Limelight Belfast. A place I now know well and a place that regularly serves up some of the best in rock and metal, be it local bands or well established international acts. Tonight is no exception, we are being treated to three of those local bands.
First up is Dead Addiction, starting off our night wth “Sick City” a bluesy/punk number that causes an involuntary up and down movement to my head. Vocalist Joe Murphy, guitarists Chris Van Engelen and Ciaran Little, bassist Danny Haughey and drummer Stephen Engelen continue on with a crunching track “Frozen Dawn”, the tracks come thick and fast containing a huge range of vocals and music pitches. If I’m honest, it’s hard to compare these guys to anyone as the influences from many bands such as W.A.S.P., GN’R and Black Sabbath are obvious. Finishing their set with a huge track “Live at the Scene” with which two of the audience were invited on stage for the duration. This band are young, fantastic and play far beyond their years. If you haven’t seen them yet I urge you to look them out, you won’t be disappointed.
Next on stage are a band I have had the pleasure of seeing a few times now. Skypilot are a 3 piece made up of lead singer and guitarist David Hall, bassist Gareth Ruddock and drummer Garry McConnell, they hall from Doagh near Belfast and are awesome. The set starts with “M.O.A.S.T”, a huge, grinding track with David’s vocals piercing through the heaviness. The next track “Superdupernaut” is heavier, it makes you want to leave your inhibitions at the bar and mosh like crazy. The next three tracks are delivered at neck breaking pace and culminates in what many would consider to be this band’s finest – “Stomper”, this song does exactly what it says on the tin; makes you want to stomp. It is hard, heavy and goes through you like a freight train. Skypilot are an amalgamation of originality and influences by Pitchshifter, Tool and Masters of Reality which is a real heady mix. One of my favourite bands from this part of the world, of which there are many.
Headliners Rosco’s Riot have a huge presence on stage. They are another young band but have the drive and energy of any mainstream act. Tim Knox on vocals and guitar, bassist James Quinn, guitarist Andy Brown and Craig Taylor on drums rip through the set like a metal whirlwind. Starting off with “Tainted Soul” the already warmed-up crowd flocked to the floor and kicked off dancing. With a bit of tune down time, the band continue on to “Yesterday’s Paradise”, the titular track from the latest EP. It’s a massive track and well played live.
Running through the set, fast and furious tracks like “Gypsy Eyes”, “Little Darling” and “Done Deal” are played at full throttle and as heavy as I’ve ever heard them. Even treated to a new track not heard before “Grandeur of Fear” which is a crunching sound and metal to the max. Finishing the set with the incredible “War” a huge molten track and encoring with “Sweet Midnight” a screaming guitar and heady vocal tune, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d just seen a stadium-filling band like Black Stone Cherry or Corrosion of Conformity. This band is bigger than its boots and rightly so.
What a night for NI metal.