|The Defiled/Revoker/Murder FM - Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach - 1st November 2011|
|Written by David Whistance|
|Wednesday, 09 November 2011 05:00|
By the time tonight's first band Murder FM take to the stage, the venue is sold out - well passed sold out in fact, which then poses the question, "why didn't the venue host tonight's gig in the far greater venue upstairs?" Instead we are jam packed into the smaller cramped surroundings of the downstairs venue and as they've forgotten to put a stage in, the band are playing at a lower level than those in attendance.
Murder FM are the only band on the bill from across the pond, hailing from Dallas, Texas. Computer game fans may already be aware of the band through their opening track 'Machine Gun Kisses' that just happens to feature on 'Rockband 3' on the X box along with its accompanying video being a massive success on Scuzz TV right across Europe. The band, just like headliners The Defiled, dress in an almost post-apocalyptic fashion along with accompanying black body paint. Their nu metal fused with industrial rock may not be to everybody's liking but in lead singer Norman Mathews they have an entertaining frontman who ventures into the crowd throughout their performance urging fans in attendance to accompany him at every available opportunity. The more cynical amongst us might judge the band purely on the "seen it all before" basis of their showmanship, but when you see the younger fans faces in attendance light up when they are approached by the immediately likable Norman then you realise the band have done a pretty decent job. After all I still remember how exciting it felt attending a gig as a teenager.
Tonight may be billed as a night of metal but there is only one true metal band on the bill and that title belongs to South Wales metallers Revoker. Being the only band on tonight's bill not to have raided their mothers' make up boxes the band simply let the music do the talking.
It's hard to believe it's the same band stood in front of me that I first witnessed a year ago in Swansea, they won me over on that initial introduction, but here in 2011 through support slots with the likes of Rob Zombie, Ozzy Osbourne, Sepultura, Soulfly along with extensive festival exposure the band have really progressed into a solid tight metal machine, and the songs from their debut album 'Revenge For The Ruthless' have never sounded quite so impressive.
Frontman Jamie Mathias oozing confidence from every pore at times is reminiscent of a young James Hetfield in his vocal delivery. From opening number 'Time To Die' to final number 'Stay Down' the band deliver a flawless set. Every number as infectious as they are heavy, each member of the band has seemingly honed their craft to perfection through those constant bouts of touring I just mentioned. Guitarist Chris Green is steadily becoming a next generation guitar hero, but let's not forget the band's tight as fuck rhythm section courtesy of bassist Shane Philips and Rhymney Valley's very own Keith Moon (in more ways than one) drummer Jack Pritchard. By popular demand the band add an extra song in the set, 'Born To Be An Outlaw', and looking at their faces they are enjoying playing these songs as much as the audience are in hearing them. If there is any justice in the music industry then this band should become huge.
Next up - the band that constantly divides opinions in the metal world. Many feel that they shouldn't have been allowed to play at the Bloodstock festival, as they aren't strictly metal, tonight there are various people surrounding me who obviously share the same opinion, fortunately I don't.
My first encounter with The Defiled was when they played the Cardiff Barfly to a very sparse audience; I even managed to obtain £50 worth of CD vouchers in the process when I had a letter printed in a certain music magazine expressing my concern at the attendance of local gigs.
So is the band metal or not? Well the verdict is still out for me, but I know that people around me are disgusted when vocalist Stitch D declares the band as being just that, comments like "Why have they got two guitarists and no riffs?" and "where are the solos?" kind of distract me as I want to simply say "listen to the fucking music..." I suppose it all stems from their keyboardist, the curiously named The AvD, in him they have a larger than life character who shares the lead role of the band with Stitch D, something that replaces the role usually set aside for the band's lead guitarist and for that reason I hadn't really noticed the lack of solos or riffs and for that reason I do wonder does it really matter when the fans of the band are enjoying the music on offer?
Personally I have a soft spot for The Defiled and thoroughly enjoy the music they have to offer us. The band take to the stage area dressed in their now familiar Mad Max inspired attire and head into 'Land Of Fools'. Tonight songs such as 'The Resurrectionists', 'Call To Arms' and current single 'Black Death' sound like familiar friends. The band slow things down with an acoustic section that unfortunately leads into a drum solo (something that really should have remained in the Eighties); thankfully their drummer JC keeps it brief.
For any older fans in attendance the band pulled out an impressive '1888' from their debut EP. I have to say when I first encountered the band via this EP I wasn't too sure what to make of the band, I almost found a band struggling with their own identity, frontman Stitch D looking like the bastard son of Nikki Sixx whilst their music comprised of metalcore but with an electronic, industrial edge; it was only after listening to their 'Grave Times' album that I suddenly realised that their material was beginning to growing on me
Ending their set with a rousing 'Red Tape', as I leave the venue I hear mixed reactions towards the headliners, the younger fans in attendance simply loved the industrial tinged metalcore whilst the older music fans preferred the metal orientated Revoker, personally I thought tonight was an interesting mix of rock and for less than a tenner who can really complain?
Photo Kudos Sarah Thomas