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Thursday, 4 April 2013

View From The Back Of The Room: Scar Symmetry, Beholder & Bloodshot Dawn

Scar Symmetry, Beholder & Bloodshot Dawn: Bogiez Cardiff

Another nice tour line up bringing together three similar but still different bands. This was the final night of the tour and the whole gig was filled with pranks, madness and general high jinks that are the norm on the last date. But as the lights went down the show began.

Bloodshot Dawn

After the instrumental intro had ended the band began the barrage of explosively tight riffage straight from the off with first track Beckoning Oblivion. I have heard nothing but good things about Bloodshot Dawn and thankfully they were all true, the band are very impressive, they play their brand of melodic death metal with the utmost precision, both guitarists Josh and Ben firing off riffs like lasers bent on decapitating the audience who lapped it up banging their heads along with the enthused band. The band had very little movement mainly due their stage banners however very little was needed as they ripped out riffs and peeled out solos, Josh also has a very good DM guttural roar however it was very hard to hear it still they delivered a great set full of some extremely tight, face melting melo-death, plus a stage invasion from a half-naked robot man! A band well worth seeing if you want to just bang your head and be astounded by some technical guitar playing! Praise also to their stand in drummer who learnt all of the songs just before the tour! 8/10

Beholder

Again another band I've wanted to see for a while and on the night I was disappointed, however in the cold light of day I can see that this wasn't because of the band. The drums and bass smashed into you and the guitars let fly with aplomb pull out heavy riff after heavy riff. Beholders new stuff merges well with their old and the thrashier passages were perfect for people to pit. However this seems to be the problem, Beholder are a band that feed off the energy of the crowd and on this night there didn't seem to be much, very small pits and a lot of standing around seemed to be the order of the day during Beholder's set much to the chagrin of man mountain frontman Simon Hall, who was on top form vocally. Again their set was filled with strange goings on mainly from the Bloodshot Dawn boys but songs like Liars did connect with the crowd but they did seem a bit reserved. Beholder had the best sound of the night but in my opinion they need to feed off the crowd to really get going and the already quite sparse crowd didn't help matters by standing still for the majority of the set. Beholder are a band that have had some tough breaks in their career and are steadily trying to work their way back. However on this night the crowd weren't really feeling it as much as they should have been considering how much power and professionalism the band were showing. 7/10

Scar Symmetry

So onto the headliners and I think the reason for a lot of tonight’s criticism, any band that have two lead vocalists will always be hard to engineer sound wise and Scar Symmetry proved that. From the off the sound was muddy with only one guitar in place of the usual two which didn't sound right despite Per Nilsson doing his best, the drums were too loud and the bass was no-existent. I was initially shocked as Bogiez usually has a very good sound so I came to the conclusion that it must have been something to do with the band. Then came the vocals and this is where the night unravelled Roberth Karlsson can growl very well and can even do some pretty strong cleans when needed however Lars Blomqvist has a good mid but his high vocals are awful, he was not able to hit many of the notes and this was added to by the very muddy sound meaning for large sections of the gig he was inaudible. It led me to the conclusion that sometimes two is not always greater than one as former vocalist Christian Alvestam handled both excellently from what I have seen. Despite these technical issues the crowd seemed to be lapping up the Scandi melo-death. Per Nilsson is a very good guitarist but the pre-taped keys did little to help his one man guitar showing. In conclusion then as a band Scar Symmetry are very technical and have some great songs like closer The Illusionist but tonight they were let down by the very poor sound which meant you could really hear anything that clearly. 6/10

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