Photography by Michelle Murphy
This gig came the same week as a momentous discovery and the possible dawn of a new era in human history.
Sub atomic particles have been found to have broken the speed of light.Scientists at CERN in Geneva have found that sub atomic particles have broken the barrier of 186,282 miles (299,792 kilometres) per second.
Scientists worldwide were astounded as the great Albert Einstein’s 100 year old claim that nothing can move faster than the speed of light may have been wrong.
Boffins across the globe could have saved themselves a substantial amount of effort, time and money if they ditched the research and simply purchased tickets for a thrash concert. If they had entered the sweaty confides of the Relentless Garage they would have seen the breakneck flaming speed of Fallen Fate’s charismatic front man Lee Skinner and his speed of light right hand. Skinners stage presence was dominating as he wandered the stage positively brimming with confidence.
The sheer speed of this band was astounding; their sound came across as extremely technical state-of-the-art thrash metal with wild solos and earth shattering drums. It is hard to put a label on music like the sound created by Fallen Fate, too much these day’s subgenres and offshoots of subgenres confuse proceedings. The best words to describe this band are pure fucking metal. Pure and simple (despite the most intricate and delightful sweeping solos from guitarist Piers Donno-Fuller being as far from simple as possible)
CERN need to spend some time analysing the left hand of Donno-Fuller, as he shifted through the gears the set just got better and better, a fantastic performance. Peter Hodgeson’s passion flowed effortlessly through his bass playing which was enough to shake the Garage to its very foundations as John Wright’s legs charged forward like the four horsemen of the apocalypse. [4/5]
After Fallen Fate Nightlord’s set fell somewhat short.
Their sound comes off as very dated despite a fantastic vocal performance from Jamie Thorne whose lynch pin bass work kept the heads banging. The band seldom plays live and this reflected in the quality of their live sound. The band has an incredible pedigree and this comes through in the songs but the band often fall the wrong side of self indulgent and contrived with out of the box metal posturing that did not translate well to the stage they were on.
The guitar sound emanating from guitarist James Mackenzie’s flying V was tremendously ‘classic’ and had fantastic resonance.
Nightlord were significantly slower than the other bands on the bill and this made the entire show lose momentum, following Fallen Fate and before Gama Bomb emphasised how dated they sounded. Despite this fact the audience lap up their classic sound, pits begin to churn, heads begin to bang and ultimately provide the audience with the necessary warm up for the evenings headline acts. [2/5]
Gama Bomb grab the stage with Relentless (ahem) energy levels. Their set is side-splitting, brutal and wild. Their sound encompasses a classic thrash sound crossed with a certain punk attitude and delightful lyrical content.
Philly Byrne is the stand out team member of Gama Bomb, his conversations with the audience are hilariously offensive and his unique vocal style bring something extremely refreshing to the thrash sound, less of a growl and more of a spoken shout, again most likely a nod towards a punk influence.
Gama Bomb crack through their set with admirable effort. The venue by this point is throbbing with energy and Gama Bomb devours the energy with a fantastically personable link to the crowd who by this point are reaching pandemonium. Joe McGuigan’s bass work is outstanding and Domo Dixons speed rifferey and neck tickling is a sight to behold.
The Dubliners bring an element of fun to the brutal proceedings and put in a fantastic show for the audience. By the time Gama Bomb leave the stage the pit is baying for blood and who better to provide it than Onslaught.
Onslaught are introduced by tonight’s compare as the British ‘Big One’. “The US has the Big Four; the UK has the Big One! Onslaught!” Having been together in one way or another since 1985 it is clear that these extreme metal stalwarts have a wealth of live experience at their fingertips and put in a completely mesmerising performance.
Front man Sy Keeler has everything a great front man needs, guttural and primal vocals, a passion for the dramatic and personal magnetism. From the outset Keeler has the audience in the palm of his hand as he incites circle pit after circle pit carving the audience into the ground.
The band open with the classic ‘Killing Peace’ the violent old school thrash sound gets fists pumping and windmills swinging. ‘Spitting Blood in the Face of God!’ is the war cry and there is not a voice in the house not left horse after the opener. Andy Rosser-Davis and Jeff Williams are wonderfully charismatic throwing their hair around with panache and oozing decades of technical prowess.
‘Seeds of Hate’ is a stand out track half way through their set walloping the frenzied crowd round the ears at an inhuman volume. By the time the band gallops through shell-shocked the set is already an instant classic.
The age difference from oldest to youngest at this concert could be as much as 40 years but old and young alike explode in a flurry of head bangs and circle pits the new and old school are united. Truly fantastic. [4/5]
Onslaught Headline Set:
Killing Peace/Born For War/Let There be Death/Sounds of Violence/Angels of Death/Seeds of Hate/Metal Forces/Code Black/Shellshock/Flame of the Antichrist/Burn/Demoniac/Power From Hell