LIVE REVIEW: Conan @ The Star and Garter, Manchester


CONAN have been rising up the ladder of the UK metal scene in recent years and on the back of a successful tour across the pond, the band are back on home soil. With the excellent Revengeance under their belt, this gave fans the chance to witness new songs live. We were there in the densely compact Star and Garter to witness the devastation but would it be a performance that reflected the intensity of CONAN‘s style on record?

Having just released their second full length LP Herb your Enthusiasm, BOSS KELOID showed even more enthusiasm to lovingly assault us straight to the eardrums with their thunderously loud performance. Being aided by the tight vicinity of the gig room at The Star and Garter, there was no escaping the ridiculously fuzzed out aural onslaught of these guys own brand of psychedelic sludge.

Kicking things off to a flying start with their hottest single Lung Mountain, which has almost become an instantly recognisable song, these chaps showed a lot of light hearted banter during their performance, second only to how on point they were in effortlessly bringing down some seriously heavy and groovy rhythms. Straight away you can tell how much they enjoy playing their music, which immediately impacted the audience’s reaction, to which that was to jam along together non-stop, until the final chord was played.

Their sound couldn’t have been any more perfect, switching from heavy fuzzy tones, to intricate clean sections, everything was at a pleasing level to hear with each band member’s sound coming through great, especially the dynamic vocal patterns ringing out. These guys meant the business, and definitely showed it when they stormed the stage!

Rating: 8/10

Another pretty impressive stage performance that took us more down the lines of traditional sludge vibes and DOWN inspired grooves, THE BENDAL INTERLUDE stood out in their own right by mixing in a very eery vibe to their music whilst still pumping out a pretty aggressive performance. With the singer standing down at crowd level, it was a very intimate setting, but this only enhanced what an experience it was.

Making good use of samples to create this somewhat brooding atmosphere between songs before dramatically changing the tone to sludged out riffage, often sneaking in some thrash sections to their head bob friendly grooves whenever they felt like it. THE BENDAL INTERLUDE had many surprises to bring to the table, yet as surprising as they were, it all seemed to flow naturally together, only adding to the energy that they exuded live.

Rating: 7/10

And the cherry on top of this gig came in the form of the mighty CONAN. Armed with their Matamp towers and heavy gauge strings, the impressive display of caveman battle doom featured many tracks of the hot new Revengeance record, Blood Eagle and Monnos but sadly Horseback Battle Hammer couldn’t sneak its way in. Nevertheless, the change from the usual slow dredging doom to a more thrashed out storm of low end that sought to almost destroy the venue was more than welcome. If anything, you should not expect any less from a CONAN gig.

While Jon’s voice seemed a bit haggard from the US tour, that did not stop him from screeching out every single syllable alongside Chris’ low growls, which when combined seemed to add almost an echoing effect atop of the meatiness of their instruments. This combined with the close proximity of the venue created one of the most intensely obliterating audio experiences you could imagine. These guys never disappoint when it comes to playing live, and if you haven’t attended one of their shows, then by all means go! Just don’t forget your earplugs!

Rating: 9/10