It had been some time since I had visited Nice N Sleazy for a gig, so I was looking forward to attending this show headlined by Irish band Words That Burn, with support from Centrilia and Glasgow’s own Metal 2 the Masses winners, Titan Breed. After having a nice chat with Words That Burn about their expectations of their mini-Scottish tour, we all headed downstairs as it was time for Titan Breed to play.
The first thing that was apparent was the crystal clear sound system installed by Nice N Sleazy, making this a joy for all of the bands to hear each note being played and feel the sound as it pumps that rib cage into oblivion. It’s almost as if each band member dare not do anything wrong because everyone will hear it… it was that good. Opening with “Edge of the World”, Titan Breed vocalist Johnny stomps around the stage bellowing his Pantera-like lyrics like a madman. For a band that is just over two years old, they already have massive stage presence with their hardcore and thrashy riffs that just command you to bang your heads in unison. Vocal duties are split with guitarist Pete who, being a mountain of a man, can sing clean vocals that mix perfectly well with that of Johnny. This creates a unique experience for the listener and they both feed off each other. Backed by the other band members (bassist Mark, drummer Lewis and guitarist Stewart) this is a band that is incredibly tight.
Another highlight for me was their new track (sorry, I didn’t catch the name) which, if it’s anything to go by, shows that their new material is heading in a stronger groovier direction, mixing the brutality with melodic metal and clean vocals oozing class and precision. While Pete is singing, Johnny engages the crowd in moshing and proves himself to be a very influential frontman. Although the new song is mid-paced, it packs plenty of punch and has the Pantera style riffs again but with their own deft touches thus making things most enjoyable for the crowd.
“Descend into Isolation” also stood out, with riffs that were thick and heavy and packed a real kick in the balls. The difference with this song is that we had both vocalists sharing the chorus with growls and clean vocals. This complemented the music very well. Drummer Lewis hit his drums very hard to the extent that I felt sorry for the snare and along with five string bassist Mark, provide an efficient well oiled rhythm machine, solidifying the band’s live performance. One to watch.
Next up were again a local band from Glasgow called Centrilia who have a massive stage presence due to their fit physiques. Let’s just say I wouldn’t want to mess with the guitarist and ex-Madman is absolute good guy David as well as gentle giant and vocalist Gavin. There was then only one form of music that these guys could play and that was metalcore with a bit of death metal thrown in… but not too much. Opening with “Tsunami”, I couldn’t think of a more fitting title as this track just drowned me with the heaviness of the down-tuned guitar from David which he played with limitless effort. The riffs just seemed to emanate from his guitar which captivated the crowd. There were so many times the audience could nothing else than bang their heads to very strong opener. Once again the sound within Sleazy’s was brilliant.
Next track “The Fall” starts off with a nice lead from David before normal service is resumed of slow stomping riffs in the realm of Pantera. Drummer Andy proved to be very reliable behind the sticks and controlled the head banging at the front of the stage. Next we had an intro before a song which I think was the highlight of their set with David again opening with a brilliant melody before a riff reminiscent of mid-era Entombed, and that instantly put a smile on my face. I didn’t hear too much of the song as I was too busy snapping my neck away as it was just mid-paced moshing heaven. What I did hear was the band giving it their all and certainly growing their fan base. The sound was once again that good that you even heard the bassist Gareth sounding like rolling thunder with his thick strings playing. This band has been together since 2013 and this clearly shows in the live environment. This is another act that deserves a listen and definitely need to experience live. I am still scared of them though!
Then the Irish headliners of the gig, Words That Burn and after the two support bands, they really did have a tough pair of acts to follow. What was immediately apparent was that these guys give their all on stage, are just out to have fun and are definitely more active than the other bands. Bassist Ger and guitarist Shane own the stage and use every inch that is available to them. Opening with “Disappear” (vocals from Roni and Ger) set the tone for a highly entertaining set from the band which has amassed a steady following since the release of their debut Regret is for the Dead (WormholeDeath Records, 2016). This song brings the growlier vocals from Roni but within a split second he can change this effortlessly to clean vocals. It says a lot for a vocalist who can change his style like this as it adds so much to the song. This was a very strong opener to the set and the crowd showed their appreciation straight away with some movement.
Next song “Scars” starts of with a nice lead from Shane and clean vocals once again from Roni and you can’t do anything other than appreciate what is on show here. Once the heavier vocals kick in again, the guitars are down tuned and the riffs are thunderous, backed up by drummer Jason who hits the living daylights out of his kit. This is a band that is mature beyond their years and I can only see positive things happening for them. Influences that I hear are Deftones, Killswitch Engage and maybe even a touch of Slipknot with the mix of heavy and lighter moments.
Next we had “Chalklines” where Roni demanded some more head banging from the crowd. Well when the drums and the guitars kicked, that is exactly what he got and I must admit I had to join in. Being a death metal fan, I shouldn’t be doing this but you couldn’t do anything else as the band pick you up by the scruff of the neck and tell you that you better mosh or they will come down into the audience and sort you out. Thankfully the tunes did all the talking for the band and they created a bit of a stir with the audience.
Highlight of the set for me (and not because they dedicated it to me!) was their signature tune, “Mirror Perfect Mannequin” which starts off with clear vocals, which I could see Slipknot at their lightest doing. If you think this is a ballad then think again as the clear singing is soon replaced with rough vocals and riffs when the words come in. I have to say this is by far their best song. That is not a criticism in any way to their other songs, but I feel that they mix the tempo, clean and dirty vocals and the mixture of soft and harsh riffs the best. Again I shall reiterate that I am mostly a death metal fan, but I cannot do anything else but be impressed by this. They end their set to the loudest round of applause for the night and it’s well deserved.
All three bands deserve a massive show of respect for their extremely tight sets and I wish Titan Breed, Centrilia and Words That Burn all the best for their futures as they all deserve success. I also hope that Words That Burn return to these shores. I will not be the only one that says this, but they have won me over and they have a new fan.