CONAN / CONJURER / TUSKAR - Crauford Arms, Wolverton 30.11.18

WILL HORSMAN

According to Wikipedia, Liverpudlian 3-piece CONAN play ‘caveman battle doom’ and any heavy music lover on the planet would be daft to question that description. Doom of any description seems to be on the rise at the moment and CONAN have spent the last decade making a name for themselves as masters of their craft. Tour support CONJURER have spent 2018 literally screaming in peoples faces proving that they are an absolute force to be reckoned with and absolutely not to be missed. This is the first gig I’ve ever been to where I’ve contemplated taking ear plugs – music so heavy, it gives me a genuine concern for my eardrums…

 

Tonight’s local opener comes in the form of Milton Keynes based TUSKAR. Having only listened to them briefly on the way to the gig I have no idea what to expect. As they take to the stage it becomes clear that they’re a two-piece with a drummer/vocalist and a guitarist who is running his guitar through a pedal board into what appears to be a bass amp as well as a guitar amp. The set starts with an uncomfortable level of feedback accompanied by some stripped back drums, building everything up and down until guitarist Tom Dimmock rips into the most savage sounding riff I’ve heard in a long time. It’s a small venue, they’re a loud band, he has an absolute ton of effects on this guitar but Christ on a bike if that riff doesn’t make you want to turn into John Wick and take to the dance floor with a sledgehammer, nothing will.

 

The first few songs seem to leave the audience in a fairly stunned silence but as drummer Tyler Hodges screams at the audience as they bring their second song to a close the crowd erupts in applause. What ensues is half an hour of some of the best live music I’ve seen in a long time. They say you always like stuff more when you either disliked it or were neutral to it before, so maybe I’m getting a bit carried away but I honestly can’t get over how good they are! Being a two piece will inevitably make it easier, but they are so tight it’s almost depressing. Every single riff is accompanied by its own equally adventurous and exciting drum beat and there is no head left un-banged during the set. We haven’t even got to the end of the set and I’m already frantically liking the band on all social media platforms trying to figure when I can next make it to see them live. Rather fittingly, they bring the set to a close with a random series of uncharacteristically fast blast beats and shredding but it’s a perfectly chaotic way to bring the proceedings to a close. With a new record release imminent, we should hopefully have some more on these guys very soon!

 

Tuskar are:

Tom Dimmock - Guitar

Tyler Hodges - Vocals & Drums

 

You can find them at:

https://en-gb.facebook.com/TUSKARBAND/ 

 

It’s a tough opener to follow but if anyone is up to the challenge, it’s CONJURER. 2018 saw the release of their album of the year contender ‘Mire’ - an album which received an incredible amount of hype prior to its release and lived up to all of it. Having spent the year touring with some of the finest new bands to promote the record, it seems like a stint around a few more intimate venues with one of dooms big hitters is a fitting way to bring a successful year to a close.

 

They seem to have a clear understanding of what they need to achieve from this tour - Choke and Hollow feature as tracks 1 and 2 on 'Mire' because they’re the most unapologetically distressing and generally fucking excellent way to introduce you to a new band, so to open the set with them gets them off to a flyer. This is never clearer than when Dan Nightingale takes to the front of the dance floor to scream the vocals to 'Hollow' in the audience’s face, turning every head in the venue, almost keeling over as he screams his vocal chords into oblivion creating the same effect as the vocal track on the record.

 

Perhaps I’m biased because I think CONJURER and 'Mire' are two of the best things to happen to metal this year, but I cannot exaggerate enough the potential these guys have to be one of the biggest bands in British metal. The dark lyrical content of these songs combined with the serrated edge of their instrumentals makes for powerful listening, but the message is absolutely driven home live. There’s not a moment through the set where any band member is standing still and you would be forgiven for thinking that their eyes may pop clean from their skulls during those screams. Excellent stuff. 

 

Conjurer are:

Dan Nightingale -Vocals/Guitar

Brady Deeprose - Vocals/Guitar

Jan Krause – Drums

Conor Marshall - Bass

 

You can find them at:

https://www.facebook.com/conjureruk/

 

It’s been an incredible night for new British music and what better way than to cap it off than with a band who have firmly taken their place as one of the best underground metal bands this miserable Country has to offer. As CONAN start smashing their way through the set, the floor starts to shake. Not like when the crowd are all jumping and you feel the floor bounce – this is shaking. Everything from my feet to the cartilage in my ears is frantically shaking with every beat of the drums and every riff from the bass and guitars. Playing a mixture of new and old songs they prove just how dominating a three-piece can be when you crank up the volume and, more importantly, the fuzz! 

 

Conan are:

Jon Davis - guitar / vocals

Johnny King - drums

Chris Fielding - bass / vocals

 

You can find them at:

https://business.facebook.com/hailconan/

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