WORDS: Alex Piercy
Only doom and gloom was overcast from the dark grey Manchester skyline last Monday night outside of Sound Control. As the rain slowly began to unleash from the heavens what you would have expected to be a smooth walk into the venue instead saw you greeted by a large line of grinning fans still holding the torch for their beloved INME. Though the majority of the crowd were obviously here for the headline act, support band DORJE came and surprised us all by proving they are more than capable of taking the headline slot on their next round of the UK.
Formed by youtube guitar tec legend Rob Chapman and previous members of TOSELAND this was an incredibly tight band whose song writing throughout their set list showed a diverse catalogue and a more confident collection of musicians then the one you would have seen on previous tours. Followers of DORJE will probably have noticed a large period of silence in their camp but let me assure you the downtime we experienced has done wonders to their live performance especially in the vocals provided by Chapman and the subtle backing now added by guitarist Rabea. Old tracks such as White Dove and Aeromancy still satisfy from the exquisite riffage present, making the band resemble a Themata era KARNIVOOL but with that raw vocal edge of classic TOOL. The new additions to the set list don’t disappoint either and though people familiar with Chapmans youtube channel will be surprised to hear that he started the performance guitar-less, this simply showed his newfound confidence with the microphone, a confidence which resonated throughout the energy and effort provided throughout the rest of his band members.
Where DORJE had something to prove aiming for a more diverse and unique sound, INME provided a safe yet impressive headline slot, playing two of their fan favourite albums (Overgrown Eden and White Butterfly) in their entirety. You could feel the nostalgia of these fans wafting through the air, their arms raising and voices thundering for the majority of any chorus supplied by the impressive vocal range and delivery of Dave McPherson. INME fed off this supplying excellent crowd interaction, ensuring the fans knew how much they appreciated the great turnout present and that they were partying just as hard on stage as those in the pit. They showed their humour and this only riled the crowd even further possibly to the angst of the security team on site, but who cares when everyone was having so much fun. That’s not to say it was purely old material, the band threw a few new tracks in that went down extremely well, keeping the loyalists on their toes and their appetites wet for the rest of their anticipated trilogy collection to be released. For someone who isn’t familiar with INME or their material however, last Monday night might’ve showed you a band with a familiar sound in an oversaturated genre but still a band that might just be able to stand out to you, simply via their humble dedication and connection to their audience.
All in all for the price of the ticket last Monday everyone attending received an absolute bargain and would have to be lying to say they didn’t leave satisfied. It’s rare to see the talent provided by both bands on such a small stage, and the intimacy definitely improved upon the experience. Diehard fans knew what they were in for with INME and got exactly that and those who may have found them slightly generic would have found solace in the unique sound and rhythms provided by the up and coming DORJE. The only thing left that anyone could have possibly asked for is if the weather was as awesome as the performance they just enjoyed for their journey home.