|Posted on November 19, 2012 at 8:25 AM|
As many of the nation for some unknown reason settled down on a cold November Saturday night to watch the tripe that is The X Factor (sorry, it seems cool to hate it these days so had to throw it in), I decided to venture out to Manchester and show some love for the underground metal scene. Something I think more people should do to be honest. The venue of choice for the launch of Babylon Fire’s debut album “Dark Horizons” was newly rebranded NQ Live. I still know it as Moho’s as I’m sure many other folk do.
Due to the delights of the Metrolink’s unique time zone I sadly missed Damagescape’s set but I’m reliably informed that it was awesome. I’m a big fan of these guys anyway so I’m sure they did indeed rock it. Well worth checking out if you’re not familiar with them.
Following Damagescape came I.C.O.N. If you like your metal deep and gritty then these are the boys for you. With Hetfield-esque vocals and grinding riffs, I.C.O.N ripped up the stage. I was lucky enough to chat to some of the guys afterwards and they really are a hardworking bunch having been on tour since September with no signs of slowing down yet, Definitely worth going to see.
Derision hail from Wigan/Bolton way and having seen them a few times before, as well as having their album in my car, I was really looking forward to seeing them again. They didn’t disappoint with a blistering set. Derision definitely lean towards the thrash side of metal and there were plenty of thrashers lapping it up, perfect way of getting everyone pumped up for Babylon Fire. Something seemed a little off with their set towards the end and I’ve since found out technical issues meant they had to cut a song out which is a damn shame.
Now for the stars of the show (it was their album launch after all). With the simply stunning Gates to Oblivion setting the scene (seriously, this is such a beautiful piece of music), Babylon Fire took to the stage with the whole crowd surging forward for a piece of the action. Frontman Mark Dunford had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand as the guys erupted into a storming set. Held together with some solid drumming from Mark Cooper, guitarist Rishi Mehta and bassist Ryk Swillo flanked the triumphant frontman who was clearly in his element to be playing to such a great crowd.
Rishi is an extremely fascinating guitarist to watch as he flits between complicated fretwork and simple riff patterns effortlessly. Ryk holds a solid bassline whilst windmilling and providing backing vocals – no mean feat. Words can’t describe how much headbanging went on at this gig along with fist punching and some sneaky crowdsurfing at one point! Particular highlights for me were ‘Blood In Blood Out’ and ‘Rise Through Babylon’, great tracks from the album.
Bit of advice for folk that go to NQ Live or for people that are thinking of holding events there. You WILL get kicked out bang on 11 to make way for the club night they hold. It’s a bit of a shame as the merch stand was buzzing with people wanting to mingle with all the bands that had played. I get that there’s a club night but it’s a bit rough when people are on a high to just sort of kick them out. Not the only venue that does it but still.
Overall the night was a resounding success with Babylon Fire and friends most certainly setting Manchester on fire (I’m such a cliché). Yet another great addition to the Rocksector Records family and the amount of hard work from all the bands and crew definitely paid off as I know from the amount of Facebook updates after the gig it wasn’t just me that had such a great time.
Photos courtesy of Steve Brinkman
To find out more about the bands that played…
Babylon Fire http://www.facebook.com/babylonfire
Categories: LIVE REVIEWS