Brighton’s finest venue, The Green Door Store, was packed like rarely before on that Halloween’s Eve, especially for a metal gig, so you can imagine how hectic it felt on that Sunday evening, whilst many of us were still recovering from their respective parties from the night before. Brighton was hungover but happy to have made it to the show.
The opening act, Sugar Horse, was the only one from the headliner that I did not know, so I thought ‘let’s give these guys a go’. That was an excellent decision on my part because their short but sweet set was impressive. Greeted by a ‘Hello Brighton’ after their first song, Sugar Horse serves us a really nice post-metal sound with clear vocals and heavy riffs.
A good surprise so far from a band whose Bandcamp description is ‘a decidedly average band’. But the Bristolian quartet sound nothing like an average band, falling halfway between Heriot and Tuskar. Gutted usually does feature guest vocalists, but it works just as fine with only the four of them. Brutal and melodic at the same time, it was at this point where heads started to bang properly. The Live Long After was the last track for Sugar Horse, it got everyone in a trance and headbanging in unison. The audience got hooked and cheered. We hope to see and hear more from them in the near future.
it got everyone in a trance and headbanging in unison…
Just enough time to catch up with familiar faces and get a quick drink before going into the pit again for Tuskar. The power duo from Tyler Hodges (vocals/drums) and Tom Dimmock (guitars) are giving us everything we wanted: the riffs were so heavy and powerful, you could not just stand still. The set was hot, the venue got hotter, the red lights were making all of us hot and heavy, and damn, didn’t it feel amazing?! After just two songs from their first record, they announce a new gem from their first album – the running joke of the evening, may I say.
The maestro Hodges was clearly having a blast, smiling through the show, whilst Dimmock was focused on the riffage. And then came Crimson Skull from their excellent first EP Arianrhod, my glasses nearly fell off from the headbanging. Thankfully, they were safely in my pockets by the time they played Shame. In essence, Tuskar are as melodic and powerful as it can get, and the increased interest from the public towards this band is more than justified. By the end of their set, a part of me did not want to it end, this is how fucking amazing they were live. Watch these guys whenever they come near you. I dare you, I double-dare you!
By the end of their set, a part of me did not want to it end, this is how fucking amazing they were live…
The entire The Green Door Store was waiting for the Conjurer show to start, hoping to hear a lot from their latest effort. So, when they opened their set with It Dwells, everyone went crazy. But it was really when they played Rot that hell broke loose, as mini moshes started to appear here and there. Hollow sees an a cappella from Dan Nightingale (vox/guitar), which gave a lot of depth to the song. Lots of Páthos tracks were being played tonight (Suffer Alone, Basilisk, Cracks In The Pyre, just to name a few) but nothing beats the classics like Choke and Retch.
A stellar performance by the guitarist/vocalist duo tonight, Dan and Brady Deeprose. As for the drums, just super powerful and perfect backbone to bone-crushing riffs, new recruit Noah See did an excellent job. You know when to do windmills with your princess hair or when to mosh. Conjurer‘s performance felt so spontaneous, so raw, it was impossible not to enjoy.
Conjurer’s performance felt so spontaneous, so raw, it was impossible not to enjoy…
The last couple of songs were more on the melodic side of their repertoire, which is not how doom bands tend to structure their sets, but again, it is incredibly efficient because you can leave it on a high and that’s what you want, as a doom fan, to leave on a high. Although, for their last song of the night, they chose a heavyweight, Hadal, with a little improv from bassist Conor Marshall right in the middle of the pit.
If Páthos is not part of your AOTY list this year, you must have a really good reason because they certainly will feature on the ‘Gigs of the Year’ list of many, including those at The Green Door Store (and yours truly, sorry can’t keep a secret). It was a glorious night for all the bands involved, for the touring crew and everyone who left the venue with a big smile on their faces. Mine will certainly take a while to disappear.
Words & Photos by: Nessie Spencer