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LIVE REVIEW: Venom Prison @ The Star and Garter, Manchester

VENOM PRISON have been going from strength to strength this year. From supporting some big names in heavy music to landmark appearances at Download Festival and Bloodstock, the band have been leading the line in the new wave of heavy music in the UK. Now, the band are ready to smash their next challenge; their first headlining tour across their homeland. We caught the final show of the tour in Manchester to see if the band can maintain their explosive form.

Kicking things off for the evening was LEECHED, a three piece Mancunian outfit who took to the stage and gave a blistering performance packed with explosive noise. Despite only forming this year, the band showed a great deal of professionalism when it came to their live performance as the trio combined to give a visceral and live sound that was full of bite. Explosive blasts from the drums kept the tone nasty whilst Laurie’s vocals were absolutely eviscerating. A short set, but one that packed a punch and showcased promise from this young band.

Rating: 8/10

God Complex live @ The Star and Garter, Manchester. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
God Complex live @ The Star and Garter, Manchester. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

GOD COMPLEX have been making some noise in metal’s underground in recent weeks and took to the stage aiming to leave a lasting impression and for the most part they certainly achieved that. The band’s brand of blackened hardcore created a menacing live sound as the band continuously unleashed powerful riffs and slick drumming. Vocalist and frontman Harry Rule displayed an expansive range of vocal lines, from traditional hardcore shouts and ear-piercing shrieks which is certainly impressive but became grating as time progressed, and had enough charisma on stage to keep the crowd entertained. However, there were some issues as the band’s sound became muddy as their set progressed and as previously mentioned, the vocal department of the band’s sound had some issues. That being said though, these are teething problems and as GOD COMPLEX refine their sound, these issues will certainly be resolved and the band will surely continue to make noise in UK metal.

Rating: 7/10

Corrupt Moral Altar live @ The Star and Garter, Manchester. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Corrupt Moral Altar live @ The Star and Garter, Manchester. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

Serving as main support to VENOM PRISON, CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR wasted no time in letting the audience know what they are about; fast and utterly relentless grind. At the core of the band’s live sound was the combination of guitarists John Cooke and Adam Clarkson and drummer Tom Dring who kept the pace at high velocity throughout. Cooke and Clarkson combined really well to create meaty riff that had enough hooks to ensnare your attention whilst Oliver Turner‘s work on the bass held the manic sound together neatly. At the heart of this musical frenzy was Chris Reese who provided excellent vocal lines consistently across the band’s performance. Whilst at times the band’s style felt a tad repetitive, it was a strong performance and for such a frenzied and raw sound, the technicality and skill of CORRUPT MORAL ALTAR was tight and polished, and it led to a performance that rocked The Star and Garter‘s foundations.

Rating: 8/10

Venom Prison live @ The Star and Garter, Manchester. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography
Venom Prison live @ The Star and Garter, Manchester. Photo Credit: Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography

VENOM PRISON have been going from strength to strength this year but it was understandable that there would be a few concerns as to whether the band could deliver the same intensity as fans have come to expect in a headlining set. But, rest assured, the band delivered the sheer ferocity that is now expected with VENOM PRISON as the band stormed through their headlining set with absolute ease. Guitarists Ben Thomas and Ash Gray didn’t let up as delivered bout after bout of slick riffing before flowing into monstrous hardcore-esque breakdowns that sounded absolutely menacing, with the closure of Desecration of Human Privilege being just one particular highlight. At the core of VENOM PRISON‘s solid live sound is Larissa Stupar. Time and time again, Stupar has showcased her incredible vocal abilities in the live environment and can hold the audience in the palm of her hand without ever addressing the audience bar their finale. Here, she excelled once again as Stupar‘s vocals held their own in the confined space of The Star and Garter and was laced with venom. It was an utterly explosive set, if a little short for a headliner but then they only have one record to their name, and VENOM PRISON have once again shown why they are considered such an exciting band in UK heavy music.

Rating: 9/10

Check out our photo gallery of the night’s action in Manchester from Sabrina Ramdoyal Photography here:

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