Live Review: Over The Under / Mortal Chains / Nation Of Ruin – NE Volume Bar, Stockton 21.11.2022

Craig Young

A cold Monday night and Stockton has the pleasure of a visit from polish record breakers Over The Under. Having previously done 100 gigs in 100 days I had a feeling tonight was going to be pretty special.

Prior to the headliners, we had two local bands to warm up the crowd on this cold Monday. First up was Nation Of Ruin who had every metalhead playing for them by the looks of the lineup. From the handsome modern metal singer to the long-haired thrash slinging guitarist to the solid back bone bassist keeping things in check. The quickly got to work and delivered a tight set with plenty of headbanging and death metal vocals.

Mortal Chains looked meek and small but what a sound they produce. Lead singer taking a heap of the work being singer and sole guitarist. His exceptional playing really caught my ear with some interesting atonal melodic moments, huge intros and catchy pace changes. At times it was part guitar showcase as the long haired finger magician pulled some cracking fret work out the bag. Same goes for the bassis and drummer who were on high form tonight crafting some complicated metal all the morw amazing considering there was just three of them.

Onto the main act who quietly took the stage as another threesome with a big big sound. They quickly blew the stage up hanging on the singer/guitarist’s powerful playing. Straight up no nonsense drop d goodness. It was quite hard to pin a genre on them as they blended different forms of metal and rock together and even bringing some intense blues on their soon-to-be-released track. They played with solid professionalism which shone through at various moments such as both singer/guitarist and bassist tuned up by ear and carrying on even with a broken guitar string. Impressive.

During some of their more doom/sludge moments, the guys dug deep with the rhythms, their drummer pulling groove after groove out of his kit, like a drumming hurricane machine taking the band and the crowd with him. The solid act delighted the small crowd on this cold Monday with some brilliantly crafted tracks that had myself and others going straight to the merch tables afterwards to snap up an alum or four.

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