Conan and Guests
@ Sanctuary, Basingstoke
22 March 2014
Review and Photos by Ashlinn Nash
Today’s gig had been moved from Mousetrap [just down the road from Sanctuary] as well as a venue change, another gig has been added too – an upstairs hardcore/metal-core combination so by the end of the day – the small building was packed.
The venue is a club like affair with purple walls, chandeliers and leftovers from the small town’s night out club venue not forgetting of course it’s also a venue that wasn’t expecting to have run out of red stripe beer so quickly. The venue overall is intimate and could probably only fit around a hundred people, which gets very quickly packed as the day is kick started.
With Three thrones [3.5/5] who open the proceedings with lava like liquid chaos, the three piece instrumental troupe from Colchester have opened today’s gig with a fluid motion of disharmonious dreamscapes, imagine Mogwai’s picturesque mind theatre tales but set on the banks of London’s Thames, murky deceitful but with positive shining moments.
The band worked through a set of just two songs that carried an post-rock atmosphere that was far from dull, it was just unfortunate the troupe were not able to play more, as it was hard to fully judge them on just two songs.
Hummune [3.5/5] are up next, a three piece from Southampton, bringing with them a beautiful blend of harsh vocal hits and a gripping resonating sound creating an angry symphony.The set included moments of chaotic progression, fueled with chuggy chords, and plenty of head bangable slices from the bands back catalogue.
Not forgetting the duality of vocal duties between the two axe men with traditional lyrics, that pack a powerful punch of snare led aggressive power similar to liquid lava and of course a far departure from the day’s first band.
Wolfshead [3.5/5] a three piece who are from Fleet, Hampshire begin ferociously led by Leigh and Mart who share vocal duties along with the powerhouse of Justin on drums, the three piece make up a band that are not short of highly energetic groove tunes.
The band break out their set – powered through green [made by orange amps and made famous by sleep] with the first cluster of riffs, that bring velocity and a blend of self confessed garage doom. Their set is inclusive of fuzzy and groovy tunes and packed with solid slices that border on sludge. Overall the set was a delicious deep down-tuned distorted explosion on the ears.
As the crowd are getting unto the full swing of the gig, and the bar is taking a dent, along with the second half of the day’s proceedings begins upstairs. Downstairs and at the main gig Old Man Lizard [4/5] are setting up, the Trio from Sudbury, bring with them a blend of –Country Sludge, and waste no time in kick starting their set.
Opening with an adrenaline laced almost stoner grunge vibes that have a sound similar to Kyuss and Clutch, with a sound that works superbly. After completing a set forged with songs about sailors and unfortunate incidents with exciting moments of energy bursts and overall an enjoyable set.
Due to interviewing the evening’s headliners, [who joined the crowd to watch Limb afterwards] it was only possible to catch the last half of Limb’s [3.5/5]. The first four piece of the day that are led by front man Rob Hoey and complimented on percussion by Jodie Wyatt and duel axe men – Sam Cooper and Pat Pask.
The band from London bringing with them a unique blend of huge low end doom, droning tunes that are as blistering and beautifully when combined with stark bellowing vocals. Using a blend of the down tuned and the dark and dingy, concluding the rich tapestry of their set to a saddened crowd on their departure.
Witchsorrow [3.5/5] are up next with a set that gets off to a cracking start, with a now packed out venue in front of them the band burst from their trade mark deep doom trances to triplet speed drumming that laced their tracks formations and works superbly.The band themselves are made up of front man Necroskull, Bassist Emily witch and Wilbahammer on drums making up the groovy doom sound.
The sound of the band’s set is consistent and contains a tapestry construction goes down incredibly well with crowd, and is one whose sound that is meaty and is finely lavished with appreciative nods to the down tuned riffs that are chaotically vibrant in textures. The band conclude their buzzing and resonating tones that leave the crowd in awe.
Ageless oblivion [3/5] arrive with a large than life sound and banner, this band are packed with power tunes that are laced with a unsettling distortion that could shatter fine glass wear with just the reverb. From the first few strikes, it’s obvious the sound levels have been raised as the crowd makes way for the active front man Stephen Jones who broached the crowd in a hardcore punk fashion, making full use of the stage-less venue.
The set is inclusive of progressive death vocals over heavier than a ten ton lorry, with a combination of desolation that is crunched with an apocalyptic bleak nightmareish experience for the audience who are both struck by the dark tones and haunting vibes of the band’s sound.
Second to last band Bast [4/5] are ready to play, the first chords and plumes of metal wonder whose crash on the gong like cymbal allowed the ritual begin. The Three piece who work as a unanimous team who blend vocal screams, playing off each other as alpha and omega with growls and night terror fuelled lurid gutturals.
Complimented with bombastic drumming from Jon lee, Blistering bass lines from Gavin Thomas and Soldiering iron slickness from Craig Bryant, with the cryptically challenging to listen to set is concluded with a flourish. As the band concluded their trance like encrypted set that was both as reverb rich as it was sublime with great overtones of drone and chaos yin yang.
The final band of the evening Conan [4.5/5] finally grace the floor with their stunning sound that starts with the volume gage reaching top capacity causing a clash of chords and reverb rich textures that creates a mirage like essence.
The creation of an immense volume that replicates a harsh wall of sound that is both dense and deliriously delicious. The band whose recently line up change since the recording of Blood Eagle, with Chris Fielding replacing Phil Coumbe on bass, who fits into the troupe perfectly. With the brutal drumming of a thousand armies arranging themselves for battle, and a truly monstrous deliverance creating a horribly barbaric and stunningly swooping sound track.
The band’s sound during the set is a combination of classic doom with the elements of sludge and black metal influence. With a series of powerful punches that are bursting with drone is something quite special from the band. The crowd are now deafened, delighted and awe struck by the set .laced with tragically crushing bursts of nasty propulsion, behind every droning thud. They creatively blended the essence of harsh neuroticism with the bone crunching tones of something with brutality and beautiful cocooned chaos. This is another success for the English doomsters