Fei Comodo & Malefice, Colchester Arts Centre, 2nd June 2012

Tonight’s show was scheduled to be a full day of music, a one day festival for some top and unsigned British Metal bands. However, for reasons unknown to me, the festival was cut down to just four bands and labelled the ‘Replacement Gig.’ At least the show is still going ahead!

First up to the stage are the young Londoners Despite my Deepest Fear (6) with their breakdown heavy Metal-core. With a slick performance and energetic stage presence, DMDF have a lot of potential and have some talented members. Despite the earthquake-inducing beatdowns and the tight band chemistry they seem to have, something is missing from their sound that could help them break away from the pack. Alternating between pummelling heaviness and catchy melodies well, and in true Metal-core fashion, is something to praise along with their lively attitude and synchronised headbanging. Their live show is nearly there, and I would recommend that you catch them next time around, but maybe something a bit out of their comfort zones would test the band and push them on to the next level.

Beer-soaked Trad ‘n’ Roll heroes The Morning After (8) are the perfect festival band. A good time rock band with huge riffs and sensational rockstar swagger that really know how to get heads banging. The Morning After are a seriously tight unit that deliver beers-aloft riffing and perfectly nail their vocal harmonies. Frontman Sam Ryder is a hell of showman and gets bodies moving with his charisma and hook-laden soaring vocals. Although they may sometimes stray into pop/rock territories with songs like ‘America’, their sound does have balls and a distinctly Heavy Metal backbone. Bringing the gloriously overblown riffs are Phil Maher and aforementioned Sam, strutting around the stage with style and confidence. The Morning After are the ultimate party starters and if tunes like ‘Into the Fire’ don’t get you singing along in a ridiculously inebriated manner then something is clearly wrong with you. Fantastic fun from the Essex five-piece.

Malefice (9) take their typical approach by aiming straight for the throat with a particularly vicious rendition of ‘Architect of your Demise.’ The ‘taking no prisoners’ mentality has become synonymous with the Malefice live show, brilliantly smashing your teeth in with Pantera levels of heavy groove and slicing you open with razor-sharp riffing. Dale Butler spits venom into the mic and commands the stage amazingly. The perpetually moving bassist Tom Hynes deploys a seriously devastating low end and with sticksman Chris Allan-Whyte keeping up the unrelenting percussive beating throughout raging anthems like ‘The Midas Effect’ and the Colossal title track from their latest opus ‘Awaken the Tides’. Spurred on by a slight lack of ‘crowd participation’, Dale makes it a personal mission to get the Essex boys and girls moving and does manage to incite some carnage. His guitar-wielding comrades Ben Symons and Andrew Wilson shred, stomp and scythe through their ferocious leads and riffs with precise accuracy and unforgiving brutality. Showing off some diversity with the almost ambient passages during ‘The Haunting’, a track with an opening riff that kicks like a mule on steroids, is a band at the top of their game. Roll on September’s ‘Perseverance’ tour!

Despite the great fun everyone has had so far, there is a slight undertone of sadness at the Arts Centre tonight as Fei Comodo (8) are playing one of their final gigs. It would seem that the Post-Hardcore troupe are setting their sights on going out in style with mega melodies and a sonically tight, tireless performance. Switching between well delivered clean vocals and throat-shredding screams vocalist Marc Hall utilises his crowd control skills wonderfully keeping everyone in the palm of his hand. Will Philipson and Mike Curtis combine cleverly to produce a barrage of hardcore-tinged riffs and huge melodies that get the venue bouncing along. Overall, it’s a very professional set and it is a great shame to see another band fall to these tough times.

With a much-anticipated album scheduled for release just before Fei Comodo do shut up shop, let it be seen as a testimonial to a band who worked hard to gain a huge following. Also, let it serve as a reminder that keeping a band afloat in these financially tight times is not an easy task. Many of these bands that we love and admire are struggling to continue on – most will be juggling another job while not on tour. So spare a thought next time you go to a gig and bear in mind the trouble that these bands go through to entertain you: merch and CD sales aren’t what they once were. Metal needs its fans to rally right now, so get behind your local scene!

You can also read an interview with Ben & Dale from Malefice which took place just before this gig!

Scribbled by:

Metalhead, Wannabe Music Journo, Long-Haired Fool, Thrash Enthusiast

Can also be found at his kick ass blog http://rainingblog666.blogspot.co.uk/