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Monday, 3 June 2013

View From The Front Of The Room: Evil Scarecrow, Counterhold & Darksite

Evil Scarecrow, Counterhold & Darksite: Mojo's Newport

Into Newport for another night with Nottingham's premier purveyors of stupidly entertaining blackened metal, replete with silly names, silly costumes and silly songs. So it was into the bowels of Club Mojo (originally it was supposed to be 200 Club but this closed shortly before the gig) for a night of Stirling local supports and shameless masochism.

Arriving late we missed most of the set of openers Effigies Fate but from what I could hear, which was hard because of the poor sound that totally lacked bass, they were your typical modern metal fodder full of blast beats and screamed vocals.

Darksite

I last witnessed Darksite playing their final gig with their first singer. With a new vocalist in tow the Welsh groove metallers brought an uncompromising set of tracks full of heavy riffage and some screaming vocals that showed off the bands ferocity and their huge amount of talent. However they would have been much better had it not been for the sound which meant that they sounded very muddy and made their set blend into one long song which is a big shame. Despite this a nice warm up for the rest of the night and they managed to pull people into the venue to see them ensuring that for the next band there was a reasonable crowd. 6/10

Counterhold

Locals Counterhold were that next band and this was a case of deja-vu as they supported Evil Scarecrow last time they played South Wales in Cardiff. However this time they were joined by their lead guitarist Dave Birbeck who was missing last time. This added to the bands brand of powerhouse melodic metal as they had the dual guitar riffage (with Dave joined by Karl Silverthorn) and the band’s sound was complemented by a heavyweight rhythm section, special kudos goes to drummer Ryan who completed the gig despite being extremely ill. Ploughing through a set of strong songs including The Beast Within, Disease, Charred Remains and the awesome Children Of A Lesser God the band were clearly loving every minute and the hometown crowd were receptive and appreciated the bands tour worn professionalism. Throughout the set frontman Steve conducted the proceedings like a general prodding, poking and bellowing for the crowd to shout along before showing everyone how it should be done with his fantastic set of pipes. A well-deserved hometown victory for Counterhold who should get bigger as soon as their album (called All Of Them Slain) is released. 9/10

Evil Scarecrow

The sight of five people covered in costumes and ghostly corpse paint in the middle of dance club (complete with THREE! disco balls) is interesting to say the least but it added to the ridiculousness of Evil Scarecrow. After the intro on which many shapes were pulled the band dove straight into Choose Metal which showcased the scarred black metal guitars of Dr Hell and Brother Pain, the rumbling bass of Viking like Kraven Mordeth, the blitzkrieg drums of Monty Blitzfist and the atmospheric keys of Princess Luxury. This was perhaps the most serious song on the set list which rapidly descended into madness from second song Vampyre Trousers. There was then the epic War And Seek which features some great time changes showing that despite their parody metal tag they are all very good musicians. The in between song banter was funny and slightly surreal in place with however the band didn't have many of the props they usually do, still they managed to put on an excellent show with Helldog being followed by ThunderCat's Theme (which should keep the RSPCA happy). Then towards the end of the set Evil Scarecrow showed one of the major reasons for their success, they inspire lots of crowd participation, which varied from the Black metal claws of Morbid Witch the side to side scuttling of new track Crabulon, the crying and wailing of emo anthem Blacken The Everything, before things really kicked went mad with the synchronised(ish) Robot dancing to favourite Robototron which ended in a stage dive from Brother Pain at the end. For a band that are madder than a box of frogs, they had met their match in the Newport crowd who actively took up every chance to participate before masochistically calling for the Final Countdown cover which meant everyone had to can-can for the entire song. The band seemed a little overwhelmed by how nuts the audience was and when all was said and done both band and crowd went home happy. Another fine showing from one of the best live bands in the country they are consistently brilliant and leave you smiling from ear-to-ear and there aren't many bands that can do that! 10/10

 (Just as a little side note the sound got better as the night progressed)

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