Tuesday, 22 October 2013
Next, it's blackened Italians HIEROPHANT's (9) turn. Keeping banter to a bare minimum, they allow the music to speak for itself playing highlights from both their self-titled debut and this year's coruscating "Great Mother : Holy Monster". When they signed to Bridge Nine, eyebrows were raised with them being the heaviest band by far on it's punk dominated roster but their output has never been anything less than devastating and, live, they're absolutely ferocious. Taking a base of proper metalcore (the kind doled out by the likes of HANG THE BASTARD and BROTHERHOOD OF THE LAKE) and splicing in elements of crust, sludge, black metal and oppressive atmospheres, they deliver their assault in different ways but never let up on all-encompassing weight.
Finally, XIBALBA (8) take to the stage. Their particular brand of hardcore is purpose made for provoking moshpits and they don't dissapoint. That they roped in Southern Lord wner and half of SUNN O))), Greg Anderson on several tracks on most recent album, "Hasta La Muerte" gives you an idea of just how heavy they are. Having said that, they don't fall into the trap of generic chugging or hardcore cliches. Nor do they feel the need to resort to the needless macho posturing that too many hardcore band rely on. Instead they deliver a set of devastating, beatdown heavy vitriol. Pretty much the entirety of their set speeds by with a few slower, ominous tangents which only serve to highlight how heavy they are at full pelt. Finishing on a furious rendition of fan favourite, "Cold", XIBALBA savage the crowd's ears in the best possible way.
Thursday, 3 October 2013
The venue fills out substantially for main supports, Australian post-rockers, SLEEPMAKESWAVES (7). For their first time in Manchester, they already seem to have a decent fanbase over here. Signed to Birds Robe, in their native Australia, they're label mates with 65DOS but their take on the post-rock genre is closer to RUSSIAN CIRCLES with subtle dance elements of tonights headliners. While some of the subtleties of the record may be lost in the live environment, they make up for this with their energetic delivery. Heavier riffing rubs shoulders with long form melodies and across their sprawling tracks they create beautiful soundscapes. They may not be peddling the most original sound but they're one of the best bands currently in the scene.
Despite the other bands' best efforts, for most of the assembled crowd, tonight is all about 65DAYSOFSTATIC (8). Their set is a perfect balance between rock guitar, dance beats and swirling ambience. Their latest album, "Wild Light", is only a matter of days old but their confidence in new material shines through making up a large proportion of tonight's setlist. Their confidence isn't misplaced either, new tracks are recieved just as warmly as classics like "Retreat! Retreat!" and "Radio Protector". Next year, their debut album and modern classic, "The Fall Of Math" will be a decade old but tracks aired from sound just as innovative and exciting today. 65DAYSOFSTATIC truly are a one off in the world of math/post-rock and, in the live environment, they consolidate this with a captivating set.