For the first time since 2014 I was going to see Triaxis without Krissie Kirby on vocals as she has moved on to pastures new. The band have a new vocalist in the talented form of Angel Wolf-Black and we find out how she gets on tonight…but first we have two other bands to get through.
First up tonight is local band Sanity Ward who I first saw last year. The band’s singer Iain tells us they have not gigged since last year as he has had a number of health issues. He was still not up to full strength but you would not think so as this was a great performance tonight.
Sanity Ward were in great form, Iain has a very classic rock sounding voice which reminded me a bit of Krokus’s Marc Storace at times. They give us the “Death’s Kiss” quickly followed by the fantastic “The Ripper”. The next track up, “The 9th Level”, was probably one of my favourites tonight and he even got off the stool to bounce about.
I love Slawek’s lead guitar playing on this track, ably backed up by Michal on rhythm guitar. We get “Permission to Stay” and “Love is War” before the band close a short but very entertaining set with “Eye for an Eye” which starts of with an early Judas Priest/Iron Maiden guitar vibe. Grzes’s drumming came through very strong along with his rhythm-mate Piotr on bass.
If you like your music with that classic rock/early metal sound then this is the band for you. I hope they get some more gigs on the go soon as they are so worth going to see.
Up next, a band who I had not heard of before. Dakesis are classed as a prog-power metal band with a stunning singer in the form of bright blue-haired Gemma Lawler. The Darkest Hour intro starts up heralding “The New Dawn”, the title track from last year’s stunning album. As Matt launches into his guitar the roof of the venue is shaken by the opening vocal crescendo that comes out of Gemma. Adam’s drums provide the perfect rhythm along with Amie and her 6 string bass, a truly stunning opening salvo from the band.
Another couple from said album follow with the fast paced “Destined for the Flame”, a fantastic track with a possible nod towards DragonForce, quickly followed by “The Great Insurrection”. I totally love Matt’s guitar playing – why have I not heard this band before? We head back to their 2011 Trial By Fire album next with some intricate guitar work by Matt on “Liar” – vocally much better live than the album version.
We get “To Conquer or Die” with its soaring opening intro which sucks you in before the band blasts into the track proper. It’s hard to spot a wrong track on last year’s album which is now on rotation on my iPod. The album is quite a step up from their debut and I cannot wait to see what the next one will bring in terms of arrangements with the band. I find the intros to the tracks truly stunning and no moreso than my favourite of the night from them – “Judgement Day”, which highlights Gemma’s vocal range.
As we reach the end of another all-too-short set, it’s fitting that it is the last track off The New Dawn the almost 12-minute long “By The Fading Light”. Again with the subtle build up intro before Gemma’s vocals grip you and the band more than able to back her up. This is a real find for myself, a band I will be following with interest and one I will be catching again live when I can. If they keep growing the way they have been then they will be a major force to reckon with in the near future. I hope when the new album comes out it builds on the foundation that The New Dawn has built.
The headliners Triaxis took to the stage, a band I have been following for a number of years now. Not only have they a new singer, Angel Wolf-Black who replaces the amazing Krissie Kirby, but they are also losing a great guitar talent after this tour, with Glyn leaving the band to move on to new pastures. I have always heard them with Krissie so I approached tonight with a small bit of trepidation, somewhat offset by the video they posted of Angel singing so I knew she had a good voice.
They start us off with “Ministry of Truth” from 2015’s excellent Zero Hour album. It’s like a fire has been lit under the band. Whether its due to Angel arriving or Glyn leaving I don’t know but the band are stunning tonight. A couple from Rage and Retribution follow with the full on “Reunion” first up quickly followed by “Sker Point”. Both Matt and Glyn are playing a blinder with Glyn in particular a joy to listen too. It will be interesting to see who replaces such an amazing player.
The vocal duties on both the older and newer tracks are handled with ease by Angel and she’s definitely taking the songs to a whole new level for the band. We head to the “End of Time” from Zero Hour, a track that really is lifted by Angel’s vocals, and the drumming comes to the fore with Marc (standing in for Gareth) in fine form. We then head back to Key to the Kingdom for some “Lies”. The track has a nice build up before the guitar duo let loose with the bass queen Becky running amok, as always, to keep the back rhythm on track.
Triaxis mix things up with a cover of Dio’s “Don’t Talk to Strangers” – very well handled by the soaring vocals of Angel and the band’s playing. Next, another spot of Rage and Retribution with a staple favourite of mine, “Black Trinity”. Again the vocals take it up another level before we close the set with “Stand Your Ground”, a great song for Glyn to end his time with the band on, at least from this fan’s viewpoint as I’m unlikely to see him play live with them again.
All change then for Triaxis, but with Angel they have a vocalist who can sing a bit higher and with a different range than Krissie. I loved her, but it’s good to see that they haven’t gone with a direct like-for-like replacement, instead someone who can cope with the back catalogue while taking the band in a slightly different direction. Losing Glyn will also involve a bit of looking around as that kind of talented player is hard to find.
This was a great night of classic and power rock at its best. A busy Bannermans saw and heard some top music tonight and I think saw Triaxis take that next step up. I for one look forward to the next studio album to see where they go. I urge you all to check out the bands on show tonight, whether it be live or recorded – you will not be disappointed.
Photos by Gary Cooper.
- Ministry of Truth
- Sker Point
- End of Time
- Don’t Talk To Strangers
- Black Trinity
- Stand Your Ground