From the outside in, Maidenhead looks alright. It's green, gracious and not exactly fast-paced but tonight it throws up four bands that seem more than a little pissed-off. What exactly is there to be mad about?
The fact that Embalmed Alive arrive onstage taking longer to introduce their songs than actually play them should only endear them to metal fans everywhere. Theirs is a furious mix of grind, thrash and hardcore that, when they work out how to make a proper show of it, could go down very well indeed on many bigger stages.
Outcryfirestomp and groove like vintage metal should, but quite how five teenagers manage to sound so damn, well… old, is remarkable. Some of their set hammers hard enough to grab the attention but elsewhere they find the gear marked 'plod' all too easily and take just a little too long to get the point of their songs across.
No Made Sense begin as a thrilling prospect but suffer almost the same pacing problems. They've fired their horribly fashionable lead singer and in guitarist Leo have a superstar in the making but the now three-man unit still churn out the same screaming metal without much change in tempo and wading through flowery minutes of widdling guitars and pointless sludge is never fun.
Viatrophy have all the right moves; the players are obviously talented and singer Adam is suitably violent, but their metalcore is equally difficult to enjoy as too often their fantastic, mammoth riffs are interrupted by attempted atmospherics. If they can reign in the desire to make every song a tribute to Unearth, start firing on all their own cylinders and their genre retains its bankable market, they have the ability to turn heads on a national scale.
Local scene shows can only go a few ways, occasionally throwing up real gems but normally producing self-conscious or self-important shit. Tonight fell somewhere in the middle, revealing nothing too special, but proving that there's enough rage, even in a conservative, middle-class commuter town like Maidenhead, to form the odd band, and get a few people to come along to a show or two. Wish you were here?
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