Krysthla, Fuel Rock Club, Cardiff
A night of crushingly heavy metal at the under threat rock club with three bands for a mere £5 proved an excellent night out. Opening up proceedings was local outfit Slob (6) playing their first ever gig. The grind death growls of Alex Lord were intense whilst the noise from drummer Wayne Fingerz and string man Phil Brookes sounded like a quartet, not a duo. Grind isn't my bag but full marks to the band for getting things moving. A decent number of supporters roared Slob on throughout their short set. Promising beginnings.
Merthyr metallers Chaos Trigger (7) have been familiar faces in the South Wales scene for some time. Skull crushing metal since 2006 no less. With their excellent very fresh debut Degenerate Matter still on the playlist the band started at 100mph only to have the wind rudely removed from their sails by a broken string for guitarist Mark Llewellyn. This slowed their momentum somewhat, but after a few minutes the guys were back on it and blasting their heavy technical death metal. Tracks such as Fucking Machines and Release The Hounds got the faithful moving with Ben Duffin Jones high energy movement on and off the stage complete with his swinging dreads a fine sight. The band have played many venues across the country including a stellar set at Bloodstock a couple of years ago yet they still have that local band in the pub approach at times. Their loyal following lapped it up all the while. Good stuff.
If there is a UK band with a more professional approach than Wellinborough's Krysthla (9) then I'd real like to see it. These guys do things by the book and it is demonstrated in the quality of their work. Bizarrely nearly all of the crowd had disappeared when the band kicked off their set, and the bemusement on Adi Mayes face as five of us stood in front of them was evident. This didn't stop them and the band launched into 45 minutes of the most bone breaking heavy metal. Of course, with Eradication Festival only the weekend before I wouldn't dream of saying that these guys are the heaviest to play at Fuel but they must have hit the top ten for foundation shaking.
Their blasting technical, thrash, progressive and death metal, combined with the sheer aural assault of Adi Mayes was a delight and as the tardy audience filed back in things soon heated up. Tracks from the fantastic new Peace In Our Time already sit comfortably alongside older stuff from 2015's A War Of Souls And Desires. Visually the band are impressive with bassist Carl Davies and guitarists Neil Hudson and Noel Davies shredding and relentlessly head banging. Mayes prowls the stage, coercing the crowd to participate, resulting in a couple of female stage invasions and some of the weirdest crowd surfing you've ever seen.
Meanwhile the battery from drummer Wayne Minney was just relentless. As the on stage sound blew a fuse, the band closed their set possibly a little early but 45 minutes was sufficient to fill the Krysthla banks once again. This is a band on the up. They work exceptionally hard, they know their stuff and they deserve bigger things. If they are in your town, you owe it to yourself to check them out.