Vital Remains @ The Star and Garter, Manchester

Photo Credit: David Creamer
Photo Credit: David Creamer

WORDS: David Creamer, Photos: David Creamer

One of the main reasons that gigging in Manchester is so popular is that very often there are a number of small venues that play host to more wilder shows than many of the larger venues could even hope to replicate in terms of intensity crowd wise. There is also more of a sense of enjoyment in the air that even brims off the people who don’t really want to mosh. So whenever there is a gig at the Star and Garter in Manchester, you can bet that it will be a pretty sweet gig.

And the onslaught of bands assaulting the stage that night just proves how good these small shows are. First up were one of Manchester’s finest thrash outfits, INSURGENCY who took to the stage with no quarter and quickly began punishing their instruments to the please the eager crowd. Many a dedicated thrasher quickly sped right up to the stage and began the windmill violently to the audible violence. The audience was largely static to begin with but after a few songs finally found their momentum and quickly began to indulge in some friendly violent fun. The sound during INSURGENCY’s set was a tad all over the place. The drums were crisp and clear, cutting through the sound with great ease, and so too was the bass guitar. The guitar on the other hand was a buzzing mess of distortion, with no clear definition of the notes and swallowing up the sound of the other instruments. Making it very hard to discern some of the riffs being played. The vocal levels were also somewhat lacking, as they tried their hardest break through the mild confusion. Despite this, these fellows put on an impressive display and certainly got the crowd moving.

Rating: 6/10

Up next, another brilliant thrash metal band from Bristol, came the boys in SEPREVATION who showed no mercy when it came to throwing down some blisteringly fast riffage. By the time they began their set, the sound quality had greatly improved from earlier, both Ian and Joss’s guitars pierced through the mix cleanly as well as the bass guitar, vocals and the drums all sharing an equal level of clarity in the overall mix. It is obvious from the get go that SEPREVATION are a very popular band amongst the crowd as quite a few people in the audience were jittering with excitement and already shouting out for song names. As soon as the music started, hair immediately went flying. Throwing in a cover of one of SLAYER’s classic songs The Antichrist into the set, these guys sure threw in tons of effort in thrashing the stage with their sweat laden instruments taking a proper beating. These guys are definitely a band you will want to keep on your radar, they certainly put on a massive show.

Rating: 8/10

And last but by no means least came the icing on the cake of what was already a brilliant show. The death metal powerhouse that is VITAL REMAINS. As they took to the stage, they were greeted by a legion of crazed death metal fanatics ready to beat each other senseless. The sound was massive, every inch of the band’s sound was crisp and clear and thick, an extremely heavy onslaught. Not much of the crowd seemed to get involved, to which Brian employed an usual command to the crowd. A Tsunami of death, in which the moshers came to the front, and assaulted the crowd behind them. Many desperately sought refuge to the sides of the room, but the plan worked, and the whole room was turned into chaos. Ending an insanely chaotic performance with the classic Dechristianize, VITAL REMAINS came to give Manchester a proper good beating, and suffice it say they did just a little bit more than that for sure!.

Rating: 9/10

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