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Thursday, 26 November 2015

A View From The Back Of The Room: Triaxis, One Machine, Krysthla, Bull Riff Stampede

 Triaxis, One Machine, Krysthla, Bull Riff Stampede, The Tunnels Bristol

Now here's a novel idea, get four of the best bands in the UK scene, give them 45 minutes to play each and charge the punter £10. This was the idea of this event in The Tunnels in Bristol, essentially you get four headlining sets from the bands, running order was decided on the night, meaning that there was less a headliner more closer. I intrepidly made my way solo to the venue, that is under Bristol Temple Meads station, for what would turn out to be the best entertainment of the night (the WWE Survivor Series PPV that I rushed post gig to watch left much to be desired). A D.I.Y mini-fest that showed how talented and indeed diverse the current underground metal scene is. 

So into the venue just as Bull Riff Stampede (8) were kicking off with maelstrom of riffs, their blackend death/thrash assault was enough to get your head banging vigorously, letting you forget about the cold outside. The kick drums of James furiously blitzkreiged behind the insanely speedy riffs of Rod (bass), Jay (Guitar) and Dave (Guitar) and as the sped up and down the fretboards soloing and riffing wildly Dave also screamed his head off giving the band a sound akin to Kreator, Carcass, and Sepultura. This is dark violent thrash that is made to cause circle pits and it was a hell of way to kick off the night as Bull Riff Stampede didn't let up once constantly bombarding the crowd with riff after thrash metal riff. As their set drew to an end those that were in attendance were breathless as BRS set about destroying the stage one more time before they said their final goodbye. 

As BRS finished we come to the one point that was the major bone of contention for me, this was the crowd size. I was disappointed with it to be honest, yes I know it was a school night and by the time the night was coming to a close the number had increased but for most of the night the venue was half empty and although it was heartening to see that there were a few hardcore punters (most of whom were young) that were around from the very beginning, in my opinion there could have been more with quality of the bands on offer, still no need to dwell on this as the whole night was bit D.I.Y which gave it it's charm and for any band to draw a crowd through self-promotion of the gig is good in these days of wallet watching. 

With the changeover complete it was time for band number 2, this time it was Northamptonshire based brutality, I reviewed this bands debut earlier this year and it blew me away with it's sheer force, so I was excited to see how these songs translated live. Well Krysthla (8) managed to live up to my expectations, in fact I'm pretty sure I could have the band on an assault and battery charge as from the first note the band beat the hell out of the gathered meat bags in the room. The band contains former members of Gutworm and they retain the previous bands spleen rumbling heaviness based around the low and heavy rhythm section of Wayne and Carl (drums and bass), Krysthla are a band reliant on their ear-splitting rhythm section in their extreme groove laden death thrash, On top of the dulcet backline Noel Davis riffs like a mutha...while remaining perfectly still throughout, transfixed on trying to make ear drums bleed as Neil Hudson adds the extra riffs and squealing lead breaks. With all the music being so uncompromising the band need a vocalist that is no wallflower luckily Adi is no such thing he's wild mountain of front man with voice from the bowels of the deepest hell, his roar will give you a stomach-ache it's so low and visceral. Krysthla managed to step things up after BRS warmed everyone up by, beating everyone down with their Gojira meets LOG style of metal.

Another changeover and the part organizers One Machine (8) took to the stage, now One Machine features Steve Smyth who formally played the riffs in Forbidden and Testament so you can probably guess what they sound like this is thrash metal played with a modern technical edge think latter Forbidden or even Nevermore, especially due to Chris Hawkins expansive vocals that move from a growl to a shriek effortlessly. The bands syncopated riffage is fantastic with Jamie Hunt working in tandem with Smyth perfectly, while the boiler room of Stefano Selvatico's basslines and the drummers (who's name escapes me I'm afraid) lay down a heavy thrash groove with loads of technicality. Smyth looked like he was having a ball on stage as he rocked out on the left side of stage while Hunt mirrored him on the right and Hawkins stomped around in the middle, there was a few gaps for tuning etc but that just meant Chris could talk bollocks (something he is good at) before they ploughed into another great song. If you like your metal thrashy with a modern edge One Machine will be right up your alley, check them out supporting Overkill in Bristol next year, you won't be disappointed.

So finally the last changeover and while the set up was taking place (things were running late not like anyone cared) One Machine's Chris was acting as compare talking yet more bollocks before a slice of Welsh metal started with the melodic build of Liberty and once again I was deep in the realms of Triaxis (8) this new track is the perfect opener with all the power of Maiden and the heads down riffage of Megadeth, the set list was a tried an tested one with Sand & Silver coming next speeding up things even more as CJ and Glyn traded riffs Becky galloped (and howled on Stand Your Ground, the wolf impression gets better every time) meanwhile Giles once again obliterated his kit, Stand Your Ground came next and it's rockier feel showed off Krissie's amazing vocals. I've reviewed Triaxis a lot now but they maintain a quality at every gig they (and all the bands at this gig) exude a confidence that seems to seep out of every pore. Victorious/Death Machine came again towards the end of the set and even after being played at every gig for nearly a year they still sound fresh and powerful with Krissie going full Imperator on the historical themed tracks. Triaxis ended the set with the debut single Black Trinity which got all the heads nodding fiercely. So that was that and they wrapped up, however they had one more surprise in store, the final song was cover but not Maiden as anyone who has followed the band knows they are fond of, no this was a shot at the Man On The Silver Mountain himself with an excellent version of Rainbow's Stargazer which engaged the mass sing along.

A perfect end to a fantastic night supporting the underground and local metal scene in the UK, it also went forward to proving a theory I've had for a while, the bands are out there, it's the audience that just need to reciprocate. Don't moan that no one plays your town, go to the bands where they play, you'll be helping them out, you might discover a new favourite and you'll have a damn good time. well done on everyone involved for this event, let's do it again yeah?                    

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