Last night saw myself and Tom head west into Southampton to a venue that I have never been to before The Cube, part of the Southampton University’s Student Union! I have to say the venue was a hell of a lot smaller than I was expecting it to be, but it was quite a good little venue had a massive bar and the sound was pretty good too. Anyway on to the reason we made the trip to go, to what was Download Festival aside the first Metal gig I’ve been to since Mastodon & Amon Amarth at the beginning of last year, having not got the chance to see Cancer Bats at the said festival due to the delays on Friday I decided the chance to see them that locally was a chance to good to pass up!
First up were Empress who were ok.. not sure I can give them anymore than that really.. I watched their entire set and it didn’t offend my ears or anything I just found them distinctly average, it really seemed like they have spent the last 5 or so years listening to Tool, Deftones and most obviously Mastodon albums and tried to fuse it together which wouldn’t have been a bad thing had they been more technically proficient and therefore pull it off but it just didnt work for me really.. not bad just not particularly great either.
Up next were Brutality Will Prevail, with a name like that it didn’t take much to work out what the next 30 minutes was gonna consist of, beatdowns and screaming which would have been passable had it not been for the fact they weren’t that good at it.. but even more than that for me was the bit where they took to the stage whilst absolutely murdering Metallica’s ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’ which lets be honest isn’t exactly the hardest song in the world to play!! They did however provide the perfect opportunity for a trip to the bar.
Main Headliners: –
Having got through the support bands it was the turn of Cancer Bats to hit the stage and tear us a new hole, and they did not disappoint as they breezed their way through a 20 song set with all the brutality and riffing that you expect from them, a couple of observations that need to made are the sound that they make as four piece is mightily impressive considering one of them is on vocal duties only, the other is how amazing the scream of the Bassist is I actually think it’s better than Liam’s and it REALLY adds in a lot of the songs.
The set was made up of a really good balance of new and old songs and the atmosphere was fantastic all night.. something that can’t be said for the last couple of shows I’ve done in Southampton, all in all I had a fantastic night and was massively impressed with a band clearly on top form mid tour! I strongly recommend if you like them taking the opportunity to see them if you get the chance.
The whole set was brilliant if I’m honest but there were a few songs that stood out for me on the night ‘Lucifer’s Rocking Chair’ was an amazing headbanging chugg-a-thon, their cover of the Beastie Boy’s ‘Sabotage’ was every bit as epic live as I expected, ‘Hail Destroyer’ sounded as brutal as ever and set closer ‘R.A.T.S’ was a perfect end to a great show, it was also good to see a band again that didn’t mess around with the whole encore thing.. just come out blast your way through and hour & a half 20 song set then leave, stunning!!