Axecatcher with support from Jackalfeud, Dying Breed and Chronicles
Friday 22nd February 2013 – Auntie Annies. Belfast
This gig should be a banger: ostensibly the launch of EP ‘Sparks and Spears’ from Savour Your Scene’s Axecatcher, the bill also features Chronicles, Dyingbreed and Jackalfeud.
Chronicles are a melodic hardcore band from Derry. They are mere infants on the scene, having formed less than a year ago and currently recording their first EP. They begin strongly enough with a chugging, rhythmic intro and three-pronged guitar attack. Vocalist Noel King roars and snarls admirably, whilst looking somewhat nervous. It soon emerges that this is only their second gig! No wonder there are nerves, as well as a few errors (dropped mike, anyone?). Their sound is at once cohesive yet (as is hardcore’s signature) unhinged, with a great mix of melodic guitars and a slight doom-y edge. The only niggle? Their songs are mostly mid-tempo and start to sound a bit samey. Perhaps they could try other speeds? They are certainly capable, as final track ‘Divinity’ amply demonstrates. It is fast, ballsy, and technically and sonically the highlight of the set.
Dyingbreed are an altogether different kettle of fish. They bound confidently on-stage and play some blasting rock ‘n’ roll! Their sound is a mix of glam rock, punk and thrash, with clear influences from the likes of the Dillinger Escape Plan, Mastodon, QOTSA and even Queen. They are currently recording their second EP, to be released in March, and play a good mix of old and new songs tonight. Vocalist James Moore is a captivating star in the making, as he flails, screams and head-bangs, much to the delight of the crowd.
Dyingbreed are the rarest of creatures; a metal band that would fit easily into any line-up That, combined with their fierce talent and brilliantly crafted songs, will see them in good stead throughout their career. A highly enjoyable set!
Slamming us back into growly rock mode is Jackalfeud. With shades of Mastodon, Sabbath, Deftones and even Zeppelin, this is an interesting prospect! Their set, whilst bulging with ferocious riffs, pounding drums and visceral basslines, also throws up a few surprises, such as a slide guitar, instrumental numbers and even a guitar played so it sounds like a violin! The band with the longest history on the bill (having formed in 2003), Jackalfeud have clearly had time to combine their influences with their own sound and have created an intriguing beast. EP number four is apparently in the works; this will undoubtedly be a highly anticipated release.
Tonight’s headliners Axecatcher are a self-described hardcore band. Once the trio begin to play, however, it is clear that this is only part of their sound. They capably combine classic rock riffs with a hardcore edge. Sure, there is a clear influence from the likes of Trash Talk, but there is also a definite Motorhead vibe! They get the biggest cheer of the night (for mentioning Mexican bolthole ‘Boojum’), as well as the only (small but perfectly formed) moshpit.
The final track from the new EP, ‘Youfinder’, is a highlight tonight, with its meaty riffs and metallic squeal. The entire set is very catchy and headbang-y. On the back of this gig, the EP – and Axecatcher themselves – should be huge.