Pick Your Rock and Metal

Sunday, May 29, 2016

LIVE REVIEW: The curious incident of the Vegan Festival and its reprise...

SOME weeks back at a Vegan Festival in Belfast's Ulster Hall four rock bands were scheduled to play on stage - but given that loud rock, punk and metal is, loud the vegans didn't take too kindly to the volume emanating from the stage.

Thus, Eighty Four were asked to leave the stage, and Tusks, Skypilot and Zlatanera were not allowed to entertain the gathered vegetarians, vegans and samplers of craft beers. Their loss...

But all bands need gigs. And, Belfast's own white metal knight, James Loveday, rode to the rescue and booked the bands for Saturday 28th May, in a Distortion Project show.

Unfortunately Tusks weren't able to make the show, so Baleful Creed stepped into fill the gap.

Openers on Saturday, Eighty Four, provide a fresh set of metal-edged punk. There is a verve and energy about their performance.

To a large extent Eighty Four recall the halcyon days of Northern Ireland punk in the late 70s and early 80s, but without re-treading the same licks. They are taking an enforced break until later this year, but it will be worth the wait to hear them again.

Baleful Creed produce the type of groove and stoner licks, infused with NOLA vibe that make them amongst the top proponents on the island.

There is a real sense of purpose as they deliver familiar tracks and some new tracks. Even with Fin wearing a self-declaring 'brilliance' t-shirt, it was hard to fault their set.

Skypilot also bring a groove and deep rhythmic metal that engages through its insistent rolling and rumble.

There is no doubt that the recent resurgence in Skypilot is as a result of taking recent shows as an opportunity to improve each time they hit the boards, and they are constantly improving.

In terms of live shows Zlatanera also are keeping on getting better. With their d├ębut album,

'Legerdemain' under their belts the band are one of the best of the current crop of NI acts.

Their performance carries menace and wit, musically delivering Sabbathy licks and a contemporary take on groove metal.

The entire band gels on stage, a single unit that are already planning their next step, delivering to The Distortion Project audience a new song.

The Satan schtick still works, and the wit lyrically shines through in the music and words. Zlatanera deserve a much wider audience - hopefully they will get that soon.

Review by Jonny - pictures by Darren McVeigh - Reproduction by written permission only


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