Live at The Well on Monday, 23rd November 2009
Whenever a riff dies it goes to Riff Valhalla, where it is harnessed to Thor's riff hammer. This mighty instrument is then dispatched back down to Earth, where it destroys the enemies of Metal; the false prophets, wimps and poseurs who tarnish its name.
Keeping the riffs of today alive on a cold, rainy abomination of a Monday evening are five bands, two of which (Crocus and Throats) are mid-way through a short nationwide tour. Although the five bands respective sounds may all delve into a varied mix of Metal sub-genres (e.g. Screamo, Spazzcore, Hardcore) they all have a similar appreciation of capturing aggression and keeping the dynamics tight and heavy.
Curses are the first act on and the local outfit immediately impress, melding intricate and powerful guitars with a thunderous rhythm section. Tight as a nun's naughty bits, the passion and aggression in their songs are captured vocally through throat-smashing screams that are juxtaposed very well against passages with more melodic singing. A short set, but superbly executed.
Some technical issues hamper the start of Antares set, but when the four-piece find their step it's with some gusto. Ear-boggling fretboard frivolities jump forth from the two guitarist's hands, with furious screams underpinned by machine-gun drumming. Reminiscent in parts of Dillinger and Converge, their songs demonstrate a shrewd appreciation of fusing the intricate with the brutal.
The crowd has visibly swelled for the arrival of We'll Die Smiling, and the third local outfit of the night don't disappoint. The trio follow a slightly different direction to the previous act's, with abrasive screamed passages giving way to slightly slower and quieter moments that gradually build up to raucous crescendos; impressive, well structured songs.
Crocus have been sharing the stage with Throats on their recent tour, and the crowd seem to be anticipating their arrival. Their set is a high-energy one, with fast and furious songs that rattle off riffs at a break-neck speed. Their singer is the visual centre-piece of the band, and throws himself anywhere and everywhere during the set, although does loose cool points for indeterminably chucking a plastic bottle full-pelt into the crowd which cracks someone on the head.
Things seem to be going from strength-to-strength for Throats, who have just finished recording their debut album due for release in February next year. On stage their sound is immensely big; their guitars sound huge and threaten to bulldozer their way through the PA. Many songs have a chugging Doom feel to them, the brutal simplicity of the riffs leading the songs. Screams are used more sparingly in songs than the other artists tonight, but they are just as effective. The audience's ears have taken a battering by the end of their set, but all in the line of duty for a gig where all five bands impressed.
We'll Die Smiling are a three piece screamo outfit from Leeds
raging prog hardcore...we've released an ep on Holy Roar Records but not done much else!