Portrayal Of Ruinn
w/ Cast In Tephra, I Am The Wreckage, and Biomech
Wangies, Eccles – 13/11/2021
Review by Rob Sutton
Tonight was the first time I had ventured to Eccles for a gig! And on first observation, before I start talking about the bands, I have to say Wangies is a cracking little venue, filled with character and some of the loveliest bar staff around. The whole place has a lovely homely local venue feel about it. That made the prospect of live music even more great!
First up was a band I knew nothing about. I hadn’t listened to them before hand or heard the name until this gig, though there was a familiar face behind the kit in Aaron, who I have seen in many of his previous bands. Biomech are a mix of Tech Death, with elements of Deathcore, and their influences are clear to see. The tone of the solitary guitar has a delicious crunchy sound to it, and gives their overall sound a meaty fee. This is coupled with some blistering drumming, and some of the fastest double bass, I have heard in a long time. The drums really are solid and jaw dropping to watch. Biomech also utilise backing tracks to create some added ambience to their music, and this includes the lead guitars. While this is all well and good, I honestly would have preferred the leads to be played live with the backing tracks being the rhythm guitars. I do like to see bands show off, and Biomech missed a trick here. This set felt a little rough around the edges, but with a bit more practice these guys have the potential to go far, as they all clearly have a lot of talent.
Second up was a band I have been following since my first post lockdown gig. I Am The Wreckage seem to have built a name for themselves by, well, wrecking venues. This set was no exception; they were full of beans and leaping around like a bunch of scared gazelles. The bassist could be seen standing on amps, spinning around, or lying down on the stage. It’s hard to keep your eyes off him, but it wasn’t just limited to bass! The guitarist seems to be making a habit of starting the carnage by merely strolling into the crowd and knocking a few people around. It worked, as pits continue from here for the rest of their set. Musically, this did not seem as well polished as last time I saw them – the muddy tone of the guitar drowned out everything else, and left each song sounding rather messy and rushed. Saying that, there were a few moments where a very tasty riff would shine through, and everything came together neatly. This was by no means their best set, but it was packed with energy, and was an incredible amount of fun to watch and to join in.
Cast in Tephra travelled a long way to play this show. All the way from Newcastle to be exact. With them, they brought a new level of heavy to proceedings, mixing Slam and Deathcore together to create something that was ungodly heavy. Vocally, there is a cracking mix of styles, including some disgusting pig squeals. (I say disgusting as a good thing). There was plenty to headbang to here, and pit to, and they were again present throughout the set, and much more brutal than before. People were yet again getting thrown out the door, or falling into the bar, although that’s not a bad thing as you can just get another beer while you’re there! The use of samples for the intros was nicely done, and didn’t take away from their overall sound, in fact it was a fantastic addition. We were also treated to a few covers in this set, firstly for all the old school Deathcore fans, ‘Recreant’ by Chelsea Grin, which was performed beautifully and allowed me to sing along, much to the confusion of a few around me, as it seemed no one had got which song this was. Then, as the final song of the set, we were treated to ‘Roots’ by Sepultura, a classic! And this cover was probably one of the best I have heard a band play. My main criticism with this though is that they had a half hour set, and playing 2 covers felt like a waste, when their own material was of such a high quality. This actually left me really disappointed, as I felt like this could have been one of the best sets of the year, had I heard more of them, and not other peoples work. Saying this, they were enjoyable and were so close to playing an absolute blinder of set, hopefully next time one less cover will elevate the set higher.
Tonight was all about one band – a band I have reviewed on a number of occasions -but tonight was Portrayal of Ruinn’s first headline set. They continued exactly where Cast in Tephra left off. Pure, in your face brutality, and plenty of pits ahoy. Although the crowd may have thinned a little they show no signs of relenting. Portrayal played a mix of old and new songs throughout the set, and you could hear the crowd joining in on the more well known songs. They also began the set with an intro sample which thankfully this time didn’t continue playing through the first song. Apart from this there were no other samples in the set, and this was no bad thing as it gave Calvin (vocals) plenty of chance to pump the crowd. Portrayal have had critics in the past for not moving much on stage, tonight however, they were bouncing, moshing and generally getting in with the crowd. Doing this however caused an unusual issue, with a guitar getting tangled in the netting on the roof. This took a lot of time to untangle, but was hilarious to watch! This wasn’t the only problem they had with the netting, as while throwing some free t-shirts out, one managed to land perfectly in the netting as well. Portrayal also treated the crowd to a new song which I felt did need a little bit of work as it ended rather abruptly, and they didn’t look as confident playing it as their others. But this was a good time to try something different. They also brought a guest on for their latest single ‘Lifeless Life’, however I cannot comment on this song as the guest was me!! Portrayal of Ruinn have really grown in the last few months, a lot of gigs and hard work definitely seem to be paying off, as they dragged a huge crowd to this show. I can see 2022 being a very good year for these guys with this rate of progression.
Portrayal and the 0161 have pulled another blinder of a gig; they really are showing that the Manchester scene is alive and kicking. This is a fantastic destination for any band in the underground scene.
Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.