Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Ivy Presents - 8th March 2014. Infected Dead, Victim Identified, Cursed As Angels, Skarthia and Greg(o)rian

Tonight I was supposed to be in Birmingham at the very first British Brutality Festival where the mighty Victim Identified were to play their come back gig.
Unfortunately that got canceled due to reasons out of control of the organisers.
But never to fear, Victim Identified played the same night at their 'home venue' of The Ivy in Sheerness with a just as spectacular, if not better, line up.

Opening the evening was a band I've never heard of before called Greg(o)rian.
They play atmospheric blackened sludge doom post rock (I think) and they were absolutely amazing.
If you don't believe me just ask anyone else that was at the gig. I don't think there was anyone watching them that didn't have a smile on their face.
The awesomeness of sound they produce (a three piece) is somewhat incredible and one that I really like.
Lou from Infected Dead described them on stage as his 'new favourite thing'.
I really can't praise Greg(o)rian enough especially as they only had time to play one song that lasted about thirty minutes.
It is rare that a band you've never heard of before takes you by this much surprise and tonight Greg(o)rian have done that to me.
I'll stop now before I'm accused of blowing smoke up their arses!

Click Here For More Photos Of Greg(o)rian.
Next to play is another band I've never heard of before.
What? Me not hearing of two bands in the same evening? Unheard of!
They are Skarthia from North London and again I am overwhelmed by a band I'm seeing for the first time.
Their Facebook page describes them as Groove Metal with a mix of melodic riffs and death vocals.
I only have one thing to add to that... 'And then some'.
They are both brutal and beautiful to the ear for any discerning Metal fan.
But the winning factor for me as always was that you can see they love what they are doing and it shows in their stage presence.
Another band I look forward to seeing again some time.

Click Here For More Photos Of Skarthia.

Those who are regular readers of this page (I hope there are some) will know how much I like Cursed As Angels.
So them being on the bill tonight pleased me somewhat and their different style of music was a nice addition by The Ivy giving a break from the thrashier Metal or the calm before the storm if you like.
They played the same set as the previous week at The Red Lion which as I stated in that review was the perfect setlist as they are usually a headline act.
But again Cursed As Angels were cursed by equipment fucking up again and Mac's pedal or something not working properly so he couldn't be heard.
He was told of this after a couple of songs so turned his amp up a bit.
Holy shit!
I have never heard The Ivy so loud.
It was still clear enough not to distort which Anthony must be praised for but it did get a bit painful to be honest.
But, hey, we're Metal, right?
Another great performance by Cursed As Angels despite the hiccups and your's truly was invited to the front to receive a T-Shirt as a 'thankyou' for doing what I do.
That was a really nice gesture and I give a heart felt 'Thanks' back to you guys.

Click Here For More Photos Of Cursed As Angels.

After a four year hiatus, or whatever you call it, Victim Identified are back to show the world of Grind how it is done.
I first saw and recorded them at The Ivy about five years ago (according to my You Tube records) and they were kind enough to play my 40th Birthday Bash at The Beacon Court in Gillingham.
So to see Aaron and Ad back on stage at The Ivy blasting out all new material for an all new Victim Identified probably meant as much to me as it did to them.
Ad is an amazing guitarist however the volume of the guitar at the start was fairly quiet. Thankfully this was soon rectified and it started shredding like the old days.
And how the Hell does Aaron sing like that without barfing a lung or some other internal organ into the audience.
Grind may not be everyone's cup of tea and it isn't my favourite genre. But when it's two guys with a drum machine who clearly know their stuff you can only stand and watch in awe.
Victim Identified are back and are even more brutal than before.
You have been warned.

Clich Here For More Photos Of Victim Identified.

Ending tonights proceedings is Infected Dead.
They've come a long way since winning Metal 2 The Masses last year.
For those that don't know they changed their name from Neon Halo but hopefully the majority of you reading this will.
They have a new drummer in Martin Tang (Venomous Outrage) and have restructured the songs a little making them sound heavier than before.
This is the second time I've seen them in this guise and there is a vast difference between the beginning of February and now.
The transition and Martin finding his feet is going to take a little time but the progression is fast and furious just like their songs so all I'll say is go and watch them to see for yourself.
You won't be disappointed.
But what about tonight?
As always Lou Ede commands the stage and is a great front man and loves what he does. He is a very sick puppy and the titles of the songs a proof of that.
Penetration Trauma”, “Forensic Pornography” and my favourite title of all time thus far “She Was Dead When I Got There”.
A bloody awesome show from Infected Dead again.

Unfortunately I'm going to end this review on a sour note so I do apologise.
I wish some of the people who attend The Ivy and don't bother watching the bands, remaining outside would come in and watch them.
It's a free entry veune for the majority of gigs so there really is nothing to lose.
What makes it worse is they don't even use the bar.
For a venue such as The Ivy to continue putting on gigs, especially free entry ones, they rely on people using the bar. Even if it's a diet Coke it all helps to keeping a great venue going and not closing down as so many do nowadays and losing another place to go and watch your bands.
Thanks Anthony and the team at The Ivy for doing what you do.

Don't forget to check out and like my Facebook page and subscribe to my YouTube channel where you can see the videos of this gig.
Support your scene by going to local gigs and buying merch.
Remember, They're your bands.

Photos used with kind permission from Nathan Hammond Photography.

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