Vallenfyre at Rebellion ManchesterSupport: Implore| Wolfbastard
September 11, 2017 at Rebellion Manchester
Promoter: CMH Live
A rare chance to catch the mighty Vallenfyre is not one to be missed; so I headed down to a busy Rebellion bar to catch the band heading an impressive and varied bill on their European tour in support of their recent Fear Those Who Fear Him album.
First up were Oldham- (NOT Manchester-, apparently) based black metal / d-beat three-piece Wolfbastard, and their set was every bit as intense as their name would suggest. Unusually adding a bit of humour in between the bands grinding noise, the trio got plenty of heads nodding and a great response from the early arrivals. The between-song banter and explanations of the song titles added a bit of light relief – just enough to lighten the mood without taking anything away from the brutal approach of the music. With two members of Burial in the line up, you get pretty much what you’d expect, just with an extra bit of fun thrown in for good measure. Great start to the evening.
Next up were German death metallers Implore. With a sound heavily influenced by the late 80s’ / early 90s’ Swedish death metal scene, the band (who were a new name for many of the crowd, myself included) set about taking their chance and making some new fans. Their performance was very impressive, very tight, and measured musically, but also had that little bit of chaos that got more and more people to take notice as the set progressed. Even a couple of technical issues didn’t throw them off their stride. With a new album to push, and a couple of tracks from that record previewed during the show, the foursome overcame the cramped conditions, parked as they were in front of the headliners gear, and put on a show that wasn’t too far off being the best of the night. A damn fine band to watch out for over the coming years.
Finally, Vallenfyre arrived on stage, shrouded in the dry ice and spending the first couple of songs largely hidden on the hazy stage. With three superb albums behind them, these rare live shows have taken on something more than a normal gig. For a band whose music is very powerful, bleak and uncompromising, frontman Gregor Mackintosh wasn’t afraid to show his lighter side between songs. He introduced one song as being about his “experiences with Catholic priests… but I don’t want to go into that…” and later about a bad relationship, as the band started playing ‘Ravenous Whore’, with the same pay-off line. The noise filled the room and sounded as desolate and furious as normal, but those lighter moments really made the night as much as any of the songs. When one song had to be restarted Gregor looked around at his bandmates saying, “someone is out of tune…” followed by, “I notice Hamish [Glenross – Vallenfyre and My Dying Bride guitarist] didn’t even look down to see if it’s him. There’s a certain amount of arrogance there. I like that!” Once back up and running, the set swayed between death metal and doom right along to some crust-punk and grind-infused noise that not many bands can pull off, certainly not to the level that Vallenfyre do. ‘An Apathetic Grave’ and ‘Kill All Your Masters’ were two standout moments from a set full of them; and if this tour is the last we see of the band for a while, it was a pretty impressive way to go out.
Three excellent bands all playing fine sets. Shows like this really show the great state of the underground metal scene. Their set at this years Damnation Festival will be one of the high points of the day.
Born To Decay – Messiah – Odious Bliss – Degeneration – Scabs – Instinct Slaughter – An Apathetic Grave – Nihilist – Cathedrals Of dread – Dead World Breathes – Savages Arise – The merciless Tide – Kill All Your Masters – Ravenous Whore – Splinters – Desecration