Internal Conflict w/ Hounds, Odysseus, and Unbroken
The Boulevard, Wigan 09/10/2021
Review by Rob Sutton
Back in Wigan again, and it seems the bad weather of the North resides here, as yet again it is raining! As I’ve already commented on this fantastic venue before, I’m not going to do so in this review. What I will say though, is that the issue last time with the paint not being dry wasn’t actually the case. It was due to flooding in the area before hand. Luckily tonight there were no such problems, and the full floor space is able to be utilised.
A few years ago, when I played in Wigan, we played with a lovely groove metal outfit called Unbroken, and it was nice to see these guys back on a line-up so I could have the pleasure of watching them again. Tonight’s gig was their first back after lockdown, and while you could tell there were some nerves to begin with, they soon settled into their rhythm. Straight out of the gates was a song which stood out from all the others; A nostalgic trip back to the early 00’s, where the groove/nu metal trend was in full swing, and we even got some Slipknot style rappy vocals from G-Bar (vocals)! This was nicely backed up with Andy (Bass/Vocals) and Dave (Guitar/Vocals) adding more vocal layers. Honestly, this was a very strong opener, and set the scene for the rest of the show. While their music isn’t anything new, it is a nice blast from the past and is done very well. They’re a ‘smile on your face’, feel good kind of band, who provided a solid benchmark for the night, and while they were sometimes a little static on stage, they more than made up for it with banter and shed loads of character.
Second up, and fresh from Bloodstock’s New Blood Stage, were Preston based Tech/Deathcore outfit Odysseus. I did manage to catch these at Bloodstock, but the sound really didn’t do them justice there. Tonight however, the sound was much better, and allowed them all to really show just how technically talented they are. The riffs provided by both Dylan (Guitars) and possibly the only guitarist able to smile for an entire set, Kev, were crisp and tight, and all held together beautifully by Tom (Bass), and Sam (Drums). Rach (Vocals) voice was solid through the set, and fitted the genre nicely, though I would have maybe liked a bit more range, especially when the breakdowns come in. For me, the thing that let these guys down the most was between the songs, the songs themselves are solid but all the energy is lost with huge gaps of silence. This led to the set feeling a lot longer than it was. Perhaps if they gave a mic to another member, it may take the pressure off Rach, or throw some samples between songs to keep the high energy that the actual songs set. Odysseus have a solid foundation to build on, though. This was massively apparent when they unleashed a new song second from the end; It was by far and away my favourite of the set, and I look forward to seeing what else is up their sleeves.
The first review I did for Ever Metal was back in July in Bolton, and sadly I missed a band when I was there. This time there were no distractions, so I finally got to watch Isle of White based Hardcore bruisers, Hounds. These boys really stepped up the night! They are ‘balls to the wall’ hardcore, and it’s done exactly how it should be. Maximum aggression, maximum engagement, and full on in your face! The speed these guys play really gets the adrenaline pumping and makes you want to jump in the pit. There was a pit, but for some reason a lot of the crowd had thinned drastically?! Maybe these guys were too energetic? Their influences are clear to see in each song, with Hatebreed and Terror springing straight to mind. Hounds just released their cover of Terror’s ‘Stick Tight’, and they performed it well here, but personally I wouldn’t have had this as their last song. While they weren’t the tightest band here, and Ash (Vocals) either lost his breath or forgot some of the lyrics, they provided the evening with a fast paced aggression that not many bands can deliver on, even ending on the very punk note of smashing a few instruments. Quality set, great fun.
Headlining this show was a band from back in my old Synapse days, so I was very excited to see how far they’d come since then. Internal Conflict, from Leicester, are a metalcore band with a huge reputation behind them. They have now played Bloodstock a staggering 4 times, and from tonight’s performance, I can see why they keep getting asked back. First off, the stage was decked out with their logos and the band filled the stage. Each song was performed with pin-point precision, layered with beautiful solos, harmonic singing, and blistering drums. Adam (Vocals) pointed out that a reviewer of their latest album didn’t like his voice; personally I think it fits with this genre. While the music and clean singing remind me of As I Lay Dying, his voice has a more hardcore sound to it. It works and gives a good contrast between aggression and depression. On the subject of the new album, there were many songs from it played at this gig, and they sounded so good live! (Yes I did buy the album, and so should you). Internal Conflict is a band I could listen to over and over again, live or on recording. Tonight’s set flew by and I was left wanting a lot, lot more. They have been the most professional, tight and musically brilliant band I have seen so far this year. You guys have a new fan!
Tonight was another cracking gig, Oli at …And Heavy Metal For Wigan has knocked it out the park again, great bands, great sound, great turn out and nice beer. What more could you want? Oh, a few more people in the pit!
…And Heavy Metal For Wigan Link:
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