REPRISAL / SENTIENT / PRAETORIAN / LIMB HOARDER - Club 85, Hitchin 12.10.18

Will Horsman

It’s still relatively early into October and Club 85 have spent no time messing about getting into the season to be well and truly un-jolly. Covering the place in cobwebs and giant spiders - the two main monitors splattered with the words “TRICK” and “TREAT”. Half the audience donning Halloween outfits and the other half acknowledging just how early into the month we are. Regardless, the atmosphere and holiday feeling here is available in abundance without a humbug in site!

 

First up tonight are LIMB HOARDER. Who have one of the best names I’ve heard in ages. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, they’ve decided that this is their first and last gig under that name and will be continuing as SHATTERED KNEES. Fair enough. 

They play a blend of Hardcore-infused Metal and would be more than at home sharing a stage with Feed The Rhino. The one thing everyone keeps saying to me is how ridiculously good their drummer is. He doesn’t miss a beat and makes it look effortless. The rest of the band have their sound nailed with a thick distorted bass fully backing up the single guitar and vocal.

The crowd is barely even at 20% capacity and it’s far too early for a mosh but the bands energy on stage is making up for it, pacing up and down anticipating all the breakdowns which, whilst a tired ritual among 99% of modern metal bands, these breakdowns make me wanna tear the monitors off the stage and watch them burn.

Whatever the formula is here and will be in the future, it’s current, it’s incendiary, it’s British and it fucking works. Definitely, one to keep an eye one.

 

Limb Hoarder / Shattered Knees are:

Jack Harris - Vocals

Frank Muir - Guitar

Paul Chapman - Bass

Matt Chivers - Drums

 

You can find them at:

www.facebook.com/SHATTEREDKNEES

 

And now for something completely different - to anything else, anywhere else...PRAETORIAN.

Self-proclaimed grindsludgedoomnoisecore just about sums them up. Almost. There is literally everything on display here, whether you like your heavy music fast, slow, angry, angrier or even absolutely livid, PRAETORIAN have got you covered. Vocalist Tom Clements prowls the standing area like a man possessed, keeping everyone in the pit on their toes and suitably deaf for the rest of the weekend. The raw, visceral energy that emanates from the stage is undeniable, as is the fact that these doomy riffs will be in my head for the next week. The set is complete with an LSD infused back-drop video of the famous Gypsy call-out clips found on YouTube which are looped for the entire mind-bending set. Make of that what you will!

 

Praetorian are:

Tom Clements - Vocals

Mark Wilkie - Guitar

Greg Neath - Bass

Jake Eaton - Drums

 

You can find them at:

www.facebook.com/praetoriankvlt

 

Fresh off the back of a slot at Castlefest recently, Herts-based heavy spaghetti tech metal newcomers SENTIENT clearly got the memo that everyone was bringing their A game tonight.

For a band who have been together less than a year, they come across as the sort of guys who literally do this with their eyes shut. Smashing their way into set opener ‘Hexes and Hoes’ they play more notes in 5 seconds than some bands play in entire songs and barely break a sweat! Particularly noteworthy are JB Burton’s vocals - not only are they nicely balanced within the mix, the clarity and general ease at which he throws his voice all over the place is excellent. The reality of this gig is never more evident than when JB advertises the various free CD’s and cheap t-shirts they have for sale and less than a second later they seamlessly tear into what is nothing short of some high-quality technical metal. And I don’t use that term sparingly, these guys are completely on point.

 

Sentient are:

Ricky - Drums

Glen - Guitar

JB - Vocals

Bam - Bass

 

You can find them at:

www.facebook.com/SentientBandUK

https://open.spotify.com/album/41B6qn9kw05mY7SDYTRQL7

 

Last up tonight are Surrey based death-thrash titans REPRISAL. After smashing their second-stage spot at Bloodstock this year, the bar may be set fairly high after tonight’s support acts, but it should be nothing short of a simple step over for tonight’s headliners.

The energy levels seem to have dipped a bit and the crowd thinned out slightly but normal service is resumed the instant the 4-piece take to the stage. Donning bright yellow banana outfits...of course. What ensues is almost an hour of textbook, seasoned, metal-assault from a band who are really starting to turn heads within the wider UK metal scene. With the perfect blend of old favourites and absolute bangers from their debut album ‘None Survive the Sun’, REPRISALl proves why everyone either is, or should be, talking about them right now. An added bonus tonight is the addition of a cover of Faith No More’s hit ‘Surprise! You’re Dead!’ which features vocal duties from local legends James Khan who’s band Ritual, unfortunately, had to pull out of tonight’s gig and James Anson of Aghast! fame.

 

Reprisal are:

Tom Johnstone - Vocals

Oliver du Toit - Guitar

Theo Brooke - Bass

Simon Mason - Drums

 

You can find them at:

www.facebook.com/reprisalmetal

 

Tonight’s gig is the perfect showcase for the current underground metal scene - the output from all these bands tonight is beyond high. Long gone are the days of saturation, mediocrity. All that’s left now is it’s obsolete and unfair reputation.

If this is the shape of things to come, I for one, cannot wait.

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