Triaxis: Fuel, Cardiff
An opportunity to see one of the brightest bands in the UK is rarely missed and when it happens to be a band from your own back yard launching their third album, well, it was a done deal.
Much has been written about Triaxis in the pages of the Musipedia and it is always positive; Matt’s very extensive and complimentary review of new release Zero Hour being the most recent. Our last encounter with the band in the live setting was in the very same venue where the band played a great pre-Christmas set which included Victorious from the new release.
Having pledged for Zero Hour, I was lucky enough to have the download of it into the in-box about 72 hours before the gig, allowing a little time to have a listen to the new compositions and whetting the appetite for the new stuff in the live arena (okay sweaty little club).
Arriving in time to catch the end of main support band Collibus, it was noticeable that there were many more packed into Fuel than on previous occasions. A large number of Triaxis t-shirts were in evidence, always a good sign. Having been greeted warmly by lead singer Krissie, we made our way to the front, catching up with a couple of old acquaintances before Triaxis signalled the start of a quite brilliant hour of heavy metal. CJ hit the blistering riff to Liberty, the opening track on Zero Hour before the band hit full throttle. Glyn’s shredding, Becky’s pounding bass lines, Giles’ brutal powerhouse drumming and of course, the quite stunning vocal delivery of Krissie all combine to make Triaxis one of the best live bands around today and the confidence flowing through the band in the opening track ensured that any fears about their delivery of the new stuff in the live setting evaporated immediately. A quick one-two of 2012’s Sand And Silver and Under Blood Red Skies followed, both delivered with power and passion, gaining a massively positive and raucous reaction from the crowd.
As it was the album launch party, it was only proper that the bulk of the set came from the new release and we were treated to a hefty six newbies. Kicking off with Stand Your Ground, the band played with a confidence and polish born out of many hours of practice and more importantly gigging in the live setting. Although the whole is usually greater than the sum of the parts, what makes Triaxis so special to us at Musipedia is that all the parts are so bloody good. They have always been extremely professional but the arrival of Becky and her demonic Rickenbacker bass lines has enhanced the Triaxis sound further. The band always look like they are enjoying themselves and tonight it was a real joy to observe; CJ constantly smiling and singing every word (even more than a certain Steve Harris!) whilst playing with more freedom and confidence than I've ever seen before. Mr Wilson behind the kit is a total drumming machine and the engine room of the band. His driving momentum on the heavier songs such as Death Machine and the blistering Victorious is stunning on the album but in the live setting increases to 11. It’s not all 100mph with him though as demonstrated by the more delicate elements of the epic (and very brave choice) set closer Zero Hour, all 11 minutes of it. He even cracked a smile a couple of times. With the engine room working at optimum level, lead guitarist Glyn was confidently throwing out solos and licks like they were going out of business and once again having an absolute blast. Like CJ, his playing was more relaxed and smoother than in previous shows. The band have added more backing vocals to their new tracks, such as the Iron Maiden styled Terraform, which worked brilliantly, allowing the fantastic voice of Krissie to do its stuff. There are not that many vocalists in the metal world that can deliver on record and transfer exactly the same quality to the live stage, but Krissie is one of those who genuinely can.
During the gig we were also treated to a bit of the bizarre. Party hats and cupcakes were handed out in the middle of the set, enhancing the already buzzing party atmosphere whilst a heavy metal happy birthday to two members of the crowd (including esteemed Ed Matt) just about worked! Having admirably demonstrated that the new music works in the live setting, Triaxis made the brave decision to close with their ‘behemoth’ title track, Zero Hour. A brave decision alright, but one that worked magically, plenty of heads banging in the audience providing ample evidence of the quality of the track. One final song, obviously the anthemic Black Trinity complete with crowd participation brought the set to a close, leaving one very hot 45 year old man extremely content. Its nights like this that remind me why I choose to attend metal gigs and spend my money on music. Triaxis are on fire at the moment and have the momentum. Metal Hammer’s decision to stream their album can only be a good thing and we at Musipedia Towers are already planning our assault on the barrier at the Sophie Lancaster Tent on August 10th at BOA. It’s going to be epic. 10/10