Some time, little sleep and much drink later I arrived at the second of my weekends entertainments, going from the future noise dragged back from the past with ATR to something new that’s firmly reflects on some past sounds.

To be honest Black Breath’s current “Heavy Breathing” album has probably excited me most of a lot of recent releases, seeming to capture the filthy downtuned distortion of early Swedish death metal of the likes of Entombed and Dismember, a big slab of shouty hardcore, whilst simultaneously having a more doomy groove which is probably the reason they have been picked up by the Southern Lord label, home to much legendary down-tempo gloom


Additional bonus was some highly rated UK hardcore as supports, recommended to us by Mr D. Dog as he and El joined me to ensure I escaped Manchester in one piece. There was another really healthy turnout for the gig and we didn’t have long to wait before the first band was up. Closure from Leeds really tore into things from the off, the singer reeling about on the floorspace delivering his harsh screams, and while there was a good mix of riffing tempos on the extreme side of hardcore from the band the drummer was an absolute revelation, pushing them to faultless grind territory at times while still being able to mix it up at others,. Quality powerviolence, with a release on Thirty Days of Night apparently.

rot in hell

Hang the Bastard from London were more metallic in their hardcore approach, though still dropping to heavier sections at times. More harsh vocals but a bit less of a stage presence, the lead guitar melody lines were also a standout feature. I enjoyed it enough to pick up some split 7” action! As I also did with Rot in Hell, plus their “Hallways of the Always” collection, and they certainly delivered another in your face performance of raging tunes. The favourable influence of the likes of Holy Terror was unashamed but they had of enough of their own charisma and style evident in the raw onslaught to definitely hit the spot. There was a loose howl of fury and heaviness running through their tunes that brought to mind our own local favourites Bastions.

The headliners from Seattle, Washington looked up for a fight from the start, and layed into us with a battering heaviness. There is slight retro-awareness to the sound and the throwing of the horns but there’s also a deadly seriousness in knowing just how to punch out a straight metal tune. The singer, at times friendly, at times with a glint of Manson (the original one) threat in the eye, has a powerful roar but also you can pick up the lyric hooks too. The backing from the band of misfits is a collective force to be reckoned with and the enthusiasm they are greeted with is testament to that. All are blown away by an excellent cover of Sepultura’s “Desperate Cry” but their own material stands tall in its own right. A great set all round and personally I’m wishing to see them over here soon, for festivals or by themselves.