The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Nine
Mosh! March 2012
Promoter: Mosh! Winchester
Date: Saturday 31st March 2012
Venue: The Railway, Winchester
Bands: Silent Prophecy, Black Skies Burn, Eternal Torment
So another month, another Mosh. Back at The Railway which is quickly becoming the most regular of my nightly haunts and ready for another night of great fucking metal. Working in a different town every Saturday now does mean that my batteries are a little low on charge when it comes to Saturday nights out but, as anybody who reads The Misplaced Metalhead will know, I’m not going to let shit like that stop me. I was a little disappointed to learn that the usual four pronged setlist had been demoted to three on short notice but fuck it, this night is still the best metal night you’re going to get in Winchester – so on with the show.
Leading the charge were Classic NWOBHM tinged thrash gunners Eternal Torment. Not only was the gig off to a reduced band count but, I learned shortly after, the opening act were also a man down for this night. Nevertheless, even at reduced numbers, Eternal Torment were a particularly brilliant sight to behold. With arms rising powerfully in the air like a great and mighty Adonis, vocalist James Manley-Bird rocked his way through the setlist as the driving force of a strong and determined metal band. Reminiscent of Blaze Bayely (pre-hair loss), Manley-Bird was a consumate frontman who held the attention of everybody in the room…well…those of us who weren’t moshing the fuck out.
It wasn’t just the vocals that held us though and the giant singer was backed up by a very tight and impressive band. Sporting the type of metal which has kept the faithful’s neck fixing bills high for decades, each song felt like a classic of yester-year. Even songs starting with a nice little banter along the lines of ‘Cleopatra – big nose, but nice rack’. Particular praise has to go to guitarist Martin Sheath who made the abscence of a rhythm guitarist completely impreceptible (I didn’t even realsie they were a five-piece until it was mentioned).
This was a band sporting some great metal the way it’s worked for years. Yes it’s a bit old fashioned, yes it’s been done. Fact of the matter is Eternal Torment are one hell of an argument for ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’.
In the ensuing gap between sets the audience started to filter out of the venue so when the lead support Black Skies Burn took their instruments and prepared to rock there were only a few of us left watching. Without meaning to sound too judgemental or cruel, it wasn’t long into the set before I started to think the people out the back had the right idea. Suffocated by an overwrought bassline; the band thundered clumsily through several songs often indistinguishable from one another. I could see the fingers of the guitarists working wildly and flying up and down the fretboard but, underneath the collossal sound of the bass guitar, we could barely hear any notes. I’ve seen deathcore bands before and been pretty impressed by them but Black Skies Burn was a remarkable exception. This was a band operating on one level – noise – pure and simple. Some people may like that, good luck to them if they do, but if this was the only example I’d been given I just wouldn’t be sold.
So with both supports finished it was time, sooner than expected, for the lead act of the night: female fronted hard rockers Silent Prophecy. There’s a certain cliche that you often find with female fronted bands that the singer becomes the sole focus of attention and the rest of the band get left behind, almost like a backing band (i.e. Paramore, Nightwish, old school Within Temptation etc). With this in mind I resolved to make sure I didn’t fall into this trap when reviewing and took the band as a whole.
Long story short, I didn’t need to make a special effort with Silent Prophecy as the band rocked fucking hard as a whole, and as individuals. Unlike most bands, where I find the guitarists hold most of my attention, the real hero of this band was drummer Rowell who combined fast-paced fills to keep the rhythm tight along with a few flights into polyrhythmic soloing you generally get from the likes of Mastodon and Tool. That said, the hard rock offered by the rest of the band wasn’t exactly lacklustre and the triple barreled string assault from guitarists Big T and Ollie and bassist GG was something to behold as my head windmilled its way into oblivion.
I realise now I’ve kind of invented my own trap by trying to avoid another one, having done a review based on the vocalist by avoiding the vocalist. Sorry about that, normal service now resuming. Singer Theresa was a great crowd pleaser with a good voice, one which greatly suited the music, but didn’t seem to get into her stride until about the third song. It’s not that she wasn’t good, because she really was, but her voice was sometimes swallowed up by the rest of the band and until song four became very difficult to hear. The thing that stood out above this though was a great sense of synergy between Theresa and the rest of the band – never once falling into that trap that I mentioned before. These guys love doing what they do, and frankly they should be damn proud of it.
You may remember from my last review that Mosh! February set the bar pretty fucking high so I did come away feeling a bit disappointed. I’ll make a ‘wild’ assumption here though and assume that had something to do with being drunk (the £5 card limit does seem to turn me into a man who buys drinks 2 at a time). Looking back on it now with the benefit of hindsight it wasn’t the best gig I’ve been to but now I’m sure to keep a look out for Eternal Torment and Silent Prophecy. That’s the best thing about local gigs; you’d be hard pressed to find great bands that you’ll never see again.
Eternal Torment: 8/10
Black Skies Burn: 1/10
Silent Prophecy: 7/10
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- The Misplaced Metalhead – New Beginnings
- The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Fifteen
- The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Fourteen
- The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Thirteen
- The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Twelve
- Bigotry is My Business…and Business is Good.
- The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Eleven
- The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Ten
- The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Nine