DUSA Floor 5, Dundee, March 28th 2019
Scales Of Justice: Guest reviewer Drew Cochrane
Photo credits AVZD
It’s a Thursday night, and I’m headed (rather apprehensively) to Dundee University Students Union to watch Ingested. The reason for being apprehensive is that, despite enjoying their studio output, the last 2 times I’ve seen Ingested live, they’ve really disappointed, and, as a result, I’ve walked away less than half way into their set. Granted, those sets were a festival appearance, and as a support, so, as is often the case, on-stage sound, and whatever else may have hindered them, resulting in my decision to give them the benefit of a headline show where they’ll have properly soundchecked.
The show is an odd one, with doors at 5.30, and a stacked 6 band bill despite being a school night. So heading down straight from work, I arrive at around 5.50 to discover things are already running late. Section 9 take to the stage around 6.30, and instantly impress with an energetic performance despite their early slot and small crowd, made all the more impressive by just how tight they are for such a young band. My own enjoyment is slightly hindered by a less than great sound in the room, but the band soldier on through a 30 minute set including a cover of Sepultura classic Roots, leading to my only criticism of the band – while they show great promise and technical prowess, it feels like they’re still in the stages of really nailing what sound they’re trying to achieve. The set is musically diverse, but perhaps too much so. (B+)
Up next are Fractured Perceptions, who bring their brand of groove, mixed with a strong Gothenburg feel in places. There’s a lot on offer here in terms of interesting parts, but unfortunately the band stumble somewhat in the execution, with many of the more intricate lead guitar parts suffering for it. It is probably worth mentioning that again, the front of house sound isn’t great, and I’d imagine that the onstage sound matches that, so it’d probably be unfair to judge the bands playing too harshly on this occasion, especially when the music is so intricate. The frontman has great stage presence when he’s able, but overall the band could do with upping the onstage energy, though if struggling with bad sound, it’s understandable that they’re perhaps a bit static tonight. I’d definitely be keen to watch them again with better sound. (B-)
Fractured Perception leave the stage to be followed by Perth heavyweights Threshold Sicks, who really are firing on all cylinders tonight. By this point, the sound is beginning to pick up a little and is helped along massively by a slightly older band who’ve dialed in their sound over the course of years, and know exactly how to achieve it. Powering through a 30 minute set, filled to the brim with big grooves and filthy riffs, the band command the stage well, with plenty of energy – admirable considering their guitarist is suffering from some cracked ribs. Overall, an excellent display of musicianship from this lot – definitely the strongest form I’ve ever seen them on. (A-)
Threshold Sicks: Spewing out some filthy riffs
Following them was never going to be a particularly easy task but local breakdown merchants Grievance are more than up to it. A younger band, they have brought a solid fanbase, giving them ample opportunity for crowd interaction which they used to great effect. Their set is probably the tightest of all the bands playing this evening – an impressive feat for a band who’s collective age is still in the teens. Stylistically, they offer a well put together take on the modern metalcore sound. My only criticism would be that there’s not really much variety, though when you’re this good at playing something, why change it up? (B+)
Grievance: Judging by the swell in the audience, the crowd had no complaints
After Grievance, we have Lashing Out. Hailing from up North, the band have brought a squad of friends swathed in their merch – an impressive feat for a show far from home on a Thursday night. The band offer a set of fairly sloppy, uninspired breakdown orientated modern hardcore, complete with hardcore dancers. There were many elements of their sound which came across as underprepared and under polished – lots of feedback in sections with pauses, predictable writing where every riff felt like it was merely a vessel to get them to the next breakdown and poor stage banter from the frontman. Over the years, I’ve seen many bands who’ve not been my thing but I’ve actually quite enjoyed them because of a tight, professional performance but unfortunately that was not the case with Lashing Out. (C-)
Lashing Out: A fitting name, when you inspire mass pit karate
Finally, as the night draws to a close, Manchester (or Slamchester, as frontman Jason Evans repeatedly calls it) slam legends Ingested take to the stage. Though the sound has improved gradually throughout the night, the difference when a professional band take to the stage is definitely notable. They’re on much better form than the previous times I’ve seen them – a huge relief. They steamroll through a set including classics like Skinned And Fucked and Invidious with vigour, precision and enthusiasm. Despite the somewhat dissipated crowd, audience interaction is great and as the band leave the stage, a “one more song” chant erupts, which the band are more than happy to oblige. (B)
Ingested: In the end, the crowd were still hungry for more
All in all, a great night of quality metal, slightly marred by poor sound in places but a solid show of force none the less.
Drew Cochrane is a 29 year old musician and promoter from Dundee, passionate about all the good things in life – heavy metal, fast cars and cute animals. His pet hates include bad guitar tone, bad guitar tone, and bad guitar tone.