Internal Conflict w/ Hounds, Odysseus, and Unbroken – The Boulevard, Wigan 09/10/2021

Internal Conflict And Heavy Metal For Wigan Poster

Internal Conflict w/ Hounds, Odysseus, and Unbroken
The Boulevard, Wigan 09/10/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

Back in Wigan again, and it seems the bad weather of the North resides here, as yet again it is raining! As I’ve already commented on this fantastic venue before, I’m not going to do so in this review. What I will say though, is that the issue last time with the paint not being dry wasn’t actually the case. It was due to flooding in the area before hand. Luckily tonight there were no such problems, and the full floor space is able to be utilised.

A few years ago, when I played in Wigan, we played with a lovely groove metal outfit called Unbroken, and it was nice to see these guys back on a line-up so I could have the pleasure of watching them again. Tonight’s gig was their first back after lockdown, and while you could tell there were some nerves to begin with, they soon settled into their rhythm. Straight out of the gates was a song which stood out from all the others; A nostalgic trip back to the early 00’s, where the groove/nu metal trend was in full swing, and we even got some Slipknot style rappy vocals from G-Bar (vocals)! This was nicely backed up with Andy (Bass/Vocals) and Dave (Guitar/Vocals) adding more vocal layers. Honestly, this was a very strong opener, and set the scene for the rest of the show. While their music isn’t anything new, it is a nice blast from the past and is done very well. They’re a ‘smile on your face’, feel good kind of band, who provided a solid benchmark for the night, and while they were sometimes a little static on stage, they more than made up for it with banter and shed loads of character.

https://pages.facebook.com/unbrokenmetal/


Second up, and fresh from Bloodstock’s New Blood Stage, were Preston based Tech/Deathcore outfit Odysseus. I did manage to catch these at Bloodstock, but the sound really didn’t do them justice there. Tonight however, the sound was much better, and allowed them all to really show just how technically talented they are. The riffs provided by both Dylan (Guitars) and possibly the only guitarist able to smile for an entire set, Kev, were crisp and tight, and all held together beautifully by Tom (Bass), and Sam (Drums). Rach (Vocals) voice was solid through the set, and fitted the genre nicely, though I would have maybe liked a bit more range, especially when the breakdowns come in. For me, the thing that let these guys down the most was between the songs, the songs themselves are solid but all the energy is lost with huge gaps of silence. This led to the set feeling a lot longer than it was. Perhaps if they gave a mic to another member, it may take the pressure off Rach, or throw some samples between songs to keep the high energy that the actual songs set. Odysseus have a solid foundation to build on, though. This was massively apparent when they unleashed a new song second from the end; It was by far and away my favourite of the set, and I look forward to seeing what else is up their sleeves.

https://pages.facebook.com/odysseusuk

The first review I did for Ever Metal was back in July in Bolton, and sadly I missed a band when I was there. This time there were no distractions, so I finally got to watch Isle of White based Hardcore bruisers, Hounds. These boys really stepped up the night! They are ‘balls to the wall’ hardcore, and it’s done exactly how it should be. Maximum aggression, maximum engagement, and full on in your face! The speed these guys play really gets the adrenaline pumping and makes you want to jump in the pit. There was a pit, but for some reason a lot of the crowd had thinned drastically?! Maybe these guys were too energetic? Their influences are clear to see in each song, with Hatebreed and Terror springing straight to mind. Hounds just released their cover of Terror’s ‘Stick Tight’, and they performed it well here, but personally I wouldn’t have had this as their last song. While they weren’t the tightest band here, and Ash (Vocals) either lost his breath or forgot some of the lyrics, they provided the evening with a fast paced aggression that not many bands can deliver on, even ending on the very punk note of smashing a few instruments. Quality set, great fun.

https://www.facebook.com/houndsuk/


Headlining this show was a band from back in my old Synapse days, so I was very excited to see how far they’d come since then. Internal Conflict, from Leicester, are a metalcore band with a huge reputation behind them. They have now played Bloodstock a staggering 4 times, and from tonight’s performance, I can see why they keep getting asked back. First off, the stage was decked out with their logos and the band filled the stage. Each song was performed with pin-point precision, layered with beautiful solos, harmonic singing, and blistering drums. Adam (Vocals) pointed out that a reviewer of their latest album didn’t like his voice; personally I think it fits with this genre. While the music and clean singing remind me of As I Lay Dying, his voice has a more hardcore sound to it. It works and gives a good contrast between aggression and depression. On the subject of the new album, there were many songs from it played at this gig, and they sounded so good live! (Yes I did buy the album, and so should you). Internal Conflict is a band I could listen to over and over again, live or on recording. Tonight’s set flew by and I was left wanting a lot, lot more. They have been the most professional, tight and musically brilliant band I have seen so far this year. You guys have a new fan!

https://www.facebook.com/internalconflict

Tonight was another cracking gig, Oli at …And Heavy Metal For Wigan has knocked it out the park again, great bands, great sound, great turn out and nice beer. What more could you want? Oh, a few more people in the pit!

…And Heavy Metal For Wigan Link:

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.

And Heavy Metal For Wigan XXIII: Redemption

And Heavy Metal For Wigan, The Boulevard, Wigan 07-08-2021 Poster

And Heavy Metal For Wigan XXIII: Redemption
Defied w/ Solarshift, Shrike and Bloodmores
The Boulevard, Wigan, England
07/08/2021
Review by Rob Sutton

Another week, another gig and this time it’s off to Wigan. Did you know Wigan sent a pie to space? Anyway, The Boulevard is a venue I have not been to before and has also had a recent refurb. It’s a lovely venue with fantastic facilities and good beer (driving this time meant I didn’t have a chance to fully explore what the bar had to offer).

BLOODMORES

So, the terrible weather that had descended on the North had set the scene beautifully for tonight’s opening band Bloodmores. Now I have seen these boys many times and really think they don’t get the recognition they deserve and tonight proved this. This set was tight, insanely tight. Every song felt thoroughly rehearsed and it provided a very early assault on my ears. The absolute powerhouse behind the kit was not only brutally fast but incredibly technical with the beats and fills which was mesmerising! The sheer speed his legs were moving became just a blur. Guitar-wise the lead role was switched not only between songs but in some cases during. This really highlighted the immense talent that these guys had. Sadly, the vocals did get lost during a few songs but this was more of a sound issue as opposed to a band issue. When they could be heard they were that lovely meaty death metal growl, they really complimented the music. I did feel, that while the bassist was also very strong, he did feel distant from the rest of the band, this was most apparent when a breakdown would kick in and the whole band was in sync but he would just slightly bob. Saying this I did appreciate, during one breakdown, where he came off stage and just went crazy. More of that please! Now Bloodmores have been working hard as they are already on album number 2 and the tracks they played from this were on another level, I would have just liked something in the background while they changed guitars. Complete silence really lost a lot of energy. Having said all this, they were fantastic and if you’re a death metal fan I would highly recommend them!

https://www.facebook.com/Bloodmores

Now, as stated earlier, the venue had recently been refurbished. This meant that the floor in front of the stage still had wet paint. Because of this, barriers were put up in front of the stage which left almost no room for pits or even headbanging…hmmm not well planned here.

SHRIKE

Anyway, enough of me ranting as next up was Shrike, a band I have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many times and with their new single ‘Martyrs’, was looking forward to seeing a new Shrike. ‘Martyrs’ was the opening number and this is a belter of a song! I love the tone of the guitars the brutality of the drums, everything about this tune. Sadly, after that I felt the energy drop; the clean singing didn’t work for me and personally I feel a lot of practice is needed to fully polish the style they are going for. The ‘oohs’ were out of tune and there were a few longer gaps between songs which let the energy drop further. Having said this they still maintained the heavy which I loved and the last song ‘In Pursuit Of The Wych’ feels like an old classic. Shrike have a lot of talent and a lot of quality songs. Their stage presence during the set is insane; they really use all their wireless instruments to their advantage and dominate the stage but, for me, this wasn’t the best I’ve seen them , but I know next time will be better.

https://www.facebook.com/shrikeofficial

SOLARSHIFT

As I am from near Manchester I feel like I have seen most Manchester based bands on multiple occasions. However, Solarshift I have somehow never witnessed before. Why have I not seen them before?! Holy cheese balls these guys are good! The fantastic blend of KoRn style Nu Metal with the new age Metalcore is mix I never thought I’d like. Honestly the stagemanship of vocalist Ben is so engaging you can’t help but focus on him. This is not to say the rest of the band aren’t good, they really are. The drums, sound simple, but work beautifully in every song and provide the beat to bounce to. (There are a lot of bouncy beats, it’s like a workout). With the bass and guitars providing added meat, it makes this set feel like it should be on a large stage with a sea of people bouncing away. I had the same feeling watching these as I did watching Parkway Drive. Bounce, jump, spin, love life! Now I have to comment on the use of samples, for Beth, who will read this first. They are fantastic and add an extra layer to what is an already phenomenal sound. Also, bass drops! So, I have to bounce back to the front man, he has one of the best voices in the underground scene. Not only can he growl but he can shout and sing. All of these flow from each other seamlessly with such control and power. My only criticism with this set is I wanted more! Please check these guys out, you will not be disappointed.

https://www.facebook.com/solarshiftmusic

DEIFIED

This leads us to the final band of the evening. A band who are really gaining momentum in the UK metal scene, Deified. From the first beat this band oozes with professionalism and charisma. Is it any wonder they are playing the SOPHIE stage at Bloodstock? Now I will comment that they are the only band tonight who didn’t use in-ear monitors and this did mean that their set didn’t feel quite as tight as the previous three bands. However, they made up for this with fantastic melodies echoing that of At the Gates (love Melodeath) and utilising numerous guitar styles such as tapping and sweeping to make each song feel fresh, keep you engaged and guessing what they are going to do next. I love the humour front man Jamie has, he is a natural entertainer although, I don’t think, banging his head on the ceiling during the first song was in the script. Deified are a no B.S straight up metal band who always provide a good show, always look like they are having the time of their lives, no matter how big or small the crowd is, and because of this have become one of the most enjoyable live acts in the scene to watch.

https://www.facebook.com/deified

Tonight, was a real showcase of what metal in the Northwest has to offer. The calibre and professionalism of all the bands made this one of the best ‘local’ gigs I have ever been to. I would recommend checking all four of the bands out. I would recommend checking the Boulevard out as it is a fantastic venue and lastly I would recommend highly, going to one of And Heavy Metal For Wigan’s gigs as Oli has an ear for putting together incredible line ups!

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/andheavymetalforwigan
https://www.facebook.com/boulevardwigan
https://www.facebook.com/wiganart

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.