It seems to be a fairly quiet evening for a Cathouse gig. The crowd in attendance is smaller in numbers than usual. But it is mitigated by the fact that these are dedicated fans here to support two stellar representatives of the modern London pub scene. We interviewed both The Raven Age and Savage Messiah before the gig – further reading for later!
Here tonight to prove that talent is hereditary is George Harris – descendant of Iron Maiden legend, Steve Harris – with his opening act, The Raven Age. This is only the third show with their newest member, former Wild Lies vocalist Matt James, and his abilities are certainly promising. Charismatic, brilliant stage presence and he manages to sound great despite Cathouse’s infamously mediocre sound system during events.
Technically, they are on top form. They have blessed the audience with great energy and a highly engaging performance. This is truly a beacon of light for new bands to follow. Not only have they steered clear of falling into the over saturated post-hardcore trap, they present us with material which is fresh and interesting. If tracks like “Surrogate” and “Angel In Disgrace” are anything to go by, this could very well be an important turning point for the British metal scene.
They have already embarked on successful world tours even while unsigned, so with that in mind, who knows what the future will predict for them. We can say that it certainly looks promising.
But while The Raven Age were representing new metal acts, headliners Savage Messiah seem to have the opposite effect, keeping the metal spirit alive with a wonderfully old school energy and yet another highly engaging display. In fact, if one were to momentarily zone out, they could easily believe they were actually being transported back to the thrash metal metal heyday of the 80s at an early Anthrax show.
Watching Dave Silver’s performance is like watching Cronos, Joey Belladonna and Dave Mustaine rolled into one, despite this band being considerably newer than their influences. On this particular tour, the audience had the chance to see Bleed From Within’s Ali Richardson display his talents in a different setting, as he has been filling in for the usual drummer, Anrea Gorio, this evening in his home town of Glasgow. But the star of the show had to be guitarist, Sam S Junior, with an incredible display of skills in his solos which make Eddie Van Halen’s “Eruption” look like a dumpster fire.
The fans have to give them credit for finding the perfect balance between old and new, because going back to the classic metal sound and making it fresh and interesting without rehashing what has already been done is no easy feat for any artist. Yet both acts needn’t worry as this evening they have managed to pull it off. Even Matt James’ clean vocal style has an almost late 90s feel to it. Each set has its own unique and interesting sound but the one thing they have in common is that they know exactly how to interact with their audiences. Genuinely vibrant and loads of fun throughout – we expect big things from them both in the years to come.