@ 12 Bar, Holloway Road
9th October 2015
Review by Ben Spencer
Bands: Khaidian, Metaprism, King Leviathan + Dying Vision
After travelling up and down Holloway Road in search of the newly revamped 12 Bar, I see several early punters encircling the stage area as one of tonight’s bands sound checks with a loud roar projecting out of the microphone. Tonight’s free gig is sure as hell going to be a heavy one!
Dying Vision [4/5] get the ball rolling with their brutal brand of melodic blackened death. Wreaking some serious havoc with the heavy guitar chug of ‘The Only Vision’, the band get heads turning as the sextet drive onward with unyielding force.
The crowd direct attention toward front man Richard Ashton, whose vocals and stage presence remain at the forefront of the band’s menacing noise. The band shift into a weighty stance with ‘Inner Wishing Well’ as the dense riffs and guttural shrieks simmer with an eerie sense that the end is well and truly near while still retaining a strong metallic crunch.
Although these guys don’t get to unveil the full monstrosity of their sound with their set being cut short, they display enough technical professionalism to propel them into further success. There is definitely a storm brewing right with these guys!
1. Only Vision
2. Inner Wishing Well
3. Spiritual Artifacts
4.New song: ‘The Human Condition’
Next up; Thrash metal unit King Leviathan [3.5] take up arms on stage to a crowd of onlookers who clearly know them. With full adrenaline, ‘King Under the Mountain’ barges past with soaring precision.
After a brief applause and a dissonant array of serious riffage from ‘Deathmarch,’ the lead guitarist unravels a strong level of mastery with ‘Skin From Bone’. Meanwhile, the vocals dig deeper with a gritty sounding tone that sees the band ramp up the aggression.
‘Born of the Blackest Hearts’ showcases a seamless concoction of heavy guitars with an even more impressive vocal delivery. As the lead guitars leak into the mix, the band leap further into an energetic sound that shows plenty of promise.
King Leviathan are a name who seem to be claiming more territory, and it’s easy to see why they are converting more and more metal fans to their cult following.
1. King Under The Mountain
3. Skin From Bone
5. Born Of The Blackest Hearts
6. Madness Made Divine
7. The Shrine
Tonight’s main support Metaprism [3.5/5], show that diversity is everything. Right from the outset the dualistic narrative between clean female vocals and deep sounding growls remain at the forefront of their music. As the crowd looks on, the sextet smashes out the dangerously infectious ‘Firesoul’.
The band’s single, ‘Roload’ prevails as their strongest endeavour as the soaring vocals and lush sounding lead guitars drive a tangible amount of melody along for the ride. Meanwhile, the lyrical content projects plausibility among the complex riffs that batter their way through the track’s backbone.
Closing off with the djent sounding riffs of ‘Lost In the Dark’ the growls attain a whole depth of brutality as the female vocals carry their urgency throughout the droning sounds. The tech sounding guitars and first class solos drive the weight of the track as the band keep the attention of the unwavering venue.
While these guys may not have been the strongest of the bands gathered tonight they have an allure to them that draws everyone in and it is their passionate drive towards melodic metal that keeps the adrenaline running high without any room for respite.
2. Erase Mortality
5. Against All
6. Lost in the Dark
As the tension rises, tonight’s headliners Khaidian [4.5/5] assemble on stage as their experimental noise comes with a vast array of influences that never stay in one place.
Vocally, everything runs a high with distinctive vocals adding an extra dimension to the impressive band’s sound. In what seems like no time at all the impressive riff slinging of their opening minutes becomes one of the band’s strongest selling points, as they inject a potent surge of energy into the crowd. Their music proves itself to be mish mash of rock with electronic samples darting in and out of dense guitar slabs that has onlookers both nodding along and raising eyebrows throughout.
A prime example of the band’s daring nature is in ‘Trigger the Landslide’. Full of gritty riffs and soaring vocals, the band throw plenty of forward thinking clean passages to keep everything nothing short of engaging. Underlying their subversive style their old school roots fully intact with a strong grunge sounding backbone that locks the fans in for the ride and refuses to let go.
The band keep the pace with the nothing short of astounding ‘Dramatic Professions of Martyrdom’ a song that not only plays out as their strongest offering but also shows how consistent they are with their material.
The great thing about Khaidian is that they seem to have a strong underground presence, and this shows in their versatility and top notch performance. The only downside is that they may not appear as an instantly recognisable sound that can relate to all the masses, but that’s not the point either. Instead what they deliver is an innovative blend of contemporary djent with and industrial leanings. Keep an eye out for what may become the UK’s greatest guitar chug champions.
2. Pearls before swine
5. Shadows, wraiths and ghosts,
6. Trigger the landslide,
7. Sense of the spherical,
8. Dramatic professions of martyrdom,