Arcite w/Support @ Hollywood & Vine, Hull

Bands: Arcite, Broken, Righteous Indignation, Reflection In Exile, Bulletproof, We Are Carnivores, Fable
Location: Hollywood and Vine, Hull
Date: 12th May 2012

It had been too long since I’d been at Hollywood and Vine. In fact, the last time I was there was for my own show back in February for the celebrations of Valkyrian Music’s first year of existence in this dark corner of the ever growing internet, so I was more than happy to return for a long night of rock, metal and whatever the hell else was on the bill.

Opening the night up were Hull’s own rockers Fable, a band who I haven’t seen since their debut gig at this same venue months ago. The first thing I noticed was that their bassist Katie was absent, with a replacement bassist stepping in for the night. The band opened up their set with a pleasing to the ears rendition of Go With The Flow by Queens Of The Stone Age. Straight away, I noticed that Gary’s vocals had become more defined and stronger. A few songs into their set, the sound went completely though this issue was soon resolved. Their performance of Kryptonite, originally by 3 Doors Down, sounded different to the original version but a good kind of different. It had more of a fresh sound to it. Disappointingly, Fable’s set was filled to the brim with covers again, making it hard to know what their own sound is. Alas, hopefully they’ll have some original material for the next time round.

When We Are Carnivores took to the stage, I really wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve heard mixed things about the band and their music. When they first started up, I was ready to write them off as a pop punk act due to the heavy pop punk influences in their first couple of songs though when they performed Carnivores, a song named after themselves, I soon changed my mind. The song had more of an alternative hard rock sound with several hints of old school punk thrown in. Later on in their set, they performed an entertaining version of Katy Perry’s Last Friday Night, which strangely suited the frontman’s vocals. Towards the end of their energetic and lively performance, We Are Carnivores’ set grew into something more violent sounding, displaying some beastly post-hardcore and death metal influences.

Bulletproof, who were third on the line-up, impressed me with their punchy bass riffs and dominating percussion sections, while the guitars were raw, overwhelming and more vicious than a bear with a headache. The guitar solos flowed like a mighty and fearsome river and were definitely the best part of the band’s set but it was the vocals that disappointed me. They seemed to have taken on a very death metal-style but simply didn’t suit the hard rock sound of the band and didn’t seem to be too well performed – It’s a shame really since I think the band do have potential.

Reflection In Exile, a band described as blackened thrash metal, were scheduled to play after Bulletproof and they did catch my attention, both visually, with their corpse-painted appearance and audibly. Their set was dominated by Gorgoroth and Mayhem sounding riffs with the odd bit of Dimmu Borgir and Testament slung in for good measure. The vocal style of the band’s frontman was typically black metalesque yet original sounding at the same time. The band’s live show was energetic and charismatic, working well with their punishing riffs and demonic vocal work. If you’re going to Bloodstock this year, I heavily recommend watching these guys.

Hull already has a strong thrash metal scene going on thanks to the likes of Pastel Jack and XIII, so I’m surprised that I hadn’t seen Hull’s other premier thrash metal act Righteous Indignation before. Their sound can only be described as a love-child spawned from the likes of Testament, Sepultura and Destruction with a carefully balanced blend of snarling vocals, drum work that’s tighter than a duck’s ass and a general all around brutal sound. The frontman, Joe T-Bone, displayed a solid combination of high amounts of energy and heavy-duty vocal work while the rest of the band proved to be capable and talented musicians. Could Righteous Indignation be Hull’s answer to Evile? Quite possibly. The main support came in the form of heavy rockers Broken.Their set consisted mostly of an alternative hard rock sound and some sweet solos, though I did feel that the vocals were a bit generic sounding for their style though you can’t fault the frontman’s ability to whip the crowd up into a frenzy. The last song of their set, 20 Years, was the best song of their entire set. Not because it was the last song but because it sounded well composed and masterfully mixed softer riffs with a heavier style of guitar playing and the vocals even had a unique sound to them. After watching Broken, I see why they’re playing Download.

By the time Arcite started up, I was feeling a bit tired and weary though the first couple of seconds into their first soon made me feel awake again. Their riffs hit the crowd harder than what a bus and monster truck colliding could do while the drum work was just as destructive yet very technical sounding at the same time. The vocals were harsh, raw and powerful while the cleaner vocal style were quite staunch. There was a certain aura of excitement that radiated from the band. The band looked to be in their element as their early hardcore punk roared throughout the venue. Sadly due to logistical reasons, I had to leave part way through Arcite‘s set, which really did disappoint me since I felt they were the most talented and impressive band of the night.

Nico Davidson

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