3 Inches Of Blood & Goatwhore w/Support @ The Moho, Manchester

Goatwhore, 3 Inches of Blood, Angelus Arpartriad & Havok
Moho, Manchester, United Kingdom
9th May 2012

Moho Live in Manchester is a venue which gets mixed results and after finding out that this gig would be here I was apprehensive. They can be very hit and miss with sound and the room itself is awkwardly shaped meaning short people such as myself can often miss out. However, tonight the crowd is a small and friendly affair in which I can navigate myself to a good vantage point easily.

The evening starts with the energetic Havok, looking like they’ve just rolled out of the Bay area of San Francisco circa 1985. And despite the giant gothic entrance music (which is rather jarring after listening to what comes next), they are pure and utter thrash. There are plenty of elements that sound like other trash bands, for example, you can’t help but think of Tom Araya when vocalist David Sanchez screams and there is a good measure of Testement thrown in there. But these are certainly not bad things. Havok are strong and entertaining, just watching the passion from the small audience is proof of that.

What stands out strongly with Spain’s Angelus Arpartriad is the fantastic drumming. Victor Valera’s choice of rhythm and style elevates their standard clean thrash to another level. Once again, the enthusiastic crowd are enjoying every minute of this set and the first circle pits of the evening begin. Angelus Apartriad and highly enjoyable and compliment Havok’s dirtier thrash with their own melodic and well written style.

Now Goatwhore is the band I was looking forward to. “Blood for the Master”, their most recent album was simply excellent and bridged the black and death elements of their music even further. Vocalist Ben Falgoust prowls the stage as if looking for someone to tear to shreds. And the music itself does just that. It is blistering and brutal and everything you could possible want in Blackened Death metal. The set doesn’t let up either, with very few gaps between songs, the sounds crash through even more powerfully. The new songs work well with older tracks and all of the executed tightly and efficiently by a band getting stronger and stronger.

Canada’s 3 Inches of Blood are a fun band, their cocktail of power and thrash is somewhat akin to Manowar and are enjoyable to watch. 3 Inches of Blood are very different from the previous three bands but they pull out a strong set even if the songs occasionally blend into one another. The audience that is left are as energetic as they were for previous bands, if not more so. The warrior imagery and calling to arms of the metal brotherhood are a lot of fun and are played very well this evening. Having admittedly not known much of 3 Inches of Blood tonight I find that I am impressed and am looking forward to seeking out more material from these guys.

The sound tonight has been much better than expected and the bands even more so. The metal community is known for its tight-knit camaraderie and this was definitely seen tonight. The atmosphere was warm and friendly and the bands were all extremely strong and enjoyable. If only all gigs were as enjoyable.

Jade Hunter

***Photography by Jade Hunter & Taylor Seraph***

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