Taking their name from the classic Entombed album from 1990, Romanian metallers Left Hand Path are the kind of band you’ll only have to hear once to realise they mean business. Their self-tited release from 2019 is a monstrous, riff-heavy disc that will gain an instant love from fans of the heaviest end of groove metal, as well as from those listeners whom aren’t about to let an obtuse vocal stand in their way of riff-based enjoyment.
Five years into a career of pummelling audiences with riffs, Orlando’s Glorious Rebellion present a mini masterpiece with their 2019 EP ‘Scholars of War’. Its three tracks offer a world of glorious and sludgy wonderment that’s as quirky as it is genuinely heavy.
Lead track ‘Turn Around, Bright Eyes’ quickly raises a wry smile with a reference that instantly calls to mind an 80s evergreen hit from Bonnie Tyler and Jim Steinman, though any kind of musical pomposity or video clips of spinning ninjas really couldn’t be further from the band’s collective mind. Within seconds, they launch into something that sounds like the best thing you’ve heard from Helmet since the release of the ‘Betty’ album about a hundred years ago. The repetitive, sledgehammer riff not only feels like something derived from brilliant Helmet songs of yore, but guitarist Billy Myers also absolutely nails that Page Hamilton tone, giving everything a really distinctive sound; one that refuses to hide such a chief influence. Add to this a terrifically gruff vocal and a pounding rhythm section that’s a match for any within arty metal circles and things get off to an absolutely blazing start. The heaviness of the riffs actually takes so much priority, you might not find any instant lyrical hooks but, of course, the heaviness is the hook and by the time a near-perfect Helmet tribute descends into squalls of feedback with Myers repeatedly bellowing “I am the fucking problem” as a repeated refrain, there’s absolutely no doubt you’re in the presence of a band that truly means business.
When Lamb of God headlined a cold January night at the Brixton Academy in 2014, their performance bordered on woeful. Bad sound, a short setlist and a lot of time spent talking between songs resulted in a massive disappointment. With hindsight, the night’s opening act wiped the floor with them. In an energetic half-hour slot, Huntress, fronted by the spirited Jill Janus, showed a lot of energy and a willingness to please the audience, obviously being more than aware of how hard it is to be a relatively unknown support band. After the revelation that Jill took her own life in August 2018, that set is now a memory to treasure. Lamb of God’s, not so much.
Wembley Arena is packed to the rafters this evening. The night’s event – headlined by Slayer, but also featuring Obituary, Anthrax and Lamb of God – is a metal fan’s dream. Obituary have shown themselves to be true professionals even as underdogs, and Anthrax – stalwarts of 80s thrash – have put on a really fun support slot, showing why they’ve retained their legendary status.
For the uninitiated, Hostile are a groove metal band from the West Midlands. Their work values a heavy riff in the tradition of Pantera and Lamb of God and their first two albums were produced by the legendary KK Downing. So far, they’ve shared stages with Megadeth, Soulfly and Machine Head and their career is going from strength to strength.
Prior to the release of their second EP ‘Hymn of The Vulture’, I Am The Law shared stages with Superjoint Ritual and Crowbar. They also cite Pantera and Lamb of God among their main influences, so, taking these facts on board, you could probably take an educated guess at what these Nashville based Southern metal overlords sound like before even hitting the play button.
…And you’d be absolutely right.