The Misplaced Metalhead Volume Eleven
Mosh! April 2012
Promoter: Mosh! Winchester
Date: Saturday 19th May 2012
Venue: The Railway, Winchester
Bands: Primitai, Dendera, Dukes of Agares, Fires of Tartarus
Any of you who speak to me on a regular basis, or have read these reviews before, will notice a certain familiarity with the list of bands put on for the latest installment of Winchester’s only metal night. With the exception of Fires of Tartarus this is the second review for every band on the bill tonight. Dukes of Agares opened for Chimaira in my Volume Eight review (8/10), Dendera opened the December Mosh! in my Volume Three review (8/10) and the mighty Primitai charged forth as lead support in my very first review all the way back in Mosh! October 2011 (10/10). So with that in mind, you can probably tell I expected A LOT from this evening as one which could possibly be the best Mosh! yet. Let me tell you, it lived up to expectations and then some.
That aside, let’s start with the new guys on the block (relatively speaking) as the respectably packed venue was treated to Death Metallers Fires of Tartarus. With a name that badass the Hampshire quintet had a lot to live up to and from the opening moments of their set it was clear that we would be in for a fucking pounding. Death Metal can be tricky at the best of times as a lot of complicated and fast paced arrangements need to be juggled effectively alongside the dilemma of keeping it varied enough without losing furious momentum, but watching Fires onstage you got the feeling that all this shit was nothing short of secnd nature. From the sheer brutality of the chugging verse riffs through to epic instrumental passages defying any chance of staleness these guys fucking rocked. Sporting a precision uncommon in bands of this level not one part was left behind throughout the Heavy Metal onslaught bestowed upon us. It was this absolute focus within the band which impressed me the most; whilst each song was true to a fundamental principle of Death there was enough variety in the riffs and rhythms to make them clearly distinguishable from another, a trap I’ve seen a couple of bands fall into tragically.
That said, I can only fault the ‘liveness’ of the experience seeing Fires, each band member looked as if they were bolted to the spot and, whilst the music was nothing short of phenomenal, I couldn’t help but feel I could get the same experience from a CD in the comfort of my own home. Nevertheless as a Death Metal band I could not pick one part out over any other in this impressive opener. Like the blood-soaked gears on an unstoppable killing machine, nothing could stop the beautiful synergy of this deadly assault.
So with my neck already aching and a couple of beers well down me the first of my three review revisits limbered up for their set: The Dukes of Agares. Last time I saw these guys I was very complimentary and it would seem that in the time since that give they have lost none of their momentum and, if anything, came back fighting even stronger. There seems to be a great sense purpose and wisdom behind everything that the Dukes do onstage and, whilst they may not be the most youthful of bands on the circuit, their talents can in no way be questioned. Riffs and blasts thundered through the venue and set the canvas upon which vocalists/guitarists Geoff Kinch and Ian Yabsley painted something truly fucking beautiful. With my second viewing I particularly noted that Kinch has a rare, if not extraordinary, ability to growl and sing at the same time; effectively harmonising with himself. I don’t know what the fucking biology is behind that, or if it’s even possible, but I know what I heard and I don’t care how much beer I’d drunk.
Even in the short time between Dukes’ last appearance and now they’d written new material in the form of ‘The Deluge’, a song which could rip your fucking face off even if it was written about April being a fucking wet month. There’s something frankly brilliant about being able to write a metal song about the weather and if you know any other bands who have achieved it, I challenge you to put it against The Deluge and see which one comes out on top.
Dukes finished their set with all due fire in their bellies and left the stage empty for the coming of the Maidenesque powerhouse Dendera. Previous to tonight Dendera stunned me at the December Mosh with their rough around the edges style of classic metal and if anything their sound has only improved. Still sounding like the feral lovechild of Tom Araya and a banshee; vocalist Ashley Edison swept up the crowds with the fervor reserved for only the best of frontmen and took both audience and stage into his possession as a true beacon of metal spirit. Backing his aweomely powerful vocals the rest of the band each took their own moments in the spotlight as extended musical passages took the moshing audience through the full range of riffs, solos, basslines and drum rolls befitting a metal band who barrelling full tilt into the gates of Hell.
New songs in the repertoire showcased skill and an ability to be more than just an awesomely Maiden style band and the showmanship of each of the three axesmiths allowed them to shine even more compared to their previously subdued performance. Last December I thought Dendera were great. This time round I know they fucking rock.
One of the great things about this night was how many people had showed up for a great fucking evening of Metal and, by the time Dendera were winding down, the venue was getting packed, ready for the South’s shining fire of power metal: Primitai. Kicking off their set with their characteristic high flying and headbanging metal, Primitai truly set the room on fire with their sonic blasts promising some of the best shreds and solos being played in venues right now. Leading the way like Thor on speed, Guy Miller pitched the perfect rapport with us headbangers to get us riled up and ready for each fucking hit whilst the chant a clap along sections brought a kickass sense of community to the whole proceeding. Guitarists Nick Saxby and Srdjan Bilic hold most of the praise though as the solos were truly the burning flame at the core of this Heavy Metal supernova, with each blisteringly quick instrumental onslaught onlygetting better and better.
I won’t go as far as to say Primitai were as good as the last time I saw them. Something I can’t quite put my finger on just didn’t click as well as when they supported Romeo Must Die, but they nevertheless rocked the socks, shoes and shits off of every single one of us in that venue and punctuated the evening with the ultimate full stop as…
…yep, you guessed it…
…THE BEST MOSH! YET.
Fires of Tartarus: 8/10
Dukes of Agares: 9/10
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