Kicking off tonight’s show is Vanity Draws Blood, the bands somewhat typical blend of metal core seems to go down well with the assembled crowd. While the music acts as a great start to the night we feel that their set on the whole is not something to get too excited about. Despite his use of floor space and crowd interaction, the second main vocalist comes across as a ‘spare part’, contributing little to the bands sound with vocals that can easily be and are perhaps better off being handled by one front man. With a bit of power behind their music, general tightening up and some actual presence,Vanity Draws Blood have the potential to be real crowd pleasers, especially with their final song The Useless, throwing in some really catchy clean vocal work from their drummer.
Doomed From Day One are next, renowned for their seamless mix of hardcore, death metal and alternative/progressive elements, they have rapidly ascended in the UK underground scene and their performance was held with high anticipation tonight, as ever they do not disappoint. Though the crowd has thinned during the change over, they waste little time getting down to business. Unfazed by the current lack of an audience, front man Sean Scott takes advantage of the space to get in the faces of those who are stood idle, in an effort to entice some movement out of them during Pretending. He expresses his clear frustration for the lack of crowd interaction with the comment of “take a few steps forward, I’d understand if there was a circle
pit or a mosh but there isn’t” before powering into fourth song Depths of Imagination. It’s truly disappointing to see people turning up to shows to mostly just stand there blank-faced and seemingly disinterested in the bands they have paid money to see. Doomed From Day One offer consistently tight performances (although lacking in physical presence), a prime example as to why they are making an impact in the current scene.
We Die Tonight take their place on the small stage ready to take the night back in the direction of metal core, albeit more melodic than Vanity Draws Blood. The intro plays, immediately presenting the heavier side of their sound, with gutteral vocals and slow chuggy riffing, leading straight into opening song Salt in the Shark Bite followed closely by Put this to Rest. We Die Tonight are sound musically and clearly have passion for what they do, on record. However, this doesn’t appear to translate too well through their live performance, which seems to be lacking something. However, despite the
slight air of disappointment surrounding their set, there is a noticeable change for the final two songs Game On and Best Dressed in Blasphemywhere it feels like the band really started to show their true potential, coming off as we’d initially anticipated.
Main support are The Last Legion, from the word go there is a lift in the atmosphere for the first time tonight, though this could largely be due to the fact they have the biggest crowd presence of the night too. Rattling through their first few songs with ease and passion, bringing inSean Scott as guest vocals for fourth song A Heroes Trial, adding a lot of depth to their sound, followed closely by Idols & Anchorsfamed by Australian metal core heavyweights Parkway Drive which goes down a treat, finishing up with their newest song Niagara to which there is some real movement from the crowd for the first time tonight, including several girls getting stuck in with the pit. Sadly though, not even this mustered up any motivation for others to get stuck in.
Originally set to headline tonight were Silent Screams who unfortunately had to pull out for various reasons, but a fitting replacement was found in the form of Against the Flood, another band currently making waves in the UK underground scene. Tonight’s show is considerably more low key in comparison to their last visit, in support of Heart in Hand. Nevertheless, there is a decent crowd left and we feel it’s fairly safe to say that the night ended with several newly turned fans in hand for Against The Flood. They powered through their set consisting solely of songs from the debut albumHome Truths, opening songs Sleepless and Idle Handswould have you think Against the Flood are your standard teched up hardcore band, however by the third song Roads you can tell there’s definitely something more to this band than meets the eye. Following tracks A Promise in Gold and Turn Towards the Sky see the introduction of this ‘something’, a somewhat unexpected addition of melodic guitar parts on top of their usual mix of crushingly heavy but bouncy riffing.
There is no idol chitchat or time wasting between songs. Though the crowd is thinning, front man Matt Church repeatedly instructs the remaining audience to lose their minds to which it seems they’ve finally understood and both band and crowd release a final burst of energy for final songs Upon Red Shores and Left with Us, ending the set just as strongly as it had started. Against the Flood’s performance is a noticeable step up from the rest of the bands here tonight, being the only band in which all members push to do more than jump on the spot or head bang for a few seconds.
Against the Flood are one of those bands we’ve had to witness live to fully understand why there’s been so much hype surrounding them, we feel they have a lot more to offer with their live show and given a bit more room and a livelier crowd we think they would definitely take full advantage of the opportunity. With a refreshing lack of sub-drops and the provision of melodic twists and turns throughout their set as well as a consistently tight musical performance, we can firmly say that Against the Flood are far from disappointing and a band you should check out given the chance to.
Given the laclustre support of the majority of the audience tonight, it is a credit to all bands that they played as well as they did. Bands are born and made by their local scenes, which are rapidly dying and tonight displayed a huge reason as to why. As accurately described by Doomed From Day One front man earlier on in the night, the atmosphere here tonight was comparable to that of a funeral. It should go with out saying that all shows, big or small, thrive off the energy of the crowd as well as the bands. So next time you go to a home show, support your local bands and scene, don’t stand there like a fucking lemon and get involved!