Making Monsters with support from Death of a Salesman, Heel of Achilles & Black Chapels
Monday 2nd May 2016 – Empire Music Hall, Belfast
Belfast’s historic Empire hosted a four band bill made up from bands from the heavier end of the spectrum to finish off the Bank Holiday weekend.
Unfortunately due to a last minute change of stage times I only managed to catch the last two songs from openers Black Chapels. However enough was heard of their stoner sound to want to hear more the next time, with excellent dual guitar work and drumming on display.
Heel Of Achilles don’t hang around once all 5 have arrived on the small stage. Some chugging metalcore riffs drown out the bass and backing vocals during the opening song. New single ‘Scarecrows’ sees Gavin Brown join the band to add some impressive screams. Still a young band, a few tunes never really go anywhere and end abruptly-no doubt they are talented musicians, but there is a sense of it all looking and feeling slightly forced.
Death Of A Salesman‘s frontman introduces the band by dedicating the night to Celine Dion. Certainly no sign of her influence in their music though, with ‘Cosmos’ and ‘Checkmate’ sounding ferocious. Singer Aidan Thompson owns the stage throughout. And the floor. And the balcony. Comment is made regarding the mixed bill-the band were undoubtedly the heaviest band on offer, and ‘Your Destination’ is introduced as “our love song”. It’s nothing of the sort obviously, its frenetic pace showcasing the considerable talents of bassist RC and drummer Rory Gould.
Thompson once again leaves the stage, whilst the rest of the band continue to play, and I’m left in awe at the sound being produced from a single guitar. ‘Generation Terror’ is dedicated lovingly to David Cameron and recent release ‘Another Day’ starts softly but finishes by making you feel you like you’ve been beat around the head repeatedly.
Stroke City’s Making Monsters have been making many new fans recently, with Radio 1 air play and fresh from supporting Fightstar at the tail end of 2015. Tonight is the opening night of an extensive local tour, the band arrive onstage with little fanfare and blast straight into the title track from the upcoming ‘Bad Blood’ EP. Emma Gallagher’s vocal range is ridiculous, and she is a whirlwind of a frontwoman. A request for some cheesy clapping is duly obliged by the healthy sized Monday night crowd before ‘Call Me Out’. New song ‘Rose’ has a massive chorus as well as some great vocal harmonies between Gallagher and bassist Gary Todd.
Recent single ‘Better’ gets a deservedly huge response, whilst another newbie ‘Noodle Sync’ features a stop start riff, impressive drumming and some amazing growling. Guitarist Paul Monk is unassuming onstage, but churns out catchy riff after catchy riff and the singer’s remarks about the band being lighter than the rest of the bill are somewhat misleading. ‘What It’s Worth’ has a huge sound to it and it takes talent for one singer to switch so effortlessly between three such distinct vocal styles. In the live setting the instruction to “Fight Fire With Fire” during final song ‘Nosebleed’ sounds even more terrifying. An exceptional live band, still very much in the early days of a very promising career.
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