Romeo Must Die & Bolton Metal Shenanegans

Posted: November 2, 2010 in Live Shows
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Last Friday night I moseyed on down to sunny Bolton to catch up with some friends and catch a few bands. Some you might know, some you might not, but all you definitely should check out. In any case it was a full night of metal mayhem! \m/

As I said, I have friends in Bolton that I made while I was gigging with the band, so it’s always cool to get back up there from time to time and catch up. For those of you who love your metal in all flavours and colours, especially of the ‘heavy’ variety, then Bolton should be on your list of places to keep an eye on.

Almageddon at The Alma, Bolton

Almageddon at The Alma, Bolton

Bolton has a thriving metal scene. They are a group of people who seem to live and breathe metal and have a love of live music. It’s the kind of place that if a local band has a night on then, more often than not, everyone will be out en masse to show their support. Believe me, that’s a beautiful and appreciated thing!

On this occasion, we headed over to The Alma, Bolton’s premier metal gig venue/pub, for night one of ‘Almageddon’ featuring ‘Romeo Must Die’. If you don’t know who Romeo Must Die are, well they were born from the ashes of UK hardcore/metalcore mob Stampin’ Ground. If you don’t know who Stampin’ Ground are, well you really need to get out from under that big rock and do some homework!!

So the full line-up for the show was ‘Romeo Must Die’, with support from Scottish noise bringers ‘Madman is Absolute’, Birmingham hardcore stalwarts ‘Decimate’ and two of Bolton’s heaviest bruisers ‘Fall of Ruin’ and ‘Killing the Tyrant’.

So Myself, Ross (yes, hello Ross, it is you!) and our favourite designated driver Jim (he doesn’t drink, he’s the perfect candidate for the role!) headed down to The Alma for the Bolton classic cocktail of “Beer and Metal”. Or Coke if you’re Jim.

First up was Killing The Tyrant. I know the guys of Killing The Tyrant from previous bands they’ve been in, (Displacement, Fracture, Silver Medal Massacre) and each of those bands were pretty impressive. KTT are no exception. They bring a huge sound to the game with their brand of metal, and played a bunch of well crafted tunes, showing some great guitar work. These aren’t your standard issue ‘cut and paste’ metalcore sounding riffs, they’ve got some beefy sounding tunes that carry some considerable weight behind them, then add in some subtle chord work and melody that makes for a unique style and sound. Coupled with a spot-on cover of Parkway Drive’s ‘Romance is Dead’ (“So cry me a fuckin’ river, biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitch!”) and The Terminator theme outro, KTT leave the stage in ruins. Defo a band you should watch out for!

Following Killing The Tyrant’s onslaught was another beast born of Bolton. Fall of Ruin are another heavy hitting outfit. With a more hardcore sound, they took to the stage (well, floor) and tore the place a new one! With a wall of crunching metal guitar (from just one guitarist) and some larger than life drumming they are a pretty immense sounding band. Their frontman was in top form too. He has a pretty decent style to his voice and knows how to get a crowd to move. He was rarely stationary. Bouncing through the crowd to get them to join him. Cool band.

A quick chat with some friends, and another pint (maybe 2, I lost track) later, and Birminghams ‘Decimate’ were on. I was never into the whole UK Hardcore scene as much as some of my friends were, so I never really got into Decimate and I don’t remember seeing them before. I might have done though, I’ve seen plenty of bands that I’ve forgotten about! Anyways, Decimate were really good. Powered up vocals and some sharp sounding, stabby hardcore riffs really make you pay attention. Great to watch and they’ve got a decent set of tunes to play with. Their new stuff sounded pretty good too.

Last time I saw Madman Is Absolute, it was at Stampin’ Ground’s farewell gig in Manchester at Jilly’s Rockworld. It was Damnation Festival, methinks, in 2006. Madman were insane. For a four piece they can’t half make some noise! Friday, however, they were without their usual frontman (for whatever reason I didn’t hear or fully understand) but still performed a decent set. With some Death/Thrash speedy riffs and some sludgy ones, mixed in with some melodic lead guitar work, and some pretty nifty footwork on the drums, Madman Is Absolute are a class act.

Last up, the headliners Romeo Must Die. I first head these guys when my band were about to record our EP. We recorded with former Stampin’ Ground guitarist Scott Atkins at Grindsone Studios. He sent us some of his recordings so we could see what to expect, and there was a RMD track amongst them. It was pretty damn cool. They went on to release an EP (Defined By Enemies) which is a firm fave of mine. Love the track ‘No Faith left’. I recommend you check it out! Anyway, this is the second time I’ve seen RMD play and they’re really good live band and a talented bunch. Given how they sound and how well they play, I’m shocked as to why they’re not bigger.

But as I said, they are a great live act and know how to get you moving. Opening with a track from the EP (I forget which, I had been drinking remember!), they launched into a full set of pounding metal tracks that fans of bands like Sylosis or Parkway Drive would appreciate. It was a set of new songs that I didn’t know, but it wasn’t one of those “I don’t know these songs, this is boring” sets. It was good to hear some new material. And it sounded pretty cool! Come on fellas, where’s this album? It’s been a long time coming!!

Romeo Must Die pick up where Stampin’ Ground left off. They have a metalcore sound with a hardcore edge. They’ve got catchy riffs, some great melodic guitar, stompy beatdowns and some seriously ballsy vocals. Here’s a spot of old footage of them playing ‘No Faith Left’

Great gig. Can’t wait to get back to Bolton and hang out with friends again!

Please check out all the bands i’ve mentioned:

Romeo Must Die Myspace
Madman Is Absolute Myspace
Decimate Myspace
Fall of Ruin Myspace
Killing The Tyrant Myspace

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