It is always nice when someone in a band that you haven’t seen asks if you would like to come along and see the band they are in. However, there is an opposite side to that and it is the terror that you go and don’t like them! Having recently had the pleasure of meeting the bassist of Edinburgh-based Perpetua, I duly headed off to Glasgow along with a friend, to witness a four band bill of heavy music featuring bands that I was personally unacquainted with. The gig was in the Garage Attic. This is a small venue up a narrowish (almost spiral) type of staircase. Not only was this my first time seeing all these bands, but my first time in this particular venue. Even at my age, I can still have new experiences when it comes to the music we all love at Decibel Geek.
I will start the review by writing about headliners Perpetua. This Edinburgh band has been playing around since 2013 and have supported quite a few bands including Skindred, Crossfaith and Bleed From Within. In addition, they won “Best Metal Act” at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards last year! They are currently working on new material and decided to air some of it on the night. This included the new single “The Age Of Collapse” (produced or co-produced by Mark Lewis who has worked with Megadeth and Devildriver, amongst others). It started slower and sounded more ominous, but quickly burst into fast and furious. However, it had enough hooks and time changes to make it a very impressive piece altogether.
From the moment they hit the stage, Perpetua are good to watch. There was hair flailing and head banging (especially by guitarist Andy Dickson and bassist Jack Sadilands, who were difficult to photograph due to all that hair exercise). Singer Jack Gordon was also giving it what we would call in Scotland “laldie” (thrashing to others). The venue has quite a low stage and it was great to see the singer had a longish oblong box to stand on, so everyone could see him! As a short person, I think more bands should do that! The lyric line “God save me” was delivered with frustration on opening song “To Suffer” and grabbed my attention. “Alone” had some terrific drumming on it, along with some quite intricate moments in a progressive sense. “Wrath” had a bass led intro before going into something more brutal altogether.
Perpetua do a nice line in heavy and vicious, but mixed with melody and rhythm and “Mercury” was a very good example of this. I admit I do love heavy music, but I really fall for things that have a groove or a flow which makes me move and Perpetua have this. This certainly was the case for the music I heard in the Attic. I am looking forward to hearing the new album or EP that they are working on, as the set was basically all new music. The biggest joy for me was all my fears of going to see someone I know’s band and not enjoying them didn’t occur. Phew! I was impressed and enjoyed them. Happy at that.
There were three other bands on the bill, starting with Satiracy from Glasgow. I didn’t catch all the titles (always a problem with heavier bands if you are unacquainted with them), but “Penance” was one. This was introduced as being about “an assassin who doesn’t like his job”and was good. It included a cool solo from (I believe) Callum Morgans. In addition, on “Dethroned” (their fastest track on the night) there was some fine dual guitar work. They were enjoyable to watch, especially the aforementioned Callum who is a hoot, jumping, dancing, headbanging, all while pulling some fantastic facial contortions.
CORRUPT THE SYSTEM
Corrupt The System, also from Glasgow, were more accessible in the sense that the vocals were clean and clear and they have more of a groove vibe. This was helped by the bass work of Gary Hughes, who, at times, had me thinking of the wonderful Les Claypool from Primus. There is also a hint of Thin Lizzy in the dual guitar work. This was most noticeable on “Once Before”. The bass opening on “Clay Soldiers” was fantastic. Vocalist Neil Parkinson has a good clear voice which I liked. The surprise for me was that with the name Corrupt The System, I expected them to be more brutal, but hard political songs can be delivered in different ways. Yes, they were heavy with elements of thrash running through them, but they can mix it up. Good stuff all round.
Centrilia were brutal. Heavy as hell. I will be honest, I didn’t catch any song titles apart from the one they announced! The singer Gavin Marshal prowled the stage looking really pissed off. However, that may have been due to a problem during their set with the onstage sound! I thought the lead break in the second song was a belter and the song itself full of incessant anger. They were also lyrically political at times. One song that Marshal announced as “233 Reasons” was about the “fucked up state of the USA and Trump”.
A night of very heavy music, with four bands working hard and giving their all. Despite all of them being at the heavier end of the rock and metal spectrum, each one had their own sound and character. I enjoyed the chance to see some new bands. The scene has plenty going on, so I would say keep your eyes and ears open. Support the local scene, whenever possible. There is always a chance to find a new favourite band for the future!
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