On the back of Fear Those Who Fear Him which was released earlier this year, VALLENFYRE hit the road to bring their brand of doom-fused-death metal to the masses. We caught their show in Manchester to see how their sound held up in a club environment.
Heralding from the somewhat ‘quaint’ little town of Oldham in Greater Manchester, one can already imagine what they could behold of WOLFBASTARD‘s attitude towards playing their crust laden variety of black metal. Boasting members from other somewhat ubiquitous outfits such as BURIAL, WOLFBASTARD play to the stance that the often serious nature notoriously held by so many black metal bands is a dumbfounded one. Such is the case with some of their cleverly titled material like their “Pop-Punk summer anthem” Sick In The Bath. To put it short, if you like black metal but hate fun, then these guys are simply not the band you are looking for and you should turn your attention back to places like Scandinavia. WOLFBASTARD sure do know how to not waste time, as exemplified by the punk length of much of their material. D-beat speeds, fizzing distortion and brooding chords. While many would object and demand more from this, there simply isn’t a need for it. Rather, their material and unfettered live performances stand to remind us of the punk roots that black metal has that so many tend to often forget about. And recently becoming a three piece down from four appears to have had no detriment to their capabilities. Even drawing a reasonably healthy crowd of dedicated fans on a dreary Monday evening as the opening act also shows us their worth. Mosh friendly riffs-a plenty and a couple of laughs from the band’s part along the way. While there was not much movement on the crowd’s behalf, you could still see heads bobbing somewhat viciously as well as expect a hearty cheer in between songs. It is very easy to see why they are so well liked amongst the local metal scene. An act that you should definitely seek out in light of their next anticipated release.
Certainly keeping up with the punk aesthetics that seem to be so prominent with all of the acts that performed on this day, IMPLORE took the stage in a frenzy of highly commanding stomps around the stage, generous sprinklings of noisy feedback, and a whole lot of spitting at each other. From the moment these guys took the stage they knew what they wanted to do and not even guitar issues would stop them, switching to a back-up guitar with quick efficiency. So much so that it wasn’t even an issue to begin with. To put their set into one word is difficult. That is because the tenacity with at which they played at can be carried by so many synonyms. Anger, fury, raging. By all means take your pick. You need only look at the furore each and every single member of this act plays with, adding a violent face to their violent music. This tenacity is matched only by their proficient playing, making no mistakes whilst effectively going nuts on stage. Dare to say, they made it look so effortless. Blending what can only be described as lashings of grindcore with a blackened punk-like attitude makes for a very fresh performance. Laden with biting and abrasive feed-back on top of their crushing chainsaw tones, this band is clearly a monster summed up by some incredibly powerful live performers all feeding off each-other’s bestial presence. If you like seriously ferocious live shows, hit up one of IMPLORE‘s concerts. I implore you!
Topping off an evening full of dark savagery came the doom/death super group that is VALLENFYRE. And with them they brought a brooding performance with dim lighting combined with vibrant coloured lights, their trusty banners clad with their insignia, and a rather dramatic change in terms of the sound engineering. A noticeable difference from the other openings acts was that the sound was actually a fair bit quieter. Where sections of the bands such as the bass guitar were often swallowed in the mix of some extremely distorted guitars and thunderous drums, it was often the case that the bass guitar in the instance of VALLENFYRE proved to drown at least the rhythm guitar out of the mix, leaving some sections rather lop sided. To trouble the waters even further, Greg’s voice was rather tired and haggard considering it was maybe one or two shows into the tour. And it was definitely so much so it did not warrant him announcing it so. Yet in the face of such adversities, these titans of doomy death metal carried on, failing to take themselves seriously during any point of this set. Part live music performance and part stand-up comedy with Greg enlisting bouts of hearty laughter in between songs. Aside from the issues with the sound, VALLENFYRE still delivered a cracking performance, one that played on the almost cave-like stage set up that Rebellion offers to create a dusky void complete with reverberating vocals and sludgy guitars.
Check out our photo gallery of the night’s action in Manchester from Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography: