Fallen Icon have come all the way over from Malta to play two shows in Scotland with Ivory Blacks in Glasgow being the first show of this mini tour. I was looking forward to witnessing some serious metal from all four bands. One of the things you can say about the bands on show here tonight is if you say “Hi” to them, they don’t ignore you, instead spending some time talking to you which is a sure way of winning fans over. All four bands that I had spoken to were extremely grateful for you being there and there were no egos on show here tonight, just metal, sweat and even a wall of death!
Kicking things off were Unbeliever, who were playing their first ever gig (although they did have current and ex-members of BloodThread in their ranks). The three-piece of Chris on drums, Kevin on guitar/vocals and David on bass play homage to riffs. They launched into opener “Haven”, which I think was their best song from their set. The opening section of the song immediately reminded me of Mastadon, with Kevin displaying some outstanding vocals. Chris playing drums rather than his usual bass duties settled into his new role very quickly and was smashing his cymbals like there was no tomorrow. He was accompanied strongly by bassist David keeping the band at the same speed.
For their thirty minute set, Unbeliever were to play five songs with minimal chat in-between songs as they just let the music do the talking. Closer “Hefty” is another particular strong point, building up a nice intro for a couple of minutes a lá Baroness before Kevin stomped around his side of the stage with these thunderous riffs again, commanding attention. For a first show, Unbeliever were impressive and should definitely be a band for you to check out if Mastadon, Baroness and Kylsea tickle your fancy.
Next up were Glasgow-based and Ivory Black regulars Satiracy who I had the pleasure of witnessing at the recent BloodThread show and it was immediately clear that the band have become a lot tighter since that performance. Launching straight into “Unearth”, there is a bit for everybody with blast beats, dual vocals, and technical thrash metal mixed with a bit of progressive death metal. It’s no surprise that they got a favourable response from the crowd. Vocalist Louis has a range of singing styles, ranging from the screamy to the deep death metal vocals and something I love in a band is dual vocals, so when bassist Callum growls into the microphone, it brings a smile to my face.
Guitarist Tamara smashes her head around the stage while playing her thrash metal riffs and solos in particular, showing that she is a very accomplished guitar player. Personal favourite and first single from their recently released album The Chapters of Pestilence, “From Above” brings out the thrashier beats again from drummer Oskar, working alongside bassist Callum who continues to jump around the stage. Louis effortlessly spits venom while coordinating riffs and solos with ease, reminding me of Gojira in some places.
Closing song “The Sacrificial Remains” shows off the more technical and progressive elements of the band with Callum slapping his bass, showing that he is a very talented bassist, and Tamara and Louis combining solo riffs with aplomb. Satiracy will be launching their album on August 25th at Ivory Blacks and I suggest you go see them!
Next, we have Heavy Scotland winners Lucifer’s Corpus, who bring their heavy riff laden barrel of noise for the crowd. Opening with “Burdened”, I immediately thought of Entombed at their dirtiest, and Crowbar with the emphasis on the power of the riff rather than technicality. Matt gives his all screaming into the microphone and working up the crowd. Drummer Bud hits his snare so hard that I felt sorry for it and bassist Fraser with his dreadlocks slaps his bass which you feel battering your ribcage. A band that I have not heard before but they have certainly caught my attention as well as the crowd’s.
The next song was my favourite from their set and if I thought that the first number had heavy riffs then “Losing Grip” put it to bed. This is as heavy as a song can get and you can do nothing but bang your head to this. If you like your Louisiana brand of metal, then you will love what Lucifer’s Corpus have here.
“Purging” is the type of song that has you pumping your fist in the air and appreciating the sound, while “Throne of Stone” slows the pace down and places the emphasis of the song to the riff. Last song “Haunted”, starts off with a thundering riff that gets you nodding in appreciation and as the song goes on, you can’t help but get caught up in the music and move your arse. A very strong set by Lucifer’s Corpus, who have only been together for three years. A band to keep an eye on.
Next up – headliners all the way from Malta, three piece Fallen Icon took to the stage and immediately urged the crowd to get involved before unleashing their groove laden thrash/death metal with opener “Damnation”. With the five-string bassist, Clive, wearing a Gojira shirt and drummer Konrad wearing a Mastadon shirt, this should give you a clue as to their sound.
From the off, they were extremely tight and clearly have years of experience to fall back on. The next song caught my attention and will appear on their debut album next year, “Slither Through Ancient Skin” opens with a riff that you can’t help but move your arse on the dance floor and bang your head to in appreciation. Drummer Konrad uses all of his kit like he has four arms and four legs, while Clive stomps around the stage as if it belongs to him… and don’t you dare attempt to stand next to him.
“This Mortal Coil” is next and starts off with a nice dark ambient piece that immediately put a smile on my face. That is the calm before the storm as blast beats come in and this is definitely one of the fastest songs that the band play. Chris is a strong frontman, with a particularly strong vocal performance that is a mixture of shouting and growling, which suit the tunes perfectly. Fallen Icon know when to put groove amongst blast beats into their songs at the right time as they did with “Prophets of the Dying Sun”. Chris actively seeks crowd participation at every opportunity and on next song, “Nightbringers”, summoned a wall of death which was duly supplied by the crowd.
Chris thanked all the bands and the crowd for coming out tonight and played their last song and title track of their EP, “North of Nowhere”. This track has a mixture of everything, incorporating groove and blast, which is notably faster than their newer material but definitely a worthy closer to the set and got the biggest applause from the crowd. Fallen Icon may have been an unknown quantity here in Glasgow before tonight, but after this performance, they have gained new fans which will only spread the word of a band that deserves more recognition. See Fallen Icon when they support their new album when it comes out next year.
By the end of the night, I was not let down by any of the bands on show here. They all played blistering sets and they are all definitely worth keeping an eye on in the future.
For live recordings of all the bands’ performances tonight, check Will Ryan’s channel on YouTube.