Author: UberAdmin

Gender Roles/Floorboards/Scavengers – Cardiff, Clwb Ifor Bach – 10 October 2019

This was David O’Neill’s first time in ‘Clwb’ as it’s known locally.  Brought by interest in the Cardiff-based openers Scavengers, he thought it might be an interesting evening.  Looking at the bios of the two bands unknown to him (Gender Roles and Floorboards) led him to listen to some of their tracks on Spotify on the way in the car.  Floorboards hail from Cheltenham and describe themselves as an emo/punk unit, while Gender Roles are an indie-punk three-piece from Brighton.  On listening to both bands tracks there was a fair bit to like, despite emo/punk/indie not being his thing. But, how would get on in the live environment? 

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Bloodshot Dawn/Rupturation/Becomes Astral – Belfast, The Speakeasy – 11 October 2019

The name of the venue for tonight’s feast of death metal may not have been a new one to me, but the setting certainly was. Until recently, The Speakeasy was located several hundred yards away on the first floor of the soon-to-be-demolished local Students’ Union building; however, although redevelopment plans for its former home seem to be temporarily on hold, the SU has found itself scattered to various corners of the Queen’s University campus, including what used to be a rather posh Japanese restaurant now stripped back and converted into a pop-up temporary venue…

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Mantra – ‘Medium’ (Finisterian Dead End)

Prog metal, as a genre, seems to offer far more room for experimentation and exploration than most other genres in the metal world. To the point where you can pretty much pick any two bands who fly the prog metal banner and have completely different experiences, but the one thing that tends to unify all of these bands is the complexity of the music. One band who has continually pushed the boundaries with their experimentation is the French quartet, Mantra, who have wowed fans with their ritualistic live shows and concept albums for the last ten years.

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Ethereal Kingdoms – ‘Hollow Mirror’ (Mighty Music)

Danish four-piece Ethereal Kingdoms offer a darker take on traditional symphonic metal. They have all the staples of the genre; beautiful vocals, classical flourishes and a sense of overblown theatricality, but there’s a nastiness to them you don’t normally find. Their debut album ‘Hollow Mirror’ clearly takes influences from the likes of Epica and Nightwish, but it comes with a more horror-inflected vibe and feels grimly oppressive.

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THVS/Alpha Twin/Fagash McCann – Belfast, Voodoo – 12 October 2019

Despite the band having been kicking around the Northern Ireland scene for a good few years, Monk only came across THVS and their self-styled “heavy pop” musical musings for the first time earlier this year, when they impressively managed to battle their way through to the final of the annual Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses contest. Obviously, the competition had its limitations for them, in that each set only lasted 20 minutes: so, tonight was a chance to catch the trio in all their headlining glory, as they marked the official release of their acerbic debut album, the appropriately titled ‘Fevers’…

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