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Trigger the Bloodshed + Bleed From Within + The Dead Lay Waiting + Forlorn + Confined Within @ The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton - Wednesday 16th June 2010

Review by Chop

Photos by Russ Powney

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The first chance to see how Trigger The Bloodshed's crushing new album “Degenerate” would transfer to the live arena was an appetising prospect. Before the main course as it were, and as is increasingly the norm these days, there were four entrées to consider first....

Confined Within were either having monitor issues or need to spend more time in the rehearsal room. As it's the first time I've seen them I'm not sure which hypothesis is closer to the mark. On this performance they were formulaic metalcore with backing vocals so shockingly bad that they became teeth rattling. Their attempt at a new song was ill advised too with the drummer appearing to be playing a completely different song – seriously he was that far out at times. They managed to get it together for the breakdown and finished the song well though to their credit. Worryingly there was a distinct lack of power, aggression, or passion throughout their performance. That said they're a young band so perhaps there's time for the 'leopard to change his spots'?

Forlorn are a band I've seen many times over the last eighteen months or so. After a couple of highly recommended EPs their debut full length is imminent – on this showing it will be well worth tracking down. This was without a doubt the tightest I've seen the band play, and the change of heads has given them a vastly improved sound. Intriguingly they still play in drop C but you'd have thought that this wasn't the case such was the difference in their overall tone. They still play old school death metal with doom leanings – think early Morbid Angel meets My Dying Bride – but the songs seem more intricate these days. Much of this is due to the more complex drum patterns, and even blasting at times. If you do go and see them keep your eye on the bass player. He's a great musician and revels in taking on lead duties at times, much to the confusion of the crowd with their 'who's soloing?' puzzled expressions. My only concern regards their stage presence which still needs some work, but that will come with more gigging and increased confidence. Otherwise this was a top notch display that won the crowd over as the set progressed. Keep an eye on them over the summer once the album's been released.

Setlist;  “Worlds End”, “The Rotting”, “Floods Of Martyrdom”, “This Wicked Sin”, “Culture Shock”, “In The Face Of Terror”, “Battle Scarred”, “Vulcans Flame”.

The Dead Lay Waiting used an intro that was more than slightly King Diamond-esque with its keyboards, bells and general atmospherics. What followed was twenty five minutes of utter tedium. Curiously they got the worst sound of the evening by far – sludgy is a huge understatement. The only highlight of their set was a particularly enthusiastic supporter whose arm flailing and two stepping were infinitely more entertaining than anything the band could conjure up on stage. Damning statement indeed, and there's really no need to say any more....

Bleed From Within's “Humanity” album was the soundtrack to the journey to the venue. The CD gets stronger as it progresses so I was intrigued to hear how they'd sound live. Crushing is about as close as I can get to their half hour of precision brutality. They had a far better sound for starters, but were superbly drilled as a band, fine musicians, and had a drummer and frontman that many in the extreme metal world would kill for. The sticksman coupled his considerable technical ability with immense flair, making even the fastest, most complex, patterns seem ridiculously easy. The frontman worked the crowd with similar finesse, whilst delivering screamed vocals of throat-tearing ferocity. Their metalcore/deathcore approach usually leaves me cold yet I thoroughly enjoyed them – more to the point they have a more widespread appeal than these genres normally attract. They are a young band with the right attitude – and quite frankly they slayed. All in all a great live band who should cause a considerable stir over the coming months.

Setlist; “Damnation”, “This Is Our Legacy”, “We Are Gathered Here Today”, “The Novelist”, “The Healing”, “Servants Of Divinity”

Trigger The Bloodshed were not to be outdone and unleashed a furious opening duo of tracks from the new album. What really impressed was the effortless way in which this new material sounded so polished and as intricate as on the CD. More brutal clearly coming through a PA, but just as coherent and flowing. Difficult third album syndrome most definitely hasn't affected them! They generated immense power, perfectly balanced with velocity, and groove. Much of this I firmly believe is due to the addition of new drummer Daniel. Gone is the constant triggered blasting, replaced with much more intricacy and originality. This was a no frills show, the band were all clad in plain black, but with extreme metal this good do you really need distractions? They came to cause maximum damage and that's what they achieved – pity they only played for forty minutes... Trigger The Bloodshed are a band who have come of age, and their new found musical maturity and complexity is thrilling to behold.

Setlist; “Hollow Prophecy”, “Dead Vein”, “The Great Depression”, “The Soulful Dead”, “Laceration”, “De-Breed”, “Rebirth”.

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