Ghosts of Atlantis w/ Recall The Remains, Collapse Of Colour, Bruteallies and Vanitas – The Alma Inn

Ghosts of Atlantis w/ Recall The Remains, Collapse Of Colour, Bruteallies and Vanitas
The Alma Inn, Bolton
Review by Rob Sutton

August has arrived! And early on in the month I found myself returning to the Alma on what was probably one of the busiest weekends for gigs in Manchester, with gigs at the Retro Bar, Whittles in Oldham, and The Spinning Top in Stockport. This meant that pulling a crowd was always going to be difficult, but still a fair number of people were in attendance. Now, with the weather being absolutely stunning and the gig due to start 5:30pm I was expecting the venue to use the outdoor stage but no, we were inside sadly. This was a 5 band bill and I was expecting the first band to probably be due on at around 6pm. This would seem ideal for anyone travelling for this event (which was nearly everyone), but sadly this was not the case and the first band didn’t start until 8pm! We will come back to this point later.

First up was a new band for me, Vanitas, who began proceedings with a techy, atmospheric vibe. I will say the riffs on here are simply brilliant, and when the more atmospheric parts come to the forefront their sound is absolutely huge. There was a fair amount of movement on stage as well with most of them grinning from ear to ear throughout the set. But while the music was on point, vocally it was a bit hit and miss. Don’t get me wrong, she has a fantastic voice but some notes were flat and the shouts did sound a little strained. But when she hit the notes, wow it worked. I also had a feeling that there were a few lines missed from some songs as she went to sing and then smiled and turned to the guitarist, but this wasn’t really that noticeable for the average watcher. A personal treat was inviting Jacob from Recall the Remains for the final song, the combination of her voice with his just brought a whole new dimension to their sound, and one I would perhaps look to add on a few more songs. I found myself smiling a lot throughout this set, I loved the concept and how massive they sounded, but a little more practice and some vocal warm ups may help elevate this to the next level.

Late additions Bruteallies hit the stage next, though we did have to wait for what felt like an eternity for them to come on (rant incoming at the end). Once they did, they picked up the energy in terrific fashion! Their blend of melodies and thrash is one that is not seen too often in the genre and really does set them apart from others. The amount of energy these guys have on stage was frankly unrivalled by the other bands and this meant the crowd were fully engaged moshing, and even attempting a pit! Another massive prop to these guys were the solos, which were mindblowingly good throughout, and the thrashy breakdowny riffy things also hit the sweet spot. Now I am not the biggest fan of thrash but these guys really do it for me. Vocally it’s more death metal than thrash and the speed they play is unrelenting. There were, however, a couple of slip ups when changing the tempo of the music but this wasn’t a glaring issue. What was a glaring issue for me, was in fact, an encore. Now as I have previously said the gig has already started 2 hours later than advertised and the changeover was ridiculously long, so whether it was just down to the band who decided fuck it, and played another song, or whether it was the (dis)organiser who allowed this, it really fucked the rest of the bands up. If this was a case of the band just playing, then this is a dick move being the second band on the bill. If this was the organiser then they need to sort their shit out! Having said that, this was a very enjoyable performance.

Again with the bloody long changeovers, another half hour change over is really beginning to push this past the final busses and trains, and why were they tuning on stage! Goddamn!! Anyway, Collapse of Colour eventually took to the stage with their take on metalcore. Yup, Rob was watching another metalcore band! I was actually quite excited to watch Collapse of Colour as on recording they seem to have all bases covered for the genre. Live though, unfortunately, it felt really thin and sadly really generic. I could tell exactly what was coming next and this is the problem; nothing new or original. It wasn’t all meh though, as I really digged the vocalist’s ‘bleughs’, and some of the breakdowns were pretty on point. The few who were watching really got into these too. I will also point out that the final song of their set was really fucking good, it seemed like everything they had been playing prior was building to one song that defined them. In summary, Collapse of Colour are ok, they do what they say on the tin and do it fairly well, but if you’re looking for something new, these aren’t your guys.

From one metalcore band to another, this time in the shape of Recall the Remains. Now I have raved about these guys previously on a number of reviews and here they pretty much did the same again. The tone of both the guitar and bass were absolutely mega, the charisma on stage was brilliant, the harsh vocals were brutal as fuck, and the cleans, although not quite as good as they have been, were still very good. The way these guys engaged with the crowd was like no other here, and those that didn’t have to catch a bus or train were treated to some top quality showmanship and some fantastic music alongside it. Another prop to these guys was the speedy changeover by comparison to everyone else (only 20 mins) which unfortunately by this point really didn’t matter as it was already half 10 with another band still to go. My only slight criticism with this set was that I saw pretty much the same thing 9 months ago. Something slightly different would be welcome. Otherwise I can’t really fault Recall the Remains, they always put on a show, are always tight, and always play good music. I mean what’s not to like?

Over an hour later than they should have been on, Ghosts of Atlantis took to the stage and boy were they worth the wait. Personally these guys incorporate every genre I love, from melodic death metal, to symphonic black metal, and they do it just perfectly. There really isn’t another band around at the moment that sounds like them and this is what I search for! The set itself was as tight as you could possibly imagine, and they took us through pretty much their entire album in stunning fashion. The energy on stage is eerie, yet energetic, with all axmen headbanging throughout, as the front man glared through the crowd. It’s a lovely blend of the 2 style of presence. One thing they could have used a bit more of was the backing tracks (I know, I can’t believe I actually said this either!). For most bands they are like an added extra, but for Ghosts of Atlantis they are a massive part of their sound and add a whole other element to their show. It wasn’t a massive issue though, as they could be heard on the slower more atmospheric parts pretty well, and they really elevated the soaring clean vocals. 

If you have read a review of mine before, then you will know that one of Rob’s cardinal sins is to play a new song last, as it never really hits the mark or carry the oomph of the more well known songs. Well Ghosts of Atlantis did this, and I stand corrected!! Their new song was unbelievably good, to the point where my hairs stood on end and I was muttering ‘fuck you’ to the band. If this is what album 2 has in store for us then oh my fucking god take my money! What a show these guys put on and personally this was worth the wait as this ranked among my favourite sets of the year!

Right rant time! Whoever organised this event needs to sort their shit out! Firstly this wasn’t a last minute gig, it has been planned for months, so why in fucks name did the event have a start time of 5:30 and then no bands on until 8:00?! What this meant is anyone who came to watch the bands missed the last 2, due to travelling. This would not have been an issue had the gig started at 6:00. And then to add insult to injury, the changeovers were 30 fucking minutes! This was completely unnecessary, as 15 or 20 minutes would have been fine. So in summary of the whole event, good bands, cheap beer, nice staff, but probably the most unorganised event I have ever been to. If this had been a pay to get in event, a lot of people would have asked for refunds!

One quick note about the Alma, I go to gigs with a blind friend and the head bar staff did come up to him and asked if he needed anything or was there anything she could do to make the place more accessible, this was incredible and meant so much to him, other venues, take note!



Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Rob Sutton and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

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