Review – On Hollow Ground at The Vault, Friday 12th April 2019

Photo: Derange by Kevin Gaughan

with Alignments, 1000 Scars and Derange

Reviewed by Liz Marriott.

Organised by The Vault.

North and south collided on Friday night, as Leeds-based tech-metal pedlars On Hollow Ground brought London natives Derange to Leicester, for an evening of melodic mayhem, and many-stringed guitars. Representing local talent were supporting acts 1000 Scars, and ALIGNMENTS, whose opening set we were sadly unable to catch. They will be performing again at The Shed on May the 14th with My Only and Selfworth – so please check them out.

Second on the bill, 1000 Scars started off in brutal form with a barrage of blast beats, before segueing into fast, frantic riffs, interspersed by forceful chugging. Roaring, rough vocals, with great sustain on the lows, and catchy, shouted choruses, completed the sheer sonic destruction.

However, the phenomenal percussive powers of drummer, Sean, were where the four-man strong band truly shone. His ferocious fills underscored 1000 Scars’ scorching lead guitar, and solid, abrasive bass. Their no-frills performance was a perfect match for the unadulterated aggression of their material.

1000 Scars Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Next on the line-up, Derange assumed the stage with somewhat more pomp and ceremony.

Atmospheric synth strobed through the air, before vocalist Cat seized both the mic and the crowd, yelling “Leicester, WHAT THE F**K!” Diving straight in to the set, she proceeded to effortlessly transition between sweet, melodic singing, and savage, skilful screaming. A consummate front-person, the audience was held to rapt attention by her incredible charisma.

The five piece features two guitarists, and instrumentation was unrelentingly tight, as they shifted between moments of transcendent harmony, and pounding, metalcore breakdowns.

Their massive sound and stage presence would easily suit a larger setting, and I suspect that there may be many such gigs in their future.

Watch Derange perform Runaway at the gig.

Derange Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Last, but by no means least, headliners On Hollow Ground lit up the room, quite literally: their multi-dimensional, technically impressive brand of metalcore was accompanied by a coordinated light display, and more lashings of synth.

Vocal duties were divided between Jack, on screams, and Ryan, on cleans, which enabled them to cultivate a layered, complex sound. With fourteen strings between two guitars, I knew that we were in for some exquisitely detailed fretwork, and our final act did not disappoint, often wearing their tech-metal influences on their sleeves. Some grindcore inspiration was also evident in Jack’s impressive use of pig squeals.

They finished the evening in fine form, inviting Cat from Derange back onstage, for a final encore of Limp Bizkit’s Break Stuff, at which another impromptu mosh pit broke out.

On Hollow Ground Photo: Kevin Gaughan

Sweaty, smiling faces surrounded me by the time we headed off for home, with pockets full of freshly purchased CDs, and slightly less sensitive hearing. I think that it would be fair to call the event a resounding success.

Alignments on Facebook
1000 Scars on Facebook
Derange on Facebook
On Hollow Ground on Facebook

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