Tonight’s lineup promised a very entertaining evening out, and it did not disappoint. As a general rule of thumb, if you ever get any chance to see a band like Eyehategod you should take it. Having some quality support bands in tow is simply an added bonus.
After hurriedly giving Nomad’s debut album Feral a quick run-through a few days prior to tonight’s show, I enjoyed it enough to try to make sure I caught their set.
One of the things I like about this venue is that even the support bands usually tend to have a decent sound, and Nomad are no exception. Sounding a bit rawer, more visceral, and more sludgy than on album, I’m particularly impressed with the singer’s scream, which comes across harsher and sharper live than on recording.
Nomad show good personality on stage and give a good accounting of themselves. In fact, all of the band members have remarkably more presence than your average opening band, actually; they give off a certain palpable energy. I particularly enjoy the bassist – barefoot, huge beard, and Raging Speedhorn T-shirt, (until it’s discarded at least), he spends his time kicking out the jams most admirably.
With a pleasingly heavy groove and plenty of belligerent swagger, the band peel off tracks from Feral to a crowd that may not be that large, but seem quite receptive to what Nomad have to offer. The War Is Never Over sounds particularly crushing and gets a good response.
Very enjoyable, and a great way to start the evening. I’m going to have to revisit Feral some more for sure.
I am hugely excited for Dvne. Despite a friend of mine telling me about them ages ago, I have only recently ‘discovered’ them. The band’s debut album Asheran is a near-flawless collection of progressive doom/sludge metal songs, and tonight I feel privileged to get to see the band in the flesh. My in-the-know friend is with me tonight, and we both agree that Dvne’s set is damn good, even with a bit of a dodgy sound in some areas, (making them an unfortunate exception to the usual good-sound rule mentioned above).
More nuanced, layered, and multifaceted than both Nomad and tonight’s headliners, Dvne are an impressive proposition that manage to translate their atmospheric and emotive music live with both confidence and aplomb, despite an initially disappointing sound that saw the bass overpower everything else at the start of the set.
Although some of their more nuanced and subtle elements are lost in the live setting’s distortion and slight muddiness, enough remains to be enjoyable, especially if you know the material. As the set progresses, this becomes less and less of an issue too.
Wreathed in smoke and bathed in orange-red the band play with obvious enthusiasm, winning over the crowd with a blend of passionate songcraft and mountainous riffs. After the muddiness of the first song, Thirst is so improved and so energetically, enthusiastically delivered it almost seems to have a physical force. After this it’s obvious that the sound gremlins have been greatly eliminated, (although not fully eradicated), and the band well and truly hit their stride.
The instant appeal of their heavier, more aggressive moments are offset against the depth of their progressive side, although there’s a great deal of overlap between the two. The drummer is a blur of limbs, while the two guitarists and the bassist move in thrall to the music they create. Both singers perform their parts quite powerfully; one, (mainly), provides the cleans, while the other roars.
It’s all positively infectious, and it’s hard to stay still as the band do their thing. Even without a perfect sound, Dvne are massively enjoyable.
It’s rare to find music that’s both intelligent and primal, which is one of the many reasons I like this band so much. Dvne deserve to be bigger than they are. If they play near you, go see them.
Although they have a reputation of sometimes being a bit inconsistent live, on the two previous occasions that I’ve seen Eyehategod, both times they were amazing. It’s hard to fault them tonight, either.
What Eyehategod lack in Dvne’s subtlety they make up for in raw attitude and sheer joyously raucous songs.
With years of experience in fronting one of the world’s most hazardous and sonically filth-ridden bands, Mike Williams, the singer of Eyehategod, oozes charisma and has the now-ample crowd eating from the palm of his hand before the first waves of feedback even begin to squeal out of the speakers. All throughout the show he’s the focal point of the band in almost every way, and has an easy familiarity with showmanship that is refreshingly empty of artifice. It’s a joy to see the easy camaraderie and humorous antics taking place between him and guitarist Jimmy Bower too.
There’s a damn good reason I’ve loved this band so much for a ridiculous 25 years, and it all ultimately comes down to the songs. Nobody does blues-infected hateful sludgy southern metallic groove like this band. Tonight they unleash the type of controlled chaos and mayhem that marks the best of shows.
There are so many musical highlights and underground classics aired it’s impossible to stay still while the infectious grooves are unleashed with veteran ease. It’s not just me either, as most of the crowd are worked up to a veritable frenzy too. We even get crowd surfers and stage divers along with the healthy pit action.
These songs are so well-known, so iconic, and so meaningful to me that I just lose myself in them. I fucking love Eyehategod, that’s all there is to say about it.
Believe it or not, despite my hyperbole above, this isn’t even the best I’ve seen Eyehategod, and they were still absolutely brilliant. I, like most of the rest of the crowd, leave the show hot, sweaty, and very, very happy.