On a wild and windy stormy Monday evening, one of the Metal shows of the year rolled onto Brighton’s historic seafront at the city’s legendary Concorde 2. And the dark and gloomy autumn evening provided a perfect setting for the entertainment on show inside the venue. The room was already full with anticipation when Heriot, one of the UK’s rising stars of the underground Metal scene took to the stage. It was their first time playing in Brighton, and their reputation certainly proceeded them, as the evenings discerning crowd had seemingly all hit the venue when the doors opened, to see if the hype was justified … and it’s fair to say that the four piece absolutely nailed it!
Heriot have had one hell of a year, embarking on a tour back in February with Rolo Tomassi and Pupil Slicer, before releasing their debut record Profound Morality in the Spring, prior to hitting the stage on the majority of the major rock festivals this summer, including Download and Bloodstock. And the live experience the band have gained over 2022 certainly showed, oozing with confidence as they took to the stage to a wave of distorted bass heavy electronica. Before launching themselves into a ferocious 30 min set, with carefully selected moments of bittersweet atmospheric respite, as vocalist and bassist Jake Packer worked his synth-soundscapes in between the chaos.
When at full flow the duel buzz saw guitars of Erhan Alman and Debbie Gough are piercingly crunching, creating an all encompassing wall of noise, while Debbie’s blackened shrieking vocals perfectly compliment the deeper guttural growl that Jake menacingly pulls from his lungs. Drummer Julian Gage holds everything together in some serious style as he pounds the living hell out of his kit throughout the phrenetic and raging moments, while also softly adding subtle highs to the atmospheric parts. Heriot relentlessly worked the crowd throughout and undoubtedly left their mark with an abrasive yet sometime mesmerising and ethereal set.
As good as Heriot were at opening the nights show, Zeal & Ardor ended up absolutely tearing the roof off the place with their headline set. They are another band who have had an unforgettable year, releasing their superb self-titled record, which for those that know is an undoubted album of the year contender. While they also supported Meshuggah on a huge European spring tour, which landed in the iconic Royal Albert Hall in London (https://kultzilla.wordpress.com/2022/06/04/meshuggah-zeal-ardor-live-the-royal-albert-hall-london-03-06-2022/).
Due to illness, a slightly depleted Zeal & Ardor played this evening without the two back singers who usually compliment frontman Manuel Gagneux. But the band still absolutely rocked the joint as a four piece, playing a set made up from their impressive catalogue, including unforgettable tracks such as ‘Run’, ‘Death To The Holy’ and ‘Feed The Machine’ from this years absorbing release. Gagneux had the crowd eating form the palm of his hand throughout, with some great patter and a unique vocal style. Exquisitely changing with ease from strong and emotional clean singing sections, to furious and haunting screams, with the crowd fully and hypnotically engaged throughout, with a tempestuous mosh pit raging at times.
Zeal & Ardor showed that they are nothing less than a class act, with second guitarist Tiziano Volante, bassist Lukas Kermann and drummer Marco Von Allmen cohesively supporting Gagneaux, as the avant-garde Swiss metallers stormed their way through a pulsating set, which at times was equally calm as it was ferocious. Their unique sound blends the influence of a deep African-American spiritualistic blues style, with harrowing Post-Black Metal, and shook the room to its rafters. The alluring combination of Heriot and Zeal & Ardor made for an exhilarating night of music, with their autumn tour now in full swing and rolling on through the country. KZ
Words & Pictures by Abstrakt_Soul
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