Festival season may be well and truly underway but there are still sprinklings of shows in-between the big summer festivals to keep metal fans well catered for. SLOUGH FEG have kept to what makes metal so intoxicating for years now and at The Star and Garter in Manchester, fans finally could witness the classic metallers in their full glory.
Opening proceedings was Manchester’s own INSURGENCY. The thrash metal trio have been causing a stir in the underground for some time now and their performance reflected just that with a barrage of blasts from the drums, down-tuned and downright aggressive guitar play and ear-piercing shrieks from their frontman. The blackened thrash elements of INSURGENCY‘s style flourished in the DIY element allowing for a full on assault of noise and whilst at times the mix made it difficult to focus on individual elements, as a unit INSURGENCY were a force to be reckoned with.
Following INSURGENCY was ASCALON, another local talent from Manchester, clearly showcasing that the city is a hotbed for heavy metal. Akin more to the NWOBHM style, ASCALON served to whip up the crowd’s anticipation for SLOUGH FEG with a worthy performance with enough style and substance to leave most impressed. The guitar playing was tight and well balanced allowing Matt Gerrard and Chris Marsh to boast their individual talents whilst Alex Varley (bass) and Vince Scott (drums) kept the rhythm flowing at a speedy rate. Influences basked in some of the country’s finest metal bands, ASCALON were impressive demonstrating that the classic sound of heavy metal still has a strong influence in today’s musical climate.
SLOUGH FEG have always felt like one of the most underrated bands of the classic heavy metal era. With over two decades of experience under their belt, the American metallers boast a refined sound jam-packed of the core elements that what make metal so great and their headlining performance oozed the full throttle, no shits given attitude ofthe style. The band roared through their set with the swagger that suited their playing style in fine form; Angelo Tringali‘s guitar playing was formidable, Adrian Maestas kept the galloping rhythm up-tempo consistently and Addison Filipczyk drumming was spot on, effortlessly replicating the band’s studio sound. Frontman and lead guitarist Michael Scalzi stole the show however, constantly bouncing across the stage, and even to the ledges off stage getting right in the face of the packed venue. It was this interaction and a performance that packed energy that truly demonstrated the excellent style SLOUGH FEG have crafted for years. With the set covering all the grounds of the band’s lengthy career, all bases were covered and the crowd lapped up every moment with consistent banging of the head and air guitars aplenty. SLOUGH FEG may not be the first band you think of when it comes to traditional heavy metal but their performance highlighted that they certainly deserve so.