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The Acacia Strain is back with a new album, Slow Decay (Rise Records), are as pissed as ever despite their last LP being released (checks notes) just last Winter? If memory serves, It Comes in Waves dropped rather surprisingly at the end of December. Okay then, on to Slow Decay. Hold up, most of these songs have already been released in the form of singles throughout the year.
Well, I had a completely different set of expectations heading into Loathe‘s I Let It in and It Took Everything (SharpTone Records). See, one of my co-DJs on my radio show Stress Factor (cheap plug) had played ‘Gored’ and ‘Broken Vision Rhythm’ a few weeks back so I thought I was headed face-first into a sea of gnarly down-tuned Hardcore riffs with some Industrial elements tossed in for good measure. Not quite. Continue reading
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Whether you agree with the idea of Djent being a genre or not, it’s a difficult thing to pull off live, and very impressive when it happens. The hyper-technical layers of sound are beyond the reach of most in-house PAs, if not engineers.
Sadly, the first band of the evening can’t fully play that card in defence of this evening’s performance. Whilst definitely suffering from a bad case of Support Sound Syndrome, Good Tiger’s thin, reedy vocals and a collectively lacklustre performance failed to reflect the credentials of this “supergroup”. That said, ‘Snake Oil’ (their debut single) as the set closer got a decent reaction and even a singalong from a static crowd that was clearly hungry for the main course.
Chicago’s Veil of Maya were up next, their heavier and bassier sound clearly more compatible with the house rig and a slightly warmer (and tighter) performance was rewarded with a slightly warmer reception in the form of a brief circle pit for ‘Mikasa’. By the end of the set, the assembled Peripherals were suitably warm and even the obvious naysayers were clearly on board.
Come 10 o’clock, Periphery finally took the stage to the opening strains of ‘Muramasa’ and proceeded to deliver a masterclass in How To Play Djent Live, Bitches. Clearly the secret is in the percussive advantage of having every goddamn person on the ground floor moshing in perfect time. Gotta hand it the the Periphery crowd – they got rhythm!
Spencer delivered a supremely confident performance, handling the crowd with ease, allowing plenty of space for (surprisingly tuneful) singalongs and showboating. The ballroom dancing during ’22 Faces’ was a surprise to even this seasoned gig veteran! There was also some Slipknot-style “get down” action, circle pits, a wall of death that didn’t happen and even a spot of row-your-boat from one the most up-for-it crowds I’ve had the pleasure to share a gig with. It’s always a special experience when both crowd and band are clearly happy to be there and genuinely enjoying each other’s company.
Last time I saw Periphery was at Sonisphere in 2011, where they “just” came on stage and kicked everyone’s teeth in. This evening’s recital was far more intimate, polished and accomplished.
With a set list like this no-one goes home unhappy. Ravishing stuff.
WORDS BY PHILIP PAGE
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