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Hell On Earth II tour with God Forbid

Discussion in 'Metal Concert Discussion' started by Billenzimmer, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. Billenzimmer

    Billenzimmer Member

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    Hell On Earth II tour with God Forbid, Cataract, Maroon, A Perfect Murder and Guest
    16/9/06 Mean Fiddler, London
    By James Willcock

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    Firstly, although doors opened at 4pm, it wasn’t until after 5pm that a band actually got on stage. However, this didn’t really seem to bother anyone, mainly because there was hardly anyone in the Mean Fiddler. This was partly due to the early doors, and partly due to the fact that tickets had not sold well for this gig.

    Anyway, the first band on was… Well, I just don’t know. I haven’t been able to find out for certain since. This is what happens when you don't tell the crowd what your band is called, people. They played about a half hour set, and to be honest, that’s probably the most positive thing I can say about them. The music was bland, generic and mediocre metalcore, and the vocalist, whether through fault of his own or through lacklustre stage production (although I suspect the former), could barely be heard over the music even when giving it his all. Worst was when he tried clean vocals that were barely audible, although I imagine that may have been for the best. But even poorer than this was the complete lack of any initiative by any of the band members to get the rather sparse crowd excited to even be there.

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    Next up was French-Canadian band A Perfect Murder. Playing a metallic form of hardcore somewhat reminiscent of Hatebreed and the like, they were an immediate improvement on the first band as you could hear the vocalist over the music, which he used to his advantage by actually talking to the crowd. The main revelation was yet to come, when the band produced some cheap plastic police helmets (hardcore with a sense of humour? There’s a first time for everything I suppose) and announced that as they were in the home nation of metal, they were going to play a Black Sabbath medley. Starting with the intro to Children Of The Grave and transitioning into Paranoid, the crowd actually showed some signs of excitement (beyond the one guy in an unbuttoned white shirt, clearly off his face on something, dancing in his own unique style around the crowd). The band finished up a half hour set, managing to leave the crowd eager to hear more music that evening, an important role for a supporting act.

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    Next up was Germany’s Maroon. Having seen them before supporting The Black Dahlia Murder, and thought that, although competent, they were nothing special, I wasn’t expecting much from them now. I have to say I was therefore pleasantly surprised by their performance. Although nothing has changed musically - they’re still the same European melodic death/hardcore hybrid, with more emphasis on the former genre, which sounds a lot like quite a lot of other bands. The difference was in the actual performance. Having had a couple of acts prior to them to warm up the crowd, they were able to properly get the people gathered fully enjoying the music. The vocalist displayed a brash arrogance throughout the set, insisting that, “everyone can dance to this music” (usually before doing a stupid dance on stage) a number of times and generally inciting the crowd to get moving. Not only that, but he pulled it off without coming across as insulting, a trap many vocalists, especially in support acts, can fall into. Further visual treats came with bassist playing the notes on one of the guitarist’s fret boards whilst plucking the stings on his own instrument, and vice versa, and at the finale, as one guitarist milked the distortion, the vocalist began humping the effects pedal, such that the volume of the guitar sound varied as he ground away.

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    Next up were Cataract. Now, firstly let me get the checklist out;
    1) Five members? Check.
    2) A beefcake vocalist with a shaved head? Check.
    3) Token member with long hair? Check.
    4) Are they from the US east coast? Well, no actually, they’re Swiss, but they definitely are hardcore, in a distinctly Throwdown/ Hatebreed style. Not wanting (or indeed caring) to go into current trends in metal and hardcore and all the associated whinging on both sides, I’m going to avoid going any further into describing their style, as I believe I’ve painted an accurate enough picture. They played an aggressive, heavy, 45 minute set, which I enjoyed, and certainly worked in getting as any people as were ever likely to bouncing around. In fact, I suspect quite a few people present were actually as bigger fans of Cataract as they were of God Forbid. Beyond that, I really am struggling for things to say here. As an entertaining break mid-set, they let a (rather drunk) fan up on stage, in order that he could, cliché and all, propose to his girlfriend in the audience, albeit in rambling, rather unromantic way. Aaah, bless (she said yes, in case you were wondering).

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    Finally the time rolled around for God Forbid to take the stage. Kicking off the set with album opener ’Force Fed’, the band ploughed through a set that included ’Antihero’ and ’Gone Forever’ from the album of the same name, and ’To The Fallen Hero’ from Constitution of Treason. I forget what other songs were played, but do remember a fairly heavy bias towards material from Constitution of Treason, and a distinct lack of material from Determination (in fact, I’m fairly sure they played no more than one song from it).

    Anyway, having seen God Forbid twice before, this set further cemented in my mind what I thought of their live shows before. To be brief, they’re good, but not great. They play well enough, but do very little to make their live music anything more than a louder version of playing a CD, with minimal crowd/band interaction and the like. Also, the set only lasted around 50 minutes, which given the extended period of time given over to the evening of music, seemed somewhat short. You would think that band with four full length albums under their belt would have enough material to play for over an hour.

    As a sidenote, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the almost complete lack of hardcore dancing at this gig, given the distinctly hardcore flavour of proceedings. A few people tried it fairly early on in the evening, and then stopped. Thank fuck. Oh, and by the way, to the skinny, emo/metalcore 16 year old who I was forced to listen to doing random metal vocals in between two of the sets - don’t be a dick all your life, you're not cool. And for the love of god and all things holy, get a hair cut where your hair is all the same length, it looks like someone with Parkinson’s cut it.

    Overall, 6.5/10
     

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