With all the talk that preceded this gig at The Black Heart, you could have been forgiven for thinking that the destruction level would have reached Demolition Derby heights. While the building is fortunately still standing, the night itself was quite chaotic, with five bands putting on their moshing shoes to throwdown in style.

First up, we had the final show of the short-lived Stained Saints, who put up a peculiar brand of ‘grungecore’, blending Godsmack‘s low-end riffs with the occasional scream-filled breakdown. Vocalist William Young was front and centre throughout, when he wasn’t on the floor with the audience singing gruffly or cleanly, screaming his lungs out. While the sound was a little muddy, the guitar work that emerged sounded promising, particularly during the rockier Audioslave-like numbers. As their set came to a close, it was a shame to hear the end of such a promising band, but their Facebook promises further material due from the members’ projects.

Lavondyss brought a more familiar brand of northern hardcore to the venue, full of breakdowns and grooves with occasional bursts of melody. The vocalist’s cathartic screams slotted in well with the music, which is more than can be said for the guitarist’s clean vocals, that were mercifully buried in the mix. ‘Gentleman Of The Road’ was a definite highlight, along with an unexpected guest vocal appearance from Immerse‘s Tom Gardner. Their brief 30-minute set allowed the crowd a much-needed warmup of their limbs with some light moshing, ready for when things would kick off later on.

Some band names do what they say on the tin – Immerse was the best way to describe what happened during this band’s set. Their style of melodic hardcore was extremely engaging and got a strong crowd reception as the room started to fill out. There was much floor-punching and arm flailing, as would be expected, but that wasn’t the be-all and end-all of their set, which also contained technical yet melodic guitar lines and the occasional strong, cleanly-sung part between the throat-shredding bellows. They even had a surprise prepared for a track I didn’t catch the name of, where a guest female vocalist joined the band, resulting in a Beauty and the Beast vocal trade-off that worked wonderfully. A very strong set from a band clearly in their element.

It’s sad to say but Bear brought all of the energy and none of the crowd. The Belgian bruisers clearly have their sound figured out; chaotic metallic hardcore with plenty of dissonance and tightly-wound drumming. The fourpiece also put on quite the visual show, where nothing was exempt from the axemen’s feet as they bounced off walls, monitors and even the drum kit while hammering out riffs relentlessly, and Maarten Albrecht‘s ferocious yelps matched his imposing stage presence. Despite all this, it was clear he was a little frustrated at the lack of reaction to their set, although it didn’t affect their performance at all. The single ‘Rain’ got a reasonable response from the crowd, as did the band’s frankly immense final track, but it was a shame the crowd never truly gave back what Bear offered.

How does one even begin to describe The Colour Line‘s set? Well, the ceiling was about the only place the band members and crowd didn’t touch (much), as guitarists and vocalist went flying in every direction. Managing to damage the mic cord less than a minute into their set was impressive enough but what followed bordered on carnage. Crowdsurfing, a moshpit almost half the size of the room… you almost forgot there was a band playing… almost. It was hard to ignore the relentless screaming and mathy guitar lines that made up ‘Colonel Sanders Flying Machine’ or the new song (potentially called ‘Osama Bin Liners’, although not sure on that). Crunch time came, however, during the final song of the evening, ‘Mariachi Firing Squad’, with its scream-along chorus of “I’ll burn, I’m burning, I’m burning for my sins”. Their set resolved itself in a trashed drum kit and some very loud feedback noises. And that was The Colour Line done in 30 minutes. Mission Destruction: accomplished.

The Colour Line – Facebook page
Bear – Facebook page
Immerse – Facebook page
Stained Saints – Facebook page
Lavondyss – Facebook page

Check out the photos below, provided by KTCroft. Her Facebook page is well worth a like.