MAN this show started early. And on a weekday. For shame!

Cutting to the chase, I was unable to make doors, which opened at 5pm, on a workday. As a result, I missed both Struc/tures and Volumes, much to my chagrin. I was interested to hear these guys for myself after a few months of dancing around other stuff (curse you, time!), but alas, that will have to wait for another day.

I was pleased to find myself coming in at the beginning of Swedish thallsters Vildjharta‘s set, who were the familiar draw of the evening for me. From tentatively not expecting a great deal from their Century Media debut Måsstaden last year, I was pleasantly impressed with the release, and was more pleased to find their dark brand of deathcore-spliced djent stylings translated well to the stage. The main floor was packed with people, all moving at one time or another, and showing a good amount of enthusiasm for a band that was probably the most eclectic on the bill that night. Definitely a band that I’d make the effort to see again.

Next up were French band Betraying The Martyrs, of whom lord and master Jimmy interviewed bassist Valentin Hauser at their show with Born Of Osiris, Veil Of Maya and Carnifex in Louisville, KY last year. Another band I have been meaning to check out on Alkahest’s recommendation, I was both underwhelmed and impressed by the Parisian six-piece. Let me explain: for the most part, the music is fairly standard metalcore, which doesn’t interest me all that much; as Alkahest himself describes, they “have a sound that would make any metal elitist sick to his stomach”. It was fine though, and completely unoffensive, but not for me.

That being said, the band’s command of its audience was exceptional. The lone Brit, frontman Aaron Matts, had a great, energetic presence, although I did find his repeated calls for anarchy a little ‘try-hard’. It was no matter though, as the energy more than made up for it. Keyboard player and sometimes vocalist Victor Guillet was probably my favourite member to watch; disengaging his mic and making strides into the crowd to perform his sections on a regular basis. The whole thing elicited a smile from me, which I guess is as positive a reaction as any.

Finally we had Veil Of Maya, with whom I was only vaguely familiar (Jesus, research harder next time much?), but I had at least been briefed on what to expect. Okubo and crew have been a regular feature around these parts ever since I started here — and my first surprise was to learn that they are currently a four piece. This particularly knocked me for six because, despite the venue’s often sub-par sound quality, VoM sounded pretty damn large — testament to Okubo’s seamless looping skills. The rest of the band were in fine fettle too, with Brandon Butler handling the arrayed crowd well.

I did actually manage to dabble a little in new album Eclipse before heading out, and stand-out track ‘The Glass Slide‘ was a delight, and was clearly beloved of the fans font and centre. Although the material wasn’t enough to hold my interest to call for the customary encore, it certainly was en education, and from what I hear Veil of Maya are never a wasted night out — a really professional band that are practiced in their live craft.

– CG

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