Tonight was the first time I had attended a gig at Sound Control. Sadly I had not been granted a photo pass for this particular gig, so I did not take any photographic equipment along, but to my surprise, no one got searched on the door and there was no security by the stage (even when Soulfly were on!) which meant that I could have easily taken my cameras along with no problems. I suppose it is because the venue is more of a laid-back-pub type of venue in comparison to the other music venues in Manchester. Another thing I noticed straight away, was that the photo-pit was non existent, and the 1 photographer that was there, had to end up taking photos from the crowd whilst trying to keep his equipment from being trashed by the mosh-pit. So, why there was such a hoo-ha about photo pass issuing in this venue, I do not know!
Tonight’s gig was kicked off with the mighty Boss Keloid. It is now the second time I have watched them (the first time was at Grand Central in 2013) and they didn’t fail to impress a second time round.
With a heavy, beefy, and colossally groove infested sound and the charisma and vocals of front-man Alex Hurst, this band has all the ingredients to make it big. They are even better live than they are on CD, unlike some bands who don’t meet your expectations when playing live; this is because each band member is so unique and brings his own touch to the band.
Bass player Liam Pendlebury-Green, is by far one of the best and most energetic bass player in this area. Alex Hurst is a great vocalist and is pure lunacy, from his facial expressions to his strange epileptic-fit-style dancing. Paul Swarbrick looks like he should be in Lynard Skynard, but shows that appearances can be misleading by producing these fist clenching groovy riffs that get the crowd going wild. And on drums, Ste Arands keeps the beat heavy and groovy!
Up next, Savage Messiah. ”I did not expect them to be that young!” was my first thought as they ran on-stage.
For some reason I imagined them to be middle aged men. maybe due to their ample success since forming the band in 2007 in the form of two worldwide official releases and one independent EP release, along with various tours.
Straight away you could feel the classic thrash metal vibe in their music and influences like Iron Maiden, Metallica & Megadeth were very apparent.
Drummer Andrea Gorio blast kicked that double pedal throughout a large percent of the show, which made standing on the vibrating floorboards feel like you were on one of those Power Plates they have at the gym.
After a couple of songs, front-man Dave Silver had to ask the sound engineers to turn him up because no-one could hear him.
I feel truly sorry for bands when they have to do that, because it is a buzz-kill and appears highly unprofessional, but it was handled quickly and they swiftly moved on with their next song.
The band got to a song called Hammered Down from their new album The Fateful Dark, out on March 10th, which I particularly liked as it was fast paced thrash but with clusters of groove oozing out of it from time to time.
Also, right at the end of their set, their ”mascot” ran on-stage in his Papal attire.
On to the head-liners now. After a long wait, gazing at the Brazilian flag hanging on stage, Max Cavalera appeared and the crowd chanted ”Soulfly” incessantly.
From the word go, the crowd bounced continuously until an relentlessness mosh pit broke out, at which point I moved to the back of the venue, after being punched in the chest.
From the back, it was easier to observe the band, and it was very nice to see the second generation of the Cavalera’s; 21 year old Zyon Cavalera on drums, who is Max’s son.
Soulfly are on their 2014 Savages tour. Their 9th studio album,Savages, was released in September last year, and bears the unmistakeable thick, tribal and rhythmically heavy sound that defines Soulfly.
The album was their first to be released on Nuclear Blast Records; it was produced by mastermind Terry Date, and features a few guest vocalists including Max’s other son Igor, Neil Fallon of Clutch, Mitch Harris of Napalm Death and Jamie Hanks of I Declare War.
In my opinion the band’s performance was hindered due to lack of space & sound quality.I hope to see them perform at a festival and therefore be able to experience Soulfly to their full capacity.
On the way out, we bumped into Savage Messiah’s guitarist Joff Bailey, who apologised profusely for the sound issues during their set.