Review & Photography by Graham Hilling
GraVil are first up this evening and it’s a shame I only manage to catch the final song from this twosome morphed into a full band for live work – I’ll be keeping an eye out for more live shows as their brand of dark symphonic metal looks to be worthy of further investigation!
Next up are Bloodshed, a band which I’ve not been able to find out too much about and with a singer/guitarist looking scarily like a young Dave Mustaine!
While the first, couple of songs are promising, they’re let down by a way too loud bass and are just not quite tight enough to carry off the music they’re playing. With a bit more work, worth another chance to impress.
Next up are Inner Fire who look like they’re up for a good gig as soon as they hit the stage. Not to be confused with the band from Belgium, these guys come from Dartford and play melodic metal with a strong line in the vocal and guitar departments. There’s lots to appreciate and they go down predictably well with the ever growing crowd at the Underworld.
The solos are particularly good and if they keep up the level of intensity seen this evening, the future should be looking pretty good for these boys.
Next up are special guests Beholder who also go from strength to strength despite a complete lack of coverage in most of the mainstream metal press.
Tight as you like and playing with obvious passion they make a fine addition to the bill. Despite Simon Hall digging at “southern softies”, the crowd readily warms to them and it’s not long before there’s a small pit and some enthusiastic dancing going on!
Beholder have a new album in the pipeline and finishing with a song from this which I think was called “Liars” – dedicated to all of the parasites in the music industry – this is really powerful stuff and definitely upping the anti for British metal! Big thumbs up to Simon btw for all the hard work that goes into keeping metal alive in the UK along with a few other individuals (you know who you are!)
Final band on the bill tonight are Man of Kin; a band who’ve worked ceaselessly over the last couple of years and have got to the point now where they absolutely command a stage and play with a commanding presence and level of skill that can only impress.
Tonight, as ever, there is no lowering of the intensity and they play a show to be entirely proud of and the Underworld explodes. While there’s no capacity crowd here tonight, it’s a decent turnout considering there are no big names, there’s enough peeps enjoying themselves to create up a really good atmosphere.
The duelling guitars of Aaron Waddingham and Jon Coakley soar and the rhythm section provides a sturdy foundation for them to shine – Waddingham in particular has guitar parts that pull the songs up a notch and impress on many levels. The vocals of Jaz Oberoi cut through and his confidence on a stage is now undeniable.
So, all in all an excellent gig showcasing some amazing talent!