REVIEW - Primordial, Winterfylleth, Malthusian @ Sound Control, Manchester 06/02/2015

There are very few pleasures on offer in Manchester on a brisk Friday night and as the cold wind blows down Oxford Road it seems like an endless walk thanks to my favourite city centre parking spot being kiboshed by the local council. Sound Control is quickly becoming the hub for most of the quality shows passing through Manchester and this was certainly no exception. Irish Death Metal bruiser’s Malthusian opened up the night’s prompt proceedings (Thanks in turn to it being a 10PM curfew) with a dense style of Death Metal mixed with the heavy atmosphere laden riffing of modern Black Metal. The set consisted of tracks from 2013’s MMXII’ Demo and the highly anticipated new EP Below the Hengiform which is again being released by Ireland’s Finest Label Invictus Productions. Backlit by blue lighting and drenched in smoke, Malthusian delivered an absolutely crushing set with a dense and heavy sound that pulverised the early horde that had descended to the front of the stage, which included myself having managed to miss them two weeks prior in Brussels. I’ve certainly seen Winterfylleth a wealth of times and in a variety of settings but unfortunately this was the most disappointing of them all thanks to a number of technical issues. Coupled with them having a stand in guitarist it didn’t make for a great show overall and the enthusiasm seemed lacking from the crowd subsequently which is sad because Winterfylleth are usually brilliant live and have a catalogue of songs that are always well received such as ‘The Swart Raven’, ‘Defending the Realm’ & ‘The Ghost of Heritage’. They were all were given an outing alongside a selection of the more atmospheric efforts from the new album The Divination of Antiquity.

Finally, the sound of Liam Weldon’s ‘Dark Horse on the Wind’ filled the now crowded Sound Control as anticipation built for the arrival of Ireland’s most beloved Metal band in Primordial and they certainly didn’t disappoint. Opening with the title track from their new release Where Greater Men Have Fallen, Vocalist A.A. Nemtheanga’s screamed “GO!” before entering into a frenzy of guitar riffs and headbanging that echoed throughout the ages and the track serves as a brilliant opening song for Primordial, so much so that I can certainly see it remaining beyond this album cycle. The rest of the set drew heavily from the aforementioned album with five of the albums eight tracks showcased throughout the performance including the brilliant ‘Ghosts of the Charnel House’.

The show really brought home for me what a quality release the new effort is and witnessing these songs live twice within a two-week period really drove it home. Next, familiar favourites received a rousing reception from the crowd including a rare showcase of ‘Autumn’s Ablaze’ followed by familiar performances of the now classics ‘The Coffin Ships’ & ‘Empires fall’ which coupled together to bring to a close another perfect performance from Primordial that was bolstered by the absolutely demented vocal performance from Nemthemga. This was a nigh on note perfect pursuance with expert crowd control that can only be possessed by a true master of their craft, of which sadly there are very few.

Overall a top quality show with 3 great bands and with Primordial tending to play at festivals more so than club tours it was a rare chance to catch them in the habitat where they often pull out their finest performances.

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Artist - Jesters of Destiny
Title - The Sorrows That Refuse to Drown
Label - Ektro

Thirty years after Jesters of Destiny arrived, dropped Fun at the Funeral and disappeared back into the night, they’re finally back with a second full length release courtesy of Ektro Records, and whilst it could never live up to first album, the eccentricity of the band shines through once more and it’s a crazy ride from start to finish. Pick it up on April 4th!



Artist - Hammerfest IX
Date - 23rd- 26th March
Venue - Pwllheli, Wales  

One of our main highlights of the year, this month we’re off to Wales for Hammerfest, HRH’s Heavy Metal flagship. With the return of two Power Metal titans alongside a host of others, this year looks to be one of their best ever. We’ll be covering the whole festival and conducting interviews as well so lookout for the cameras!