With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

EMMA SCOTT PRESENTS: Only The Good, Glassbullet, Eradikator, Bullitstorm, Elysium @Academy 3 Birmingham 12/1/13

The crowd is pretty packed in the Academy 3 for this first Emma Scott Metal showcase of 2013. Elysium are nearing the end of their set when they tell us about their new EP. “Its got a special guest on it,” says one of their two singers. “Who has heard of Sonic Syndicate?” There is – and there is no other way to put this – stony silence. “Well that one died on its arse,” says the other vocalist, grinning. “Just Google em!”

The happy chaps in Elysium are a new band on us at RTM, but one that we suspect we will see more of. Their approach of one clean vocal followed by something more growled works oddly well in their sound and closing number “Slave” is very impressive.

The name Bullitstorm when first we saw it made us think of either an old school thrash band or something more death metal. In the event, the Walsall four piece are more akin to Saxon or Iron Maiden. Dedicating their first song “Drumhead” to our troops, their half hour is entertaining. “Drumhead” in common with some of their other songs, goes on a little too long, but their guitar work is exemplary. Ballad “Innocent Victims” changes the tempo and is welcome, while last track “Shake Your Bones” with its slightly questionable lyrics perhaps didn’t work as well. Good fun for the most part, though.

If the first two groups have been playing metal for a bit of laugh and because they enjoy it, then vibe is altogether different for Brummie thrashers Eradikator. These boys mean business – and frankly they are quite stunning. The four piece kick off with the majestic “Hells Sentinels” and throughout the rest of their half hour proceed to be the best new thrash band we’ve seen in years, perhaps since Evile, and if sounds like high praise then it is well deserved. You know the influences but Eradikator are doing something fresh in a superbly paced set that ends with a Thin Lizzy cover. Frankly it doesn’t get better than that.

Glassbullet have to follow this. And do it pretty well. Beginning with a bluesy jam, they are the most hard rock of the bands on show tonight. They also choose a cover – theirs a little more obvious in “Paranoid” but also play a drum solo in their slot, which seems odd given the time constraints. It is also a shame as when they play their own songs, such as “Find My Mind” they are much better.

Disappointingly the crowd, which had earlier been close to filling the venue, has thinned out a lot by the time that headliners Only The Good hit the stage, but if they are annoyed by this, they don’t show it and instead plough through a very decent and pretty polished half hour.

Theirs is a twin guitar sound and with guitarists Jase and Liam clad in Megadeth and Iron Maiden t-shirts respectively, you know the drill here. What they do though, is wrap the riffs up in a very catchy way, and there is much to enjoy about songs like the title track of their new EP “Time Flies,” “Do Or Die” and “Black White And Grey” – the latter shows some talent in other areas too, with its almost punky vibe.

The tunes groove nicely and the solos are superb and they are an excellent way to end what has been a fine evening, even if Eradikator, did for our money, take the honours here tonight.

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