There is something in the Manchester Metal scene that it is becoming something quite special. This tour has been gaining impressive reviews and slowly building their reputations from separate ends of the metal spectrum, the Manchester duo Incassum and Spires were set and rearing to go to bring their homecoming concert and their UK tour to a memorable end.
With their support provided by Midland metallers Sworn To Oath, comprising of frontman and bassist Tom, Dave on guitars and Al on the drums, their set was more than a good way to start the Manchester Metal night. Despite being a Sunday, they were really interactive with the crowd and with their songs ‘Last Call’, ‘This Is Hell’ and ‘One Split Second’, Sworn To Oath set the pace for the night very well with their blend of thrash, rock influenced metal.
To begin the main event was female-fronted metal band Incassum. Don’t be mistaken by this at all. The versatile Sharleen Kennedy is not like any other female voice. She can smoothly swim through sounds that transcends melody and roaring growls, along with members John Curran [drums/backing vocals], Chris Taylor & Andrew Snowden as the guitar duellists and Joe Ratcliffe, from Manchester groove metal outfit Incidium stepping in Rick Kershaw‘s shoes on bass. Incassum began with ‘Daemons That Dwell’ and ‘Governed’, which instantly grabbed the room with their melodic death metal tones letting some hair loose and commencing a wave. Next on their agenda was the thunderous ‘Cut Loose’ and their racing ‘Tie My Hands’. After a kind thank you from the band, Incassum swiftly reached truly listenable tracks ‘Divine Right’ and the devastating ‘The Beckoning’ that was to becoming the crowd’s favourite of their set. Then, the blistering ‘Worlds Fear’ before ending their time with the frontwoman’s favourite ‘Blood Soaked Banner’ to bring down their fantastic performance nicely to an end.
The final act of the sold out homecoming event was the Manchester progressive metal outfit Spires, who has increasingly gained great recognition with their mixture of progressive death metal and sometimes jazzy notes that makes Spires the most talked about band to fit the metal scene. Beginning with the fluid ‘Equilibrium,’ Paul Sadler‘s elegant and ferocious vocals adjacent with his and Paul Culbert‘s massively impressive guitar work, Alex Jolley‘s bass and Chris Barnard‘s technical drumming made their starting song exquisite. Adding to the perfection was the ever-intelligent ‘The Infinite Descent’ and a rare opportunity to hear their new equally grand ‘The Fevered Spirit’. Their songs and their stage presence was a sight to behold as Spires were creating a story tale of their songs that takes the onlooking crowd across soundscapes that they can envision in their minds and theirs alone. ‘Symmetry’ was a song you can’t describe other than sublime and finishing off with the dangerously delicate 13 minute epic ‘Broken Hourglass,’ which was a fan favourite, it was the perfect song to let go for the last time and ending the night on a jubilant note.
Be careful of the Manchester Metal Scene, it will be their time to reign over the metal world soon and all for the right reasons. Incassum and Spires conquered on their homecoming show and it was indeed a night for friends and family to witness two bands that are destined for great things.