Metal is slowly but surely making its way back into the Medway area, a scene which has spawned great bands such as Feed the Rhino and Near Ruin. After venue closes and bands moving away to other areas or splitting up, the local scene is making its way back on the map . Hopefully more gigs like this one will carry on; the £5 entry fee was reasonable, especially with great drink deals such as £2 mixers and cheap bombs. Now, onto the bands.
The line-up was an odd one and a perfect description of a mixed bill.There was a death metal headliner, three bands in-between that fitted into the deathcore/metalcore and hardcore genres, as well as the progressive groove opener, Magnitude. I have been aware of this band for four years but never had the chance to see them, so when they were added to the show as a late addition I was as excited as a dog who had not seen their owner for a week. Opening the show confidently, the band wasted no time unleashing their riff-heavy set on Chatham. From Opeth to Lamb of God, with a bit of TesseracT and Periperhy thrown in for good measure; their influences were felt as they powered through their set, thoroughly warming up the crowd.
Raising the bar were the mighty Prevailer, their high octane hardcore got the crowd jumping and headbanging. Prevailer were considered the best band of the night by some because they were so damn energetic. It was clear from watching their set that they were passionate about the material and were having a blast playing it, luckily the crowd was too.
Los Alcatraz marketed themselves as a death metal band, when in reality their music was more in the vein of Whitechapel and Suicide Silence. Their deathcore assault pleased the fans out in front and it was clear they had a lot of fans, but after that performance by Prevailer it seemed a bit stale. Nonetheless, the band were still energetic, could clearly play their instruments and put on a good show.
By the time Transcending The Flesh came on I was bored of the deathcore and I wanted something different. It was clear that this band had a loyal fanbase that was well-deserved, but at this point I needed a change. Their music was enjoyable but forgettable and slightly generic. Transcending the Flesh are seen as one of the leading lights of the Kent music scene, but the performance said otherwise.
Finishing the set though was some good old-fashioned death metal courtesy of Monumentomb. Their vicious sonic assault in the vein of old-school Carcass and Morbid Angel was savage, heavy and enthralling. I was drawn in with the band’s assault on the eardrums and pummeled to the floor. Byron Braidwood has a great pair of lungs on him with an absolute monster behind the kit in Lee Charlton. It was a great end to the night, even if they alienated some of the more core-loving fans in the crowd.
All in all, it was a great gig and an absolute steal for £5, if there were more smoothly-run gigs like this in Kent, the scene would be booming.