Cutting Edge, Unified Sounds Presents
Avenge thee and Naime / Sizen / Silas / Zocalo / Beholder
@ Camden Underworld 20/09/10
Reviewer: James Dunn
Monday evening is an odd night to be going out to a Metal Showcase but then who wants the weekend to end. Start the week as you mean to go on I say, and Metal full throttle…
Camden underworld is one of my favourite venues, it has a recessed pit in front of the stage for the audience to dance with plenty of barriers around it to watch over the crowd from a distance. It is large enough to hold a good following of fans yet intimate enough to feel a good amount of interaction from the band. The biggest downfall are the foundation pillars in the middle of the pit and slap in the middle of the stage, but, it is situated right below a large alternative pub named The Worlds End which is great for pre-gig drinks and chilling to some heavy tunes to get you warmed up. Avenge thee and Naime opened for this Metal showcase and immediately livened up the mood.
Being a very interactive and positive band making sure at many times during their set that the audience is smiling and enjoying themselves.
"Avenge thee and Naime" are not a traditional looking metal band and have recently gone through some changes including the addition of "and Naime" to their name and a recent line up change. The new guitarist sports a more classic style of guitar than the pointy black instruments of a common metal band of this calibre which is quite refreshing, heavy music doesn’t need to look dark, but then boy bands don’t need to be so pink.
Very down tuned staccato guitar stabs but with plenty of faster more complicated riffage and occasional driving chords. Vocally quite dynamic with some screaming as well as melody.
They are an appetiser of a band. Short songs and to the point. A mouthful of blasting metal. Lots of shaking going on by the band? It’s all fast paced.
A complete contrast to the first act, Sizen are a much tighter unit which seems to be part of their sound with all members being competent musicians.
This four piece have a smart casual metal dress code which suits their more mature style.
With a handful of guitar solos thrown in to compliment a better length of song, it appears clear that they have spent a lot of time evening out the finer points to their look, sound and general core where a younger band would just wing it.
All in they are a very enjoyable band that remind me of classic technical Metal playing of the 90′s which seem to be lost on more modern bands but with a very up to date drive.
I have seen Silas quite a few times now having followed them through the Band Quest finals, they never fail to put on a good show regardless of stage or sound.
I am a big fan of Stoner Rock and Metal, It’s the friendly, party encouraging nature of it all which Silas seem to emanate. Frontman, Dave Runham wielding what seems to be becoming his signature holy toaster microphone delivering his powerful deep melodic style with a blend of higher pitched tight screams which in part regrettably remind me of the cliche Phil Anselmo but fortunately the melodic side is much more prominent and bluesy making it more unique.
A slight sound problem towards the beginning of the set with the guitar levels fluctuating and the solo channel being ear piercingly loud but thankfully this was soon rectified.
The usual perfect harmonies from Twin Brothers, Tom and Mike Ross on guitar and Drums. This is a proper beer fuelled southern style metal set where we are all encouraged to have drinks in our hands.
You can hear the Click, pop open and guzzle from the stage.
Another band I have enjoyed on occasion also form the South East London Band Quest finals.
Straight in with the familiar Fu-manchu ex kyuss drummer style beat from Rob Gamblin, the signature of what is commonly known as stoner and again making me feel at home and want to enjoy the on going party.
Zocalo are a less diverse band but this is in no means a criticism only stating that they are confident with their style. This is no complications, bash it out groove metal.
A couple of things immediately set this band apart from the previous bands, Five members including a Female frontman. The inclusion of the second guitarist really fills the chambers of this modest sized venue, beefing up the sound and setting a firm ground for Vocalist Sarah Humphries to carry her melody across.
So far all four bands have steadily built up the pace enjoyably, fueling the atmosphere without any let down for a band that everyone is looking forward to see.
Quite obviously a bigger band, both in terms of popularity and in size, these are big lads.
I have not seen Beholder before but by the reactions of everyone around i know that i am in for a treat. A five piece again so a big sound keeping the large presence.
This is more riff based Metal again but where i expect a fast paced beat i get a slower louder pulsating crash giving it a lot of groove and chug. The singer Simon Hall impressively has no problem keeping up over the band where another vocalist would struggle. Quite an even sound and good interaction with the crowd. An amusing clear Dean endorsement as they all use it and Simon Hall has it in large on his back.
Beholder are about their chug sound and presence. Everyone seems to be enjoying themselves and still ready for more and towards the end of the set the crowd are asked to cheer Ooh, ooh, ooh, for an obviously popular title – March of the Damned.
For me this showcase went down very successfully. All the bands played well and with a varied style of Metal. I saw some Bands I have seen before and some bands I will look forward to seeing again and all of which I would recommend to anyone who wants to listen and appreciated original home grown heavy music.