Gacys Threads with support from Tusks, Lantern For A Gale and FIVEWILLDIE
Saturday 7th September 2013 – Limelight 2, Belfast
The Distortion Project in The Limelight every Saturday evening (http://www.thedistortionproject.com/) had put on some cracking gigs recently and tonight was no exception: the launch of local hardcore heroes Gacys Threads split EP. Due to economic and distance factors their EP mates Colossus Fall were back at home in Switzerland, so the Gacys boys gathered a few other bands to join them in the launch.
First up was Belfast newbies Tusks. From their opening notes of filling-loosening bass their genre was clear: these guys were pure stoner rock, in the vein of Sabbath at their deep, doomy best. Their set was awash with groovy riffs, raw, impassioned vocals and some great tribal drumming breakdowns. Vocalist Tom seemed a little, uh, tired and emotional as he apologised for blowing out his voice the previous night (“I was barking like a f**king dog”) and indeed he seemed to be having a little trouble, despite clearly giving his all. A wee joking reference to their classic sound (“this is our 1976 hit”) preceded their final song ‘Inside the Gold Mine’. With its Iron Man vibe and a drum solo no less, it was an adventurous, epic way to wrap up what was a strong and entertaining set.
Up next was the melodic hardcore stylings of NI’s Lantern For a Gale. Forming in 2010 and signing to Savour Your Scene Records soon after, tonight they sounded tight, cohesive and well-rehearsed. Vocalist Paul had clearly decided that the stage was too small for his liking, as he spent their entire set on the floor area! The small but appreciative crowd duly backed up a tad to give him some room and simply enjoyed a set for of chugging, thunderous riffs a la Cancer Bats or Every Time I Die.
On-stage, the band were an animated, enthusiastic bunch, but couldn’t hold a candle to their frenetic singer. He informed the crowd that he was running on “quite a lot of caffeinated drinks” – clearly, given the way he was prowling, leaping and flailing! They finished with ‘Cut Throat Blues’, from the EP of the same name. Full of rapid-fire riffs and blasting vocals, it was a persuasive end to a set that clocked in at an extremely compact twenty minutes.
Demonstrating their hardworking ethic that will surely help them on their way, up next was FIVEWILLDIE who had come all the way from Cork. They filed onstage and transformed from unassuming Irishmen to roaring demons in the blink of an eye! They describe themselves as ‘progressive sludge’ on their Facebook page, which is as apt a description as any to cover their roaring vocals, slabs of sludgy riffs and intriguing mix of doom and hardcore. Vocalist Andrew Forrestal looks like a mountain man and snaps and snarls like a horror movie monster (and NOT Chucky).
There was certainly a touch of prog in their quite rich, lush sound and epic song length;, a sort of modern day Sabbath homage, taking their essence, distilling it…then setting it on fire. The result is meaty and loud as f**k but also trippy and spacey. Interesting huh! A few vocal issues marred the performance (the whispered section failed utterly) but on the whole it was a great set. They finished with the crunchily riff-laden ‘Fighting Against Your Conscience’, which built and built to a raging crescendo and then crashed to a sliding end, leaving a momentary silence which filled with whoops and cheers from the crowd.
Who can top that? Gacys could top that! With no introduction or warning, they slammed into ‘Scaphism’, temporarily taking everyone aback and resulting in a flurry of hastily returning punters. Vocalist Aaron Vance was in magnificent form tonight, spilling out venom and vitriol like it was coming from his very core. They treated the beaming crowd to a few new numbers including ‘Life Struck’ and of course the EP tracks ‘Plague Wielder’ and ‘Salvation’, both of which sounded immense and pounding. A few crowd members were even singing along to these new tracks even though their release was a matter of days ago!
During ‘Titans’ Vance leapt from the stage and began prowling the floor area, involving the crowd who reacted with delight, especially during the breakdown in ‘Unanswered’ where Vance led the headbanging. Onstage, the remaining band members were playing like men possessed, giving their all as they always do. The riffs just kept coming and coming like a thunderous cavalry charge. They finished their set in style with ‘Through Teeth’ and ‘Home to Fortune’, which amply demonstrated to the assembled crowd that tonight they were at their venomous, gut-punching best.
Gacys Threads just keep going from strength to strength. They never put on a bad show, and they always put their heart and soul into every recording, every gig, every interview. This talented bunch are definitely riding an ascending star at the moment, and the EP they launched tonight can surely only bring more success. The EP is available from their website, as well as their Facebook page and of course Savour Your Scene Record’s website. So if you like your hardcore metal raw, furious and crushing (and who doesn’t?) then do yourself a favour…