SO, it’s a sunny Saturday afternoon in Belfast, unaccustomed highs on the thermometer, uncultured types stripping off around City Hall...what does the self-respecting metal fan do in these circumstances?Well, as it is a Saturday afternoon, heading to the Limelight2 for a wee blast of Sinocence flavoured fun at The Distortion Project was the prime option this weekend (25th May).
Yes, returning to the stage after a short hiatus the boys were back with another blast of their technical terror.
A last minute bill change aside, it was an afternoon in four acts with varying degrees of theatricallity.Opening were September Cross, who delivered a well-measured and entertaining take on old school metal, with NWOBHM influences to the fore. They proved that it is possible to pay homage to the masters that are Maiden and Diamond Head without slavish copying.
Tight and fluid, September Cross have pretty much it all, but could use a few wee refinements in terms of stagecraft – you are allowed to move around the stage and engage everyone.
Definite promise from the Cross here!Stagecraft is never a problem for By Any Means – furious hardcore delivered with an in-your-face power, bouncing about the audience, pounding the stage, challenging the crowd to like them or get out – By Any Means demand your respect; whether you like their hardcore hell, they deserve your respect. Give it.
Red Six delivered, by contrast, a little too much stagecraft: however, the musical landscape was crowded in the right way: much aplomb musically and with a little more development they could be the antidote to mediocrity that they promise. Not afraid to mix brutality with harmony they are one to watch.There is something compelling about Sinocence’s brand of metal. While you can hear the influence of the likes of Megadeth, Sinocence have learned what Mustaine has forgotten - that is that the song comes first not the widdly guitar bits! And they are not afraid to deliver harmony and space for tunes to develop.
Although the band claimed to be a bit ring rusty there is nothing that a casual punter could spot – seasoned observers could pick at some looseness around newer songs, but with that looseness came a bit of groove.As tight as any band may wish to be, live is where the vibe and the groove of songs can grow – Sinocence are growing and with them there is the promise of much more to come.
Live the guitar work transcends the sometimes hard work of listening to twin guitar attacks, and the shade and subtlety many lack comes shining through – a winner of a 45-minute set, and here’s hoping the band keep that looseness rather than tightening live performances too much.So – surprise, surprise – our darkened hearts chilled by this four-band behemoth of a line-up come 9pm and the sun was still shining...what next for Belfast’s metal fans?
NB - this was the exact time when Sinocence's new video for 'Long Way Down' was débuted nationally - here it is for you to have a gawk at!