s gig.

Deadly Circus Fire Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Finally it was time for the headliners, Deadly Circus Fire, to take the stage. They have experience when it comes to touring and have even toured with acclaimed live acts such as Skindred and Crossfaith, and it really shows in the way they present themselves on stage.

Adam Pear’s vocals were quick to change from soft singing to a loud rock scream in between melodic instrumental passages. Highlights include the progressive and Opeth-esque heavy vibes of Shinigami Fall from their upcoming third album and the rousing Devil’s Opera from The Hydra’s Tailor.

Deadly Circus Fire Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Like all good prog metal bands, Deadly Circus Fire’s songs are usually a little on the longer side, although their clever use of cascading melodies, alternating vocals and dynamic riffs are certainly enough to capture the audience’s attention, which is just as true on record as it is on stage.

Watch this video, by Kevin Gaughan, of Deadly Circus Fire, performing at tonight’s gig.

See also:

Jan/Feb 2018

27th January 2018

13th January 2018

 

 

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