Pick Your Rock and Metal

Saturday, August 27, 2016

LIVE REVIEW: Scimitar, Donum Dei and Midnight Force bring metal to the Eglantine

IN a shift of venue The Distortion Project upped sticks from its normal Limelight residency and brought a tonne of heaviness to the Eglantine Bar on Belfast's Botanic and the locals may now understand the metal - or be totally confused by it.

It was a night of sheer excellence from three bands, in relatively civilised surroundings - at least civilised until the music came raining down.

Openers Scimitar are evolving with every show. Their hyper speed thrash is a wall of noise, with Jonny growing with each show as front man, capable and using all of the small stage.

Ryan and Chris are a titan sized rhythm section, a thunderous noise that at times threatens to overpower John's lead work, but when he kicked in for solos there was no doubt about who was leading the charge.

All the shout outs from Bloodstock were there for the night but the humour never threatened to overshadow songs such as 'Behead The Beast' and the always awesome 'Act of War'.

Donum Dei were rerturning to live shows, this time with new bass player, Neil Toal. Having taken some time off gigging to get the new line-up settled.

Their core songs and attitude remain unchanged, and even though the set was a bit ragged in places the presence of Thomas manages to help carry them through - even  mounting the fixtures and fittings of the room á la Joel O'Keefe.

Neil and Stuart have stepped forward more in the backing vocals role than seen previously and Alastair seems more comfortable behind the kit.

The usual songs are on display and the likes of 'Justice Fails' has the crowd energised and baying in front of the stage - evidence of the faith that their fans have kept in the band.

Midnight Force travelled to Belfast from their hometown of Glasgow for a couple of dates on this fair isle and instantly they had those in attendance on their side with a smooth, well executed classic metal assault.

Vocalist John roamed stage and throughout the venue, cajoling the crowd, prowling ready to strike at any not willing to join in.

As well as the classic metal sound there is sufficient elements of power metal to make sure the sound is up-to-date and fresh. Ansgar and Brenden are tight, with enough to vary the pace when needed.

Pete is a more than solid drummer, adding backing vocals to strengthen the sound.

Midnight Force were unknown to the audience, but took little time to win over all. Speedy return please guys.

Review by Jonny
Pictures by Dave Kerr
Reproduction only by explicit written consent.

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