It was early doors at Corporation, but opening act In Arms – a local melodic hardcore five piece – still pulled a decent crowd for their own brand of inventive hardcore. Sadly a broken string caused a pregnant pause as long as an elephant’s gestation. But what was played was altogether well constructed and executed. However, I was just a little bit underwhelmed until the final track Asphyxia kicked in, which brought all the great aspects of the band together with a massive riff that concluded the set.
Barnsley thrashers Redmist Destruction came next, with hearty thrash of yesteryear. The four piece band were led by bass playing vocalist John Upson, and produced a sound similar to another band with a similar line-up. The highlight for me came towards the end of the set with the brutally short ‘Fucking Destroy’, which certainly showed off their metal credentials.
Next up were Sentenced: a band that seemed to my eyes to bring out the absolute worst in some people. A space was carved out in the pit where over 100 people once stood so that about 8 could high kick towards the faces of bystanders and windmill and flail away in a ridiculous display of “masculinity”. Frankly, it was the only gig that my wife has said she was genuinely scared of getting hurt at, and she’s been in her fair share of pits. Maybe we’re just getting old. Self-described as a Death Metal band they were reminiscent in parts of Cannibal Corpse. Technically proficient in terms of the back line band, very well performed yet fronted by an unintelligible pig squealer of a vocalist. Undoubtedly accomplished, but not for me.
TRC fucking bring it every time, and this was no exception. They performed with unrivalled energy with the two vocalists both giving off a vigorous power that is frankly awesome. While at times near the beginning of the show there was a something a little lacking on the sound, due to the London based band having traffic problems on the M1, it took no more than three tracks for the chaps behind the desk to iron out the problems. As such, by the time TRC played ‘We Bring War’ the sound was bold and brash and frankly smashed the eardrums to submission.
Finally, to the stage came another one of Sheffield’s great exports, fresh from a European tour with the internet’s favourite band Dying Fetus. Malevolence are most definitely a band well beyond their years. Playing their debut album Reign of Suffering in no particular order they built all of the ferocity on the record with an incredible live mix and an overall massive sound. The 500 strong (almost capacity) crowd by this point were in full voice – this was going to be good. Opening with the frankly scorching ‘Serpents Chokehold’, which showcased from the get go everything Malevolence do, blistering guitar work in the riffs between Josh and Konan sounded bloody awesome. Even heavier than on record, the album opener ‘In The Face Of Death’ is a showcase of vocalist Alex’s power, taking a leaf out of the book of many a great vocalist with the strength of Great Southern Trendkill era Phil Anselmo.
Third track from the end they were joined by Heart Of A coward front man Jamie Graham, who in other roles is the bands manager, but today was on top form to providing vocals for ‘Delusions of Fear’, also featuring Mike from Sentenced. This bluesy swaggering performance punctuated by the addition of the extra vocals made it one of the best tracks of the night.
The last track of the night ‘Turn to Stone’ is Malevolence’s answer to ‘King Me’ by Lamb of God. A complex slightly more melodic track, this needed the use of In Arms guitarist Elliot (no guitar malfunctions this time). With Alex encouraging the crowd to pile toward the barrier, for the purpose of a video, and sing along with the band the room dutifully obliged.
Review: Jim Rangeley
1) Serpents Chokehold
2) Reign Of Suffering
3) Eternal Torment
4) In The Face of Death
6) Delusions of Fear
7) Condemned To Misery
8) Turn To Stone