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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Another Point Of View: Devil You Know, Oni, Wearing Scars (Live Review By Lee)

Devil You Know, ONI, Wearing Scars, The Fleece Bristol

This is my first gig of the year and one I was particularly looking forward to. Having been a fan of Howard Jones from the start of his Killswitch Engage and with two stellar album releases with Devil You Know, I was keen to see how they could take that material on the road and see what kind of reaction they would get.

Wearing Scars

With a 50 minute delay on the M32, by the time I arrived at The Fleece, I had already missed Brutai’s set (sorry guys) and Wearing Scars were just setting up. Hailing from Northampton and by their own admission, running late, they took to the stage, still touring their debut album’s release A Thousand Words  they kicked the show off with Become Numb and although their key influences seems to be Sacred Mother Tongue (guitarist Andy James’ previous band) and Mutiny Within.
  
I can hear the Mutiny Within influence due to singer Chris Clancy’s voice but there were so many different influences coming through it was hard to find the band’s original voice. Don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t detract from the material they’ve put out but Become Numb alone changed from a Djent-like intro / verse riff to an American radio rock chorus and shifting between the two throughout. Interesting start and was looking to see how their set progressed.

Moving onto Stand Alone, this song just screamed Bullet For My Valentine throughout. Listen to this song then listen to Scream, Aim, Fire  mainly the verses and pre-chorus and it there are shades of that song in there, in particular the guitar lick followed by the chugs which is a bit of a soft spot of mine. So far, the boys were kicking ass and taking names and getting a good reception from the crowd. Next up was the riff-tastic Wound, immediately you can tell this song’s tempo was going to slow down slightly but these boys were on point. The band are playing with great composure and timing, it’s very enjoyable to watch. 

The rest of the set composed of Waiting For The End, A Last Goodbye And Butterfly with each song starting to slow the tempo down and Butterfly was a great way to end the show, the focus being on the vocals coming through and Chris was able to show off the clean vocals properly through the chorus and a great sing-a-long song to end the set. All-in-all very enjoyable to watch and I’ll be keeping an eye out for them going forward, here’s hoping that they have new material coming out soon. Good shout from Devil You Know to bring them out with them. 7/10

ONI

Oni is probably one of the finest examples, if not the finest example of progressive metal today. Seriously, if Primus and Messhugah banged… this would be their glorious baby. Although the debut album didn’t showcase the bass focus, they very much put a lot more emphasis on the bass guitar during their setlist, hence the Primus reference. Also, they have a Xylo-Synth this was going to be awesome. Coming over from Canada, the six piece band took up pretty much the entirety of the stage but that didn’t stop them projecting energy to the crowd. 

The immediate bring aggression, technicality and blazing pace with the opening song, Barn Burner. They put on a technical masterclass with Eternal Recurrence with this showcasing the band’s Djent influences. It was a shame that the band had time against them but they were able to get another five songs into the setlist. Spawn And Feed kicked off the remaining time of the set and as the band went on, it was clear that this band have definitely got a bright future in Metal. 

The timing, the performance, the live technicality was spot on. Next was Thrive which immediately reminded me of the introduction of Immolation’s Kingdom Of Conspiracy. Next up was the band’s longest song from the album, The Science and this is where the progression metal really came in. Oni were able to get the services of Randy Blythe from Lamb Of God on song The Only Cure and frontman Jake Oni let the crowd know just how awesome it was having a metal legend lend his voice to their material. 

Final song of the set started with a very melodic introduction before they kicked the crowd’s ass one more time. Jake was really able to get his clean vocals across well and were just as well song as they were on the album. All in all, this is definitely a band to keep an eye out for, check them out on Spotify or YouTube and hopefully we’ll get another tour out of them soon. 8/10

Devil You Know

After a very brief intro, Devil You Know took the stage one by one with the biggest reaction when Howard Jones took to the stage. It was very refreshing to see someone look legitimately thankful for the crowd supporting them but Howard has always come across as a genuine guy, even in the Killswitch days. The band were here to take heads and started off with the very fast paced and aggressive Consume The Damned from the They Bleed Red album. 

A lot can be said for Howard’s screaming vocals and they were on point from the start. The band were having fun from the start and it was looking to be a great set. The high speed, high intensity kept going by blitzing straight into Embracing The Torture and the crowd were getting livelier. Encompassing Howard’s showmanship and a fast paced tempo, the crowd were lapping this up but Embracing The Torture was the first chance to hear some clean vocals and the first chorus cemented the fact that the band can take their material, aggressive or clean and just knock it out of the park. 

No rest for the wicked here, the opening drum fill from the single, Seven Years Alone comes through and this crowd was getting their asses kicked! Continuing with the first album, the intro to My Own bellows and allows guitarist, former All Shall Parish axe-man Francesco Artusato to show off his technical ability and a nice change of pace with the tempo slowing down slightly. The all too familiar three chord strum of A New Beginning picks the pace back up, with the crowd chanting “hey…hey….hey” along with Howard. 

The band took a few minutes to let Howard get a few things off his chest with a moving speech stating that if anyone knew what he was going through and how he was feeling within the last few years, just how lucky he is to have fallen in love with the job again before stating that the band were hoping to tour over here again before the year was out and that they’d be penning a new record soon. At this point, the clock was starting to run down but it didn’t stop them nor the crowd from having fun and belting out a further 5 songs. 

Revisiting the They Bleed Red album, there was only two that they could really play from that album, both singles that they released for it. First up, Stay Of Execution and I forgot how much I love blast beats when it comes to drumming and if you are too then this one is for you. The only gripe I could think of from this set was that out of a set of 10 songs, the 70/30 split in material from both releases I would like to have seen that gap narrowed  7 from the Beauty Of Destruction and only 3 from TBR. 

The final song played from the TBR album was The Way We Die but that came after A Mind Insane and Crawl In The Dark. The final song of the evening came after another speech from Howard about how happy this tour was making him and how good the UK fans have been to him over the years before one final “YAHHHHHHHHHH” kicked off Shut It Down. All in all a great line up and it was a shame to miss Brutai but every band brought something different to the show and delivered to a very welcoming crowd. Devil You Know were the complete package that night, they put on a performance and a show which entertained and kicked ass. With a new album and a tour hopefully coming in the near future, the band will continue to go on from strength to strength. 9/10

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