Although the billing on tonight’s poster reads Magnacult as first band on, news travels fast that this is the second time they have failed to show up to a gig at NQ Live and the crowd exchange a few apprehensive whispers as a Latin-American groove metal band FHOBI [7/10] hit the stage. Joined by Ill Niño’s drummer Dave Chavarii for tonight’s show, FHOBI deliver an astounding, groove laden performance tonight – ploughing through a highly energetic 30 minute set that includes more bass solo’s than you will have ever heard in your entire life. Although English is clearly not FHOBI’s first language, tracks such as ‘Sambo’, ‘Wakala’ and ‘Me Gustaria’ still connect well with tonight’s crowd, igniting the entire front row of NQ Live into a sea of headbanging, fist pumping and enraged moshing, and proving why they where a worthy replacement for Magnacult on this tour. For those few people who were actually present to witness FHOBI’s short but sweet set in Manchester, it is safe to say that they opened the night in style – releasing a sonic slap-bass fest that melted your brain and made your ears jizz from start to finish!

On the verge of the release of their new album “Out of the Darkness”, Sacred Mother Tongue [8/10] hit NQ Live all guns blazing tonight, smashing their debut Manchester gig tonight and letting the people of Manchester lose their Sacred Mother Tongue virginity the way it should be lost… Loud, fast and heavy! Playing an electrifying 45 minute set that contained a balanced mix of both the bands older and newer material, this Northampton based 4 piece are truly a talented bunch of musicians, pouring their heart, soul and sweat into a near perfect set which includes fan favourites such as ‘Seven’, ‘A Light Will Shine’ and ‘The End’. Although it looks both odd and cool that the drums are on the same level as the rest of the band, playing the gig on NQ Lives’ stage in a straight line, Sacred Mother Tongue (especially their lead vocalist Darrin South) have the stage presence of gods, controlling the crowd tonight like puppets on a string as they get stuck into anthem after anthem that convert each and every person present into a member of the Sacred Mother Tongue army. This wasn’t just a gig. This was a calling to arms, leaving Manchester begging for more and rabid for the new Sacred Mother Tongue album.

True to form, Ill Niño [9/10] manage to pack their set with as many high octane, fuel injected metal anthems as possible, and although the technical gremlins come out to spoil the start of the set, Ill Niño battle on regardless and deliver probably one of the finest sets Manchester NQ Live has ever witnessed. Opening with a jaw dropping rendition of ‘If You Still Hate Me’, followed by the rather brutal ‘God Save Us’, Ill Niño open tonight’s set in full force, which although steers quite clear from the “Enigma/Dead New World” era material is both amazing to watch and listen to. Ill Niño delivers what can only be described as a flawless show, sending the crowd wild from the moment they walk on stage, and with both new tracks ‘Eva’ and ‘La Epidemia’ sending the crowd ape-shit, there is no lack of pits tonight. The band confess tonight that Manchester is always one of their favourite UK cities to play, and with both band and fan alike having the time of their lives, it seems a shame when they announce that they only have a few songs left. Ending on ‘How I Can Live’ and ‘Liar’, Ill Niño put the cherry on the metaphorical metal gig cake, proving from start to finish from tonight’s insane gig why they are one of the best heavy metal bands going. Please get your asses back to the UK soon!

Ill Niño – Facebook page

Sacred Mother Tongue – Facebook Page

FHOBI – Facebook Page

Photos taken by Sabrina Ramdoyal.