LIVE REVIEW: Vektor @ The Star and Garter, Manchester

With festival season still well and truly in full swing the gig circuit in the main cities isn’t as prevalent as per usual. However, sometimes, a gem can appear, a stand-out show that surges all resident metalheads to the venue. Fresh from their appearance at this year’s Bloodstock Festival, Sci-Fi thrashers VEKTOR are in town and backed with a lineup of Manchester’s finest thrash bands, this was a night to remember.

Kicking off proceedings was SATANIC DYSTOPIA whose blackened thrash suited the compact room of The Star and Garter remarkably well. Whilst the night was still young, the enthusiasm from the crowd could have been turned up a notch but the band themselves played with venom and ferocity. A fine start indeed.

Rating: 7/10

Similar to SATANIC DYSTOPIA, AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR suited the billing of tonight’s style and the stage was theirs to make a lasting impression to the crowd. Riffs were fairly consistent, packing a powerful punch and drove the speed of the band’s style whilst the rhythm from the drums was the centre-point of AGGRESSIVE PERFECTOR‘s sound. Whilst the band certainly don’t bring anything new to the thrash style, there is no doubting the enthusiasm and consistency of their performance. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it right?

Rating: 7/10

EXXXEKUTIONER are becoming renown in Manchester’s metal scene, the blackened thrash outfit are increasingly supporting bigger names in the thrash metal circuit and quite rightly so, as their performance was more refined than previous performances. The Star and Garter‘s compact room makes for a perfect atmosphere for EXXXEKUTIONER as Mike Woods‘ riffs drive the ferocity, Ryan Council‘s bass tones aren’t lost in the mix and Cliff Edge‘s snarls and growls make for added destruction. Setlist wise, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but regardless, EXXEKUTIONER‘s performance was louder and packed a truly powerful punch. The rate of this band’s growth is substantial, with each song’s conclusion met with thunderous applause. EXXEKUTIONER are creating a serious buzz in the metal scene and judging from their live sound, quite rightly so.

Rating: 8/10

Similar to VEKTOR, CRYPTIC SHIFT‘s admiration for Sci-FI makes perfect sense as the main support band and their performance demonstrated the more intricate side to the thrash metal genre. Riffs were complex and intricate, boasting progression and technicality before unfolding into a dazzling frenzy, the drumming of Ryan Sheperson was a spectacle to behold and the vocal deliveries of Xander Bradley packed a powerful punch. Crossing the boundaries of thrash, death and the progressive metal sounds seems like a mess on paper, but praise has to given to CRYPTIC SHIFT for being able to execute it well in the live setting.

Rating: 8/10

Riding high from their performance on the Sophie Lancaster Stage at this year’s Bloodstock Festival, VEKTOR take a little while to get going. With sound issues plaguing the band to begin their set, you’d fear the momentum would plummet but as the band swung into gear, VEKTOR put any worried minds to rest. With the band opting to perform their recent record, Terminal Redux, in it’s entirety, those expecting a plethora of earlier material would have been disappointed, but Hunger For Violence and Asteroid make for a welcome surprise. However, what was on offer here was a truly monstrous performance from one of thrash metal’s most interesting bands. Riffs were complicated but easy enough to get behind, the drumming was mind-boggling and David DiSanto‘s shrieks replicated their studio sound remarkably well; given the limited space in the venue. From the hooks of LCD (Liquid Crystal Disease) to the technical beast that is Pillars of Sand, VEKTOR‘s performance was as ridiculous as it was ferocious. VEKTOR are one of those bands that have pulled a spin on the thrash metal formula and you get the feeling that their space thrash style is really going to jet off into space.

Rating: 9/10

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