Although advertised as being at Motion, the gig was actually in the Marble Factory (part of the same site) where I saw Enslaved recently. On that occasion the doors opened later than advertised. This time the tickets stated 7:00pm but whilst we were queuing we saw a list of times pinned up outside stating that the first band was on stage at 6:45pm! It would seem that someone, somewhere has an issue with getting the door times right at this venue.
That first band was new metalcore band She Must Burn. They were already on stage by the time we got in but we were able to find room at the crowd barrier just to the right of the stage left P.A., giving a somewhat restricted view across the front of the stage.
Singer Joe Sinclair interacted well with the sparse crowd, and the band’s brutal sound went down pretty well. The pace let up a little part way through to allow keyboardist Aimy Miller take centre stage by taking lead vocals on the balladic “Into Light”. The band’s brief set flew by with much headbanging – particularly from guitarist Terry Clarke and new bassist Frankie Keating – and before we knew it they were onto their final song “Eclipse”.
The P.A. had obscured my view of the drums and keyboards, but number two son was certainly impressed with the sight of Ms. Miller as well as the actual music! We moved into a more central position during the intermission whilst the gear was being changed over on stage.
Next up were main support band, Australian extreme progressive metal band Ne Obliviscaris. Apparently the group’s name is Latin and means “forget not”, and this is entirely appropriate for this band.
There are six members of the band – vocalist / lyricist Xenoyr, vocalist / violinist Tim Charles, guitarists Benjamin Baret and Matt Clavins, bassist Brendan “Cygnus” Brown and drummer Dan Presland.
Xenoyr, all in black and looking very gothic, handles the harsh vocals with Charles (who resembles a smiley heavy metal Jesus!) providing fantastic clean vocals, soaring violin work and the between-song interaction with the audience. It’s worth mentioning here, as I may have commented on before, one of my pet hates at gigs. During the quieter moments of the band’s set the noise of people talking in the audience was quite off-putting for anyone that was interested in the performance taking place. Why go to a gig only to talk all the way through the support act? It’s pointless and frankly disrespectful!
Anyway, back to the band. A unique mixture of death , black and progressive metal with elements of jazz and avant-garde thrown in, Ne Obliviscaris have some rather lengthy songs, and in fact just four tracks were aired during their slot, and they are full of changes of pace and dynamics. I hadn’t been too aware of their material prior to the gig but have been listening to their two albums to date quite a bit since Saturday night. I have been really impressed with Presland’s quite sublime drumming too.
Setlist: (probable – I didn’t know the material but this seems to be their regular set of late)
1. Devour Me, Colossus (Part I) – Blackholes / 2. Of Petrichor Weaves Black Noise / 3. Painters Of The Tempest (Part II) – Triptych Lux (Movement I – Creator / Movement II – Cynosure / Movement III – Curator) / 4. And Plague Flowers The Kaleidoscope
1 and 3 originally from “Citadel” (2014) / 2 and 4 originally from “Portal Of I” (2012)
Then at 8:30pm came headliners Cradle Of Filth. As the intro tape “Humanity Inspired To Nightmare” rolled the band trooped out onto the stage. First, drummer Martin “Marthus” Škaroupka took his place behind his large kit which was partly shielded behind an acoustic screen, something I haven’t seen at a gig before.
He was followed by bassist Daniel Firth, guitarists Marek “Ashok” Šmerda and Richard Shaw and keyboardist Lindsay Schoolcraft, before main man Dani Filth strode onto the stage replete not only with corpse paint but also black contact lenses, horns and a staff.
The horns only lasted until the end of the first track proper “Heaven Torn Asunder”, but the black contact lenses stayed for the duration and really gave Mr. Filth a demonic look which was perfectly in keeping with his band’s material.
“Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids”, with introduction from Schoolcraft was greeted with a roar by the crowd, which seemed both bigger and more enthusiastic than that at the previously mentioned Enslaved show, and from then on it was a mix of classic Cradle tracks and material from the band’s most recent “Hammer Of The Witches” album.
Musically the band were tight and ferocious. The two guitarists prowled the front of the stage along with Filth, but the drums seemed to be shoved into the corner (an impression heightened by the use of the acoustic screen) and Schoolcraft was also rather far back from the front of the stage.
Filth didn’t seem overly impressed by the noise generated by the audience, which was very underwhelming at times – especially when he dedicated the track “Nymphetamine” to the ladies of Bristol and was greeted by, as he remarked, “silence” more or less!
Mind you, having subsequently discovered that the previous night’s show in Nottingham had benefitted from pyro, stage props and an on-stage video screen – none of which appeared in Bristol, one might argue that the crowd were a little shortchanged. I can only presume the size of the Marble Factory stage was the reason behind this.
Despite this we thoroughly enjoyed the show, and I thought the visuals were very good. Perhaps not quite up to the standard of Behemoth last December but not far off…
1. Intro – Humana Inspired To Nightmare / 2. Heaven Torn Asunder / 3. Cruelty Brought Thee Orchids / 4. Blackest Magik In Practice / 5. Lord Abortion / 6. Right Wing Of The Garden Triptych / 7. Malice Through The Looking Glass / 8. Deflowering The Maidenhead, Displeasuring The Goddess / 9. Queen Of Winter, Throned / 10. Walpurgis Eve / 11. Yours Immortally… / 12. Nymphetamine / 13. The Twisted Nails Of Faith / 14. Her Ghost In The Fog / 15. Outro – Blooding The Hounds Of Hell
1, 2 and 7 originally from “Dusk… And Her Embrace” (1996) / 3 and 13 originally from “Cruelty And The Beast” (1998) / 4, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 15 originally from “Hammer Of The Witches” (2015) / 5 and 14 originally from “Midian” (2000) / 9 originally from “V Empire” (1996) / 12 originally from “Nymphetamine” (2004)