Having recently made a pilgrimage to London to see 4 death metal bands (2 of which I’d actually heard of) for the princely sum of £25, it was refreshing to know it is still possible to head to your local venue and see the same number of bands for just a tenner.
This was the Portsmouth leg of the huge UK tour featuring Rise to Remain, Adept, Malefice and Cytota and those who’ve headed down on this unnaturally sunny evening are well up for it.
First to take to the stage is Birmingham based Cytota who look like children, but play like adults, churning out riff after riff and it won’t be long before these guys are playing higher slots on similar bills.
Everything changes when Malefice hit the stage though. Their experience over the opening band’s enthusiasm makes for a much more effective performance and they get the crowd visibly more hyped up as they rain down ‘the metulz’ with the double opener of “Architect” and “Delirium”. Dale Butler then works the crowd, encouraging circle pits despite the far from sold out attendance and the venue is hanging on his every word before the band is off again tearing into “Sickened”, taking no prisoners along the way. If you want break neck riffs, Malefice have got them; if you want break downs, Malefice have got them and if you want blast beats then, yeah, Malefice have got those too.
Taking a moment to thank the audience for coming back to see them, having previously played The Wedgewood Rooms as headliners, the band launch into the title track of their latest album “Awaken the Tides” and the place goes ape shit again, showing that just because they aren’t headlining this time, doesn’t mean Malefice are not the main attraction.
As the far too short set draws to a close Dale reminds everyone that “live music is about having fucking fun” and introduces the track they recorded with Everton goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, “Omega” and then Malefice leave the stage, the feedback and applause still ringing loudly across the room.
Swedish band Adept then have the unenviable task of following, but the venue appears to have filled up a little more and this, coupled with the excitement generated by Malefice, gives a good response from the crowd. I haven’t seen a bassist rock so hard since Jason Newsted and lead singer Robert Ljung works the stage well, so by the time they end their set on “The Lost Boys” (yes, it’s about those ones) it’s clear they’ve gone down well.
Rise to Remain are the headliners on this tour and the baying crowd laps up every note and lyric the band produce, whilst singer Austin Dickinson is clearly his father’s son (Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden fame for those not in the know), both in his stage presence and features, only with Blaze Bayley’s sideburns. One thing is clear – Lauren Harris should be worried.