The Attic, Manchester 17/01/07
Well, I’d been looking forward to this gig for a while. Atavist, Winters In Osaka, Bossk and Volition were all on the bill. Volition I wasn’t too bothered about seeing as I hadn’t heard about them before, and Bossk are supporting Cult of Luna on 20-2-07, so I’d get to see them there. I was, however, looking forward to some vicious doom metal from Atavist, and was highly interested in the “white noise manipulation” label that had been stuck on to Winters In Osaka. Plus, it was only £5 on the doors, so it was a nice bargain (although, the cans were like £.3.20 -no draught beer, so it wasn’t the ideal place to get drunk at that price).
Anyway, the night nearly didn’t happen. I left my house at 6pm to get the 6.07pm bus. I waited there for 50 fucking minutes for the 101, and it never showed up. Feeling disheartened, I walked back home and resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn’t be going out. Blah, blah, blah, the party spirit kicked in and I jumped into a taxi down to The Attic. In the interests of not boring you to death, I’ll just jump straight into reviewing the bands…
Volition were up first, and straight away I knew they were something special. After only two songs, I had thoughts of these being the best show of the night. The speakers flooded the room with bone shaking interference and feedback, filling your head with the doom-laden, slow riffs and drumming. The singer really pulled out the stops and matched the rest of the band in terms of sheer impact. I can’t stress enough how much better this band sounds live. They have a feel of Electric Wizard about them at times, and then a sound that was completely their own at others. The opening song, Cheyne Stoking (nice Dead Man’s Shoes homage, lads), set the night off to an eventful start.
Up next were Bossk. They seemed to be the most anticipated band of the night. The crowd rushed forward when they began playing. Words cannot describe the aural sensations that were made available to the crowd by this five piece. They have a brand of post-metal/sludge that sets them aside from most other bands on the scene today. Playing melodic riffs that progressed to darker territory as the singer stepped up to the mic. And what a voice this guy had! You’d never imagine a sound like that could come from such a person. The room almost felt as if it was filled by some ethereal ether as the band put down some intricate layering that was reminiscent of Red Sparowes, but also unique in itself. To say they stole the show would be a huge understatement. A more apt word would be ‘dominated’.
It takes something special to top Bossk’s set, and unfortunately, Winters In Osaka didn’t have what it took. I was expecting some interesting experimental sounds like white noise manipulation, and power electronics. They delivered in some respects, and they definitely brought a change of pace to the precedings, but I couldn’t help but get a ‘generic drone metal’ feeling from their music. I do honestly believe that this type of music is more suited to earphones and a dark room, rather than a live venue. Whether or not it was the music, the band, or myself that was the reason the music didn’t seem to translate over, is completely subjective, I suppose. I also feel that their set was too short to get the full impact of what they’re capable of. Then again, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea putting on any bands after Bossk.
The time had finally arrived and Atavist came up to the stage. Their tradmark cold, relentless doom sound reverberated through many a skull in that room. It almost felt as if the bass from the drumkit was the only thing keeping your heart pumping. The assault on the eardrums intense and energetic. I’m sure I heard some new material, too, which makes me savour the release of their second LP even more. Even though they played spot on, I do honestly believe that Volition -with a lot more to prove- played a better show. Just barely, though. Atavist were without fault that night, and wrapped up the night’s shows perfectly.
Volition – 9/10
Bossk – 10/10
Winters in Osaka – 6/10
Atavist – 8/10
Oh, and I got a Ufomammut CD too, nice! My only regret of the night was not buying a Volition CD to compliment the Bossk and Atavist ones that I already have.
Scribed by: Lewis Hunter
Photos by: Lee Edwards