Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard, Cegvera & Void Titan, The Old England, Bristol
Doom, really freaking heavy DOOM! That was what we were going to get one sunny evening in Bristol, the slowest, grisliest, loudest riffs from the first chord struck to the last all in what I consider to be Bristol's loudest PA system. The Old England is an odd place a pretty old pub in a trendy, student filled part of Bristol, it's tucked out of the way by a health centre, but as this closes it morphs into an intimate venue that I'll admit is a little hard to police door-wise due to the performance area being at the back of the pub it's difficult to sort the gig goers from the customers but when you have bands this heavy those who aren't there for the music quickly left.
First on the stage were Bristol natives Void Titan (8) who when I last saw them were the heaviest band on the bill, tonight they were still heavy but with the headliners still to come it was going to be a hard fought contest for that title. Still the crushing riffs of Rob, Phil Nick and Fionn were tight bludgeoned from the off with some tasty lead work adding melody. I like to call their style of music Nerd Doom with songs about Mass Effect and Warhammer they really speak to nerds like me, despite Rob snarling down the mic, it's more melodic than the remaining bands on the bill but Void Titan were the best I've seen them at this show and here they were the ideal opener being as comfortable as an old sweater.
Next was the post-doom two piece Cegvera (7) made up of just Gerardo Arias (guitar) and Matt Neicho (drums) the totally instrumental duo made an impression with oppressive soundscapes but the problem I have is that it did all sort of blur making it just one really long song, the set did have some differentiation but not enough to keep my interest for too long, still good but I do like vocals with my doom.
The vocal department is where Wrexham doom crew Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard (8) are in their element the ghostly astral vocals of Jess are, as one of their number put it when she complained of a bad throat, the key selling point of the band, her spectral wails and mastery of the electronics which buzz, blip and oscillate atop of the thundering riffs from the four compatriots with James and Stuart in the engine room really making the walls quake with intense reverbing grooves and drum beats making a blaring, soupy, disorientating foundation.
Wez and Paul bring the riffs and what riffs they are sinister, foreboding blocks of distortion giving a wall of noise as the electronics weave their way through the trance inducing stupor which saw the now pretty full room headbanging in slow, deliberate unison as an invisible fog of pure noise washed over the room, with beer flowing, the musical clobbering was welcomed by all as they played cuts from their entire discography with only room for a few songs due to the bands love of a an extended run time. Sometimes you get eclectic bills in metal where every band is from a different genre, however other times you just need a shed load of heavy riffs, something that was here in abundance.