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LIVE REVIEW: Hang The Bastard @ The Underground, Stoke

It’s a sad time when bands call it quits, especially when the band in question were very much a massive diamond in the rough. HANG THE BASTARD were in the spotlight when they dropped the magnificently heavy Sex In The Seventh Circle and now, despite seemingly being primed for a massive take off, they claim it’s all over, but not without giving the good people another dose of darkness.

Black Zero live @ The Underground, Stoke. Photocredit: Kayleigh Elson
Bleak Zero live @ The Underground, Stoke. Photocredit: Kayleigh Elson

BLEAK ZERO are an odd act, and not in the good way. Their repetitive motifs become dull quickly and the abrasive yells from their frontman do little to add to the mix. Most of the songs would sound better if the choppy and methodical drumming was replaced with something a bit steadier. When they hit their stride however, the blues influence shines wonderfully and the grooves begin to make heads move.

Rating: 5/10

Sons of Andal live @ The Underground, Stoke. Photo Credit: Kayleigh Elson
Sons of Andal live @ The Underground, Stoke. Photo Credit: Kayleigh Elson

The young pups in SONS OF ANDAL display a clear and affirmative ability to write insanely groovy riffs. The songs are full of energy and there’s even a guitar solo every now again, couple all that with a pretty decent rendition of BLUE OYSTER CULT’s Godzilla and you’ve got the formula for a thoroughly entertaining set.

Rating: 7/10

Hang The Bastard live @ The Underground. Photo Credit: Kayleigh Elson
Hang The Bastard live @ The Underground. Photo Credit: Kayleigh Elson

Despite the opening acts being diverse and certainly worth listening to, there is only one reason why the shamefully sparse crowd is here, and that’s for a final look at one of Britain’s finest underground gems. HANG THE BASTARD take the stage in a back drop of deep red and immediately kick into Keeping Vigil, the opening track off of their seminal Sex In The Seventh Circle. The riff sounds massive and the vocals of Tomas Hubbard sound as wretched and twisted as ever. The set is built almost exclusively around Sex… but given the strength of the album it’s perfectly understandable, it also allows the band to fully display their best of their final outing. The whole break up fiasco is massively underplayed, with no audience interaction, giving the vibe of a rather cold farewell. But given the fact that the venue is far from sold out is a travesty, as this is a band that demanded the attention of every self-respecting heavy metal fan. It’s a shame that a band like this has to call it quits, because judging from the strength of Hornfel, Morrs Tempest and Absorption, it could’ve been the start of something great.

Rating: 8/10

Check out our exclusive photo gallery from Kayleigh Elson of the night’s action in Stoke below!

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