We walk through the door of the bar and can hear The Safety Fire have started their set already. However, when getting to the room where the gig is taking place it becomes clear that not all of them are there. In fact, lets be blunt about this, only Dez, one of their guitarists, is onstage and he appears to be playing along to the record.
It turns out the bands van had broken down en route to Wolverhampton but the intrepid Dez had hitch-hiked up to play the show. Fair play to him.
The luck of the night doesn’t appear to be changing much when Periphery drummer Matt Halpern marches onto the stage with his arm in a sling. He injured himself, it transpires, just a couple of days before. However, with the frontier spirit raging tonight, the band have recruited Monuments sticksman Mike Maylan at 24 hours notice and he has learnt enough songs to enable the Washington DC men to play half an hour.
Here at RTM towers we have a lot of time for Periphery, a band who have had more of a kicking than many of the so-called “djent” (and what does that even mean?) movement. To us their sound is modern Progressive Metal and like we said when they supported Dream Theater in Feb, the band do it very well. “Have A Blast” from this year’s “This Time Its Personal” record, sits superbly with “Icarus Lives” from the debut and with lead guitar man Misha Mansoor looking every inch the guitar hero he is being cast as, these boys are no mere bandwagon jumpers.
Thankfully North Carolina’s Between The Buried And Me are all present and correct and they are as good as ever. Simply put, no one else does these sprawling epics like BTBAM. Prog, Metalcore, Thrash and Death metal all combine to make amongst the most interesting and challenging noise in metal today.
They begin with White Walls, with its almost Maiden-esque guitar sound, before launching into two songs from new album Parallex II – The Future Sequence. “Astral Bodies” in particular is superb.
Supremely talented musicians but never flashy, BTBAM leave us after an hour with Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” playing over the tannoy. Assuming a fantastic evening was over some of the crowd drift off. Those of us that stay are treated to the sight of singer Tommy Giles Rodgers coming back on to give us his best Freddie Mercury mime, before the band plug in and join from the “So you think you can love me…” part.
Normal service is resumed though and before long they are locking into “Mordecai.” At its conclusion things really are all over, but it has a truly remarkable evening.
The word “unique” is bandied about rather too much in these days when nearly everything has been done before. That said, Between The Buried And Me have managed to create something that is totally unlike anything out there.
They must have been good – we even forgave them a Queen cover….