Arriving at the Slade Rooms just as The Hell are arriving on stage RTM is struck by just how heavy the band are.
Seemingly they want to smash your face in. The Hell play hardcore thrash/death/punk with the emphasis on hard. Standing with their bandanas covering their mouths they appear ready to attack at any moment. Last track "Step Up" sounds less like a request than a threat.
Their cover of East 17s seasonal "classic" "Stay Another Day" made the Metal Hammer website this week, and next year may be big for them. If you like your music heavy, rough and sounding like it would glass you given half a chance then you should check out The Hell.
This is the the first UK tour date from Scar The Martyr, originally supposed to open for Alice In Chains last month, they dropped out and instead these shows were slated instead.
In truth the Alice gigs were an unlikely fit anyway. STM are heavy and modern, with the thrash and metal elements befit the dark conatations of their name. And Walking Papers did an admirable job in their place.
That the Slade Rooms is packed tells you that this isn't the normal small US band making a debut, and ther amount of teenage girls screaming when they take the stage tips you off that something big is occurring.
What is taking place is that we are witnessing the inaugural performance from yet another Slipknot related project.
Not for the Slipknot boys the idea that you don't work outside your comfort zone, because Scar The Martyr's drummer is Joey Jordison. He is joined by former Strapping Young Lad's guitarist Jed Simon, who adds a touch of industrial metal to proceedings.
The band race onto the stage with opening track on their debut self-titled album "Dark Ages". It is far more interesting than much modern metal, clocking in at nearly six minutes and featuring plenty of twists and turns, it is one of the stand out moments on the album.
There are plenty. "Soul Disintegration" and "Blood Host" are the singles and they are perhaps the most commercial, with their choruses designed for airplay, but arguably even better is set ender "Last Night On Earth" with it's downtuned almost Sabbath riffs.
They do come back for an encore, which is Killing Joke's "Complications" which provides a rather unexpected conclusion.
It does suit Scar The Martyr, though, as the band is a little different than you might expect. Jordison, for example, stays rather in the shadows and previously unknown frontman Henry Derek, who carries things quite well, but he, like the rest of the group is affected by sound and technical issues, which stop this evening being a triumph.
Poor sound aside, Jordison deserves credit for doing this. He could play in arenas and stadiums around the world in Slipknot, but he prefers to play in a small club in Wolverhampton and why? Because he wants to and because he can.