|Overoth/Strangle Wire/By Any Means/Lawfucker – Belfast, Voodoo - 15 April 2017|
|Written by Jonni D|
|Thursday, 20 April 2017 05:00|
With the Easter licensing laws in full effect, tonight’s show in Voodoo is something of a race against time: like a heavy metal fairy tale, each of the four bands must be on and off stage before the clock strikes midnight (or well before that as it turns out). Although it’s not ideal for the bands performing, the sense of haste certainly adds to the energy of the proceedings, with considerably short waiting times between acts. If nothing else, tonight’s line-up is a veritable Smorgasbord of musical intensity, with the punk and extreme metal styles both well represented.
First up are Lawfucker, looking every part the students of The Exploited and Discharge. Launching off with rattling bass and invading feedback, they are subject to a rather small audience due to the remarkably early door times. However, the band’s high octane blend of crusty punk and early hardcore gets an increasingly vociferous reaction. With song titles such as ‘Punk Hipster Destroy’ getting an amused response, as well favourable outcries elicited by the politically charged inter-song banter, Lawfucker make quite an impression. It’s an adrenalizing start, and even though there is an overall homogeny to the band’s songs, they just about make up for it with their cartoonish charm.
Next up are By Any Means, with their formidable style of metallic tinged hardcore, in the vein of Madball and Agnostic Front. In a venue as small as this, these songs sound positively gargantuan, with the impassioned performance from each member only adding to the brutalizing energy of the set. New song ‘Sociopath’ goes down a storm; pummelling yet catchy, it exemplifies the strength of By Any Mean’s rhythm section and is as explosive as the rest of the band’s material. The refrain of “I can’t stand what you do” sounds destined for much larger rooms than Voodoo offers, inciting a rabid response from the crowd. Closing with early cut ‘Using Both Hands’, their set is a further reminder of why they are arguably the most consistent band of the Belfast hardcore scene, both in quality of song writing and the intensity of their live show.
Undoubtedly, tonight belongs to Strangle Wire. The local band delivers a staggeringly heavy performance with impeccable showmanship, the like of which is unrivalled on this billing. From the massive grooves and serpentine lead lines of ‘Pitch Black’ to the crushing drag of ‘Den Of Iniquity’, Strangle Wire exude a palpable force. They garner the biggest crowd of the evening, deservedly so, and are saluted by a sea of thrashing heads and moving bodies, with the power and bounce of their brand of death metal enrapturing the packed room.
The floor has considerably lessened in numbers as headliner Overoth take the stage, but this doesn’t prevent the band from delivering a blistering assault with their blend of black, death and doom metal. Upping the theatricality of tonight’s show, the band emerge to the smell of burning incense and spewing fog, utilizing makeup and a more elaborate stage dressing which sets the tone for what’s to come. Far more devastating in the live setting when compared to their recorded output, Overoth quickly have the crowd fully engaged with their savage charm. Although hampered by the dreaded encroaching curfew, the band successfully round off a rather ramshackle evening, albeit one that commendably reflects the diversity of some of the most exciting bands Belfast has to offer.
PHOTO CREDIT: All photos © Darren McVeigh/MetalPlanet/ Über Rock.
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