The Metal Hammer Razor Tour now on its
second year and consisting of a pretty good line
up headed by post-hardcore UK band Devil Sold
His Soul, who combine complex melody with While
She Sleeps sections thrown in for good measure.
And there aren't many better venues in Bristol
than The Fleece to house this kind of event, being
a proper alternative venue that has a proper stage
to give everyone a view.
Heart Of A Coward were recommended to me
by DSHS in an interview a few months ago, and
sadly due to some issues with the guest list I
missed a good part of their set. But when I got
in Jamie Graham's growl would have stood up against
many of the bands at Hevy festival and their pure
metal riffs being fired out you like a wall of
sound. It seemed like a pretty flawless act with
some great energetic metal shredding that makes
you want to head bang and jump around.
Heights came flying onto the stage with
guns blazing with "Eye For An Eye" .
With an absolute wall of sound coming from the
guitars of Dean Richardson and Tom Green. Former
bassist Alex Monty settled well into the role
of vocalist for the band, with a beast of a roar
and an unbelievable amount of energy. In spite
of being only three years old Heights are kind
of at the roots of hardcore, with music that focuses
mainly on the rhythm as opposed to the melody.
With a high energy gritty set and a youthful "this
is the music we want to make, if you don't like
it don't listen" attitude as oppose to some
of the more commercially minded bands around today.
The set also consisted of "These Streets",
"Dead Ends", "Stray Rats",
"Oceans" and "The Lost And Alone".
At one point Alex left the stage and was singing
in the crowd with a few people joining in. It
took a while for me to even realise as I was to
focused on everyone bouncing around on stage playing
at the front and having a good time. Sadly they
didn't get much out of the unfamiliar crowd but
they do have a lot to offer as a band and hopefully
the second album will open them up to the world.
I first caught Devil Sold His Soul at Hevy
festival earlier in the year and they absolutely
blew me away, and is it came time for them to
take the stage the lights went down as a recorded
track sharing their style of dramatic, intelligent
and layered music played them on. The crowd instantly
started chanting "Renshaw" for whom
this was a local gig. DSHS opened up with "No
Remorse, No Regrets" soon followed by "A
New Legacy" both from the bands latest album
"Empire Of Light". Jozet Norocky's bass
sound was excellent and much like many of their
songs DSHS built up throughout the set. Ed Gibbs
pressed the crowd to close up the gaps and move
close to the stage and by the middle of the set
when things were in full swing most of the crowed
moved in close. Once again though Gibbs blew me
away with his singing, few hardcore singers can
sing the clean parts as well as him and he can
destroy your ears with his deafening scream as
well. By the time the band had got on two "Crusader"
and "End of Days" there was a great
energy on stage. DSHS combine the melodic complex
side of their music with shear powerful beat downs,
and they always sound great. It's no wonder the
crowd was calling for an encore and "Hope"
got everyone singing along. Even after this the
crowd were cheering for more, myself included.
They've been around for a while and it's given
them a great performance, Ed is one of my favourite
hardcore singers and the only thing I could fault
him on was not throwing the mic around like Adam
Lazzara from Taking Back Sunday, that being said
he's got a great energy on stage and after a few
songs was jumping around and singing stood on
speakers. They've got a good light show that fits
well with their set and you can see that they
all really enjoy it, which is great. There such
a talented band and are rapidly becoming a personal
favourite, I truly hope they get everything they
deserve. Go see them if you get the chance, even
if you think this genre is all about thrashing
fast past music and screaming, because there are
few bands who can combine emotional soft almost
epic move music with a raw force like DSHS and
even fewer who can pull it off live.
Heart Of A Coward 3/5
devil Sold His Soul 4/5
Review By Marc Rich