An uncharacteristically stress-free journey across the Pennines landed me in Manchester for an evening of what was surely going to be packed full of uncompromising Metal courtesy of rising Thrashers Tortured Demon and friends. The bill was bolstered by the reliable Southern Death Thrashers Unburier and the rapidly evolving Red Method from the big smoke, and it was fairly evident that I wasn’t alone when I made the decision to enter the modest confines of the venue as it was impressively busy for a Thursday evening.
Unburier hit the stage and wasted no time in hitting us like a freight train with their brand of Thrashy Death Metal, Champion cemented himself front and centre and commanded the crowd with muscular and powerful vocals whilst still managing to tame his fretboard with relative ease. The flow was halted mid set by some technical demons yet Sayer didn’t let this dampen his party, quite the opposite, he took it as a prompt to throw in an impromptu drum solo which saw him grinning from ear to ear and it was clear as daylight that he was loving life and embracing every moment bequeathed to them on the snug Mancunian stage tonight. Back on track, and having screamed a massive boo to the slight hiccup, the band seemed rejuvenated and used the brief respite as a catalyst to finish the set even harder and more aggressively than when they first hit us, the vocals seemed more potent and venomous, the strings were more rampant and hungry while the kit of Sayer was beaten with an unrelenting aggression and passion, all coming together to create an impressive, if slightly too brief, set on which I’m sure an invite back to Manchester in one form or another will have been well and truly forged.
Red Method have become notorious for the energy and passion they inject into their live performances and tonight was no exception. Gomez appeared like an enigmatic warrior, stalking the stage reminiscent of a puma stalking his prey, flanked by a powerhouse of differing statures. The relentless energy on stage translated to the hordes below them and the core of the floor morphed into a swirling and dangerous vortex on which continuous circle pits erupted throughout the set. A good set length was established due to their co-headlining status and this allowed the band to showcase their wares with a good cross section of their history, as each track was launched it only seemed to propel the band into increasingly heightened states of controlled and measured aggression and chaos which in turn pushed the academy into riotous energised mayhem, a success story and one that may live with all that witnessed it for a fair few months yet.
So, onto the bills swan song for the evening, ever since I was introduced to Tortured Demon at Bloodstock I had been very keen to catch these raw thrashers again and tonight I was not disappointed. As the stage was turned round a palpable energy started to build in the room and it was fair to say that there was a true air of excitement and anticipation which just simply erupted when Jacob Parkinson et al strode out before us. ‘Rise Of The Lifeless’ battered us and the set just grew and grew from that moment forth. The energy that was exuded was exhilarating and the marksmanship on the strings was mesmerising and captivating with an air of professional swagger about each and every chord and riff which was dispatched before us. The vocals were raw and toxic, caustic and elegant in equal measures, while the drum work was intricate and pummelling with copious amounts of dexterity and endearing flair. As the set grew it was obvious that Tortured Demon were here tonight to prove a point and swell their already dedicated following. Live debuts from ‘Eyes In The Fire’ and ‘The Damage Is Done’ were blistering and muscular, both fitting into the set as if they had been live inclusions for a while rather than only just rearing their heads this evening and as they signed off with ‘A Knee To The Face Of Corruption’, my new found love for this fresh face Thrash quartet had been jacked up even more.
If you already have Tortured Demon on your radar then I can only attempt to quantify just how good these were tonight, if however, you have yet to be acquainted with the Oldham speed merchants then I well and truly cannot recommend them enough. You definitely need Tortured Demon in your life, as of like yesterday!!