Appropriately for Halloween month, there are a couple of gremlins loose in Bristol tonight causing havoc; the city is gridlocked and it’s probably deterring a few people away from The Fleece given that it’s only half full. Mind you, that might also be due to the fact it’s a Tuesday night, but this reviewer digresses – it’s been a couple of years since BLESSTHEFALL graced us with their present and whilst the audience might be small, they are certainly up for it.
First though, local boys BEARPIT who have caused something of a stir in the local scene recently and, despite only having one EP that dropped two months ago, are already garnering a hardcore following. Tonight sees them play said EP, Blacklist, from start to finish and although the sound levels aren’t brilliant to begin with they improve in time for second song Hands That Feed to unleash one of the filthiest breakdowns metalcore has to offer. From there the band are on great form, tight as a drum, bundles of energy and a lot of personality, particularly from bassist and backing vocalist Dan Brotherton. They’re not just out-and-out heavy either; their melodic Interlude track shows their range perfectly and gives them an extra string to their bow when they come to writing material in the future There are a few faces here tonight who know all the words already and with the promise that BEARPIT have shown this evening, that’s a number that’s only going to grow.
They’re not the only band to have a slow start this evening; BLOOD YOUTH suffer the same with a surprisingly lukewarm reaction hindering the early stages of what is, overall, a brilliant set by them. They have tunes for day with the likes of the bounce and stomp of Parasite and a immense version of Failure which sees Kaya Tarsus jump into the crowd and incite an impressively intense pit given at the sparsity of the crowd. They’ve only been around for two years but they’re already playing with such confidence and it’s testament to them that they manage to end the set as complete winners, with everyone going hell for leather as their melodic hardcore punk swirls around the venue. Karsus as well is becoming a very competent frontman; his voice is outstanding tonight, going from his screams to his clean vocals with ease and leading from the front with poise and purpose. The future is most certainly bright for BLOOD YOUTH.
And, of course, there’s BLESSTHEFALL, rounding off an evening where we have the unusual occurrence of all three band names beginning with the same letter. The audience seems smaller than it did for BLOOD YOUTH but they are primed and ready with everything they have. What helps is that the band responds – there might be just over 200 people here, but BLESSTHEFALL play as if they’re headlining a sold out Wembley Arena and give absolutely everything. The place goes bananas as they kick into What’s Left of Me and other highlights include the MCR-esque Dead Air and the frenetic Promised Ones which is played second to last and succeeds in bringing the energy up higher than at any point in the evening. Furthermore, Beau Bokan has everyone in the palm of his hand from the off, showing his prowess as a leading man excellently. It isn’t perfect tonight – Youngbloods suffers the embarrassment of a circle pit involving just three punters and Bokan‘s vocals disappear for most of 40 Days… but, given what could have been, it’s a strong showing from BLESSTHEFALL and as the final notes of Hey Baby, Here’s That Song You Wanted die away (complete with Bokan running along the top of the bar for half of it), the room leaves with smiles. Job done.
Check out our photo gallery from the night’s action in Bristol from Serena Hill Photography here: