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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Live review - Loserpalooza 13 with Sonance, Spider Kitten, Ghast, Atomck, Pohl, Homoh.

Here's something a little different from me today. I was lucky enough to attend a show last Saturday put on by one of the fine gentleman from the mighty Spider Kitten, a band that is fast rising in the UK heavy scene and who have previously received a very favorable review here on Heavy Planet for their album "Cougar Club."

This was the third annual Loserpalooza event held in Cardiff, the capitol city of Wales, put on to showcase some of the cream of the crop of doom, sludge and black metal bands hailing from the South West of the UK and the line up of bands on the night chosen by the event organizer and guitarist Chi from Spider Kitten was of a highly impressive standard with each band playing excellent sets to a venue packed full of appreciative doom metal heads.    
Things kicked off fairly early with HOMOH taking the stage with an already busy venue of adoring fans and new converts. Complete with singer/guitarist Gareth with his faced daubed in black face paint, HOMOH tore through a disgustingly filthy set of sludge in a similar style as EYEHATEGOD. They played some older tracks from their "DEMOH EP" with a few new ones played which showed an interesting development in their sound which seemed more raw and stripped down than their previous work but was no less eye gouging and brain fucking. Despite the guitarist having problems with his guitar strap he fared very well indeed and proceeded to bash out riffs with his axe raised aloft in true black sludge heroisms. I was very impressed with HOMOH's live set as they are a band with a great stage presence and with new recordings in the pipe line and reworkings of tracks from their DEMOH EPHOMOH are sure to be a band that will make a lasting mark on the sludge metal scene everywhere.


After a short break for toots and refills of ale it was time for Pohl from Bristol UK to impress the rapidly growing crowd of hungry doom and sludge lovers. Previously a 2 piece they now have a bassist which, although they were already heavy with a gargantuan sound, he is a welcome addition to the band. Pohl's set was tight and full of fast paced and incendiary drumming with fat riffs and song structures that brought to my mind Big Business and The Melvins. Pohl never fail to impress and by the end of their set everyone in attendance was fully fired up and eager for the next priests of heavy to step up and preach the gospel of riff.

Atomck were up next and this 3 piece ripped through a set of fierce and face melting grindcore and powerful noise with a very energetic vocalist utilizing much of the venue and even climbing onto the bar to shout harsh howls and guttural screams into the mic. Atomck are firm favorites in the South West metal scene and have played numerous gigs over the years and it shows. They are fast, noisy, aggressive, heavy and down right fucking balls kicking loud. I felt pretty exhausted by the end of their set but there was no way I was going to bail half way through the night so after a couple more ales and a few tokes I was feeling well enough oiled to hang around to witness the inevitable storm of doom lined up for the rest of the evening.

Ghast soon followed with a set of the doomiest of doom and furiously blistering black metal. It was a blend that worked very well and had everyone present nodding their heads in metal appreciation. This 3 piece from Swansea, Wales, know black metal as well as they do doom and blend the 2 genres seamlessly. Ghast looked very at home on stage and played a range of tracks that kept me interested and wanting to hear more by the time their slot was up. The crowd loved every second and showed their appreciation with loud roars, claps and whistles, satisfied that Ghast's chapter in the Loserpalooza book was firmly scribed and will not be forgotten any time soon.

Another short break for booze, buds and banter and then it was time for Spider Kitten to blast out their pleasingly heavy and slow and low doom with a set consisting of tracks that I have not heard from them before and none that appeared on their previous release "Cougar Club" so it was an honor to hear the tracks before they are put to record. Spider Kitten's sound has moved on somewhat from their last release with some tracks having long atmospheric and minimal moments of experimental doom that reminded me a little of Harvey Milk's work and sometimes The Melvins but the inimitable Spider Kitten sound and their dark bluesy vibes were still very much there. Their set was ground shaking and brain crushingly heavy and their riffs mouth watering and mesmerizing and had everyone, myself especially, captivated by the vast waves of low end and the high precision drumming from drummer Chris West (ex bassist of Taint). With nearly every member of the band taking their turn to sing vocals, Spider Kitten are a band that work together in an almost darkly spiritual unison with doom riffs so expertly executed it is no wonder that Spider Kitten are turning many heads in the UK doom scene their way right now. Big things are coming for this band and I and many others are very excited to hear what they have in store for us next.


Finally it was time for Bristol born Sonance to step up to the wood and they proceeded to lay everyone flat on their backs with a set that was blinding in its creativity and mind blowing in its execution. Their doom is as heart felt as any of the bands that played on the night and with members on the floor and level with the tightly gathered crowd of maniacal doom brains it was like a 60's happening but with more hair and more black and more swearing. One guitarist at the end of their set crouched down with his guitar on the floor while he teased out beautifully chaotic noise and the rest of the band joined him in evoking a monolithic wall of doom that caused red eyes and tears of heavy joy in all. There is a post metal tinge to their sound but for the most part they were doom and sludge all the way with the doom surge only being broken by moments of deeply atmospheric and introspective drone wanderings until the spine folding explosion of doom and sludge lay a final waste to an already wasted crowd.


Loserpalooza is a truly brilliant one day annual banquet of heavy music which any of our readers would appreciate and enjoy and with such a high quality of bands chosen for the show, the south west of the UK proves itself to be a veritable hotbed of amazing doom/sludge/post and black metal bands made up from many of the metal warriors that dwell in this particular corner of England and Wales.

Here, wrap you ears around this compilation put together by Spider Kitten guitar and vocalist and Loserpalooza organizer Chi to hear what I'm talking about.

Thanks and hails to all bands and all those involved in putting on an unforgettable night of true doom worship.

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