Joff Bailey showed off his unique cooling system to fight the heat
On what was perceived as perhaps the hottest day of the summer so far, the weather at times seemed to take control of the overall performance by each band on the night. But they walked away unbeaten, having played at what seemed to be a sell-out gig at Islington's The Garage venue.
Sweating buckets inside the crowed waited patiently for the first band to make their music heard, unleash the London mob Savage Messiah with their elaborate mix of Power Metal vocals with Thrash Metal embodiment, despite the heavy heat which led to the water jugs being handed out like sweets, the crowd enlivened themselves to the almighty blast that was being constructed in front of them. It was a decent and solid performance from the lads and served up nicely as a light appetizer for later metallic explosions later.
As for the band performance, Savage Messiah gave a much better performance than their Bloodstock set and by far wiped the smirks off of a lot of people's faces. Fueled by the unrelenting fluidity of water being passed around, with their riffs echoing across the whole borough and their atmosphere raising hell from beneath the crowds feet, the atmosphere inferno was only going to get hotter as the bad shifted into the shadows for another band to make their way onto the sweat-soaked stage.
Never mind Bloodshot Dawn, here is Sweatshot Day... er-hem
Another ex-Bloodstock band made their furious domination sound across the venue without any problems, except they seemed a little slack in this performance. I refer 'they' as to Bloodshot Dawn, the Pompey Melodic Death / Thrash armada that set sail to crush the controlling heat that was now taking its toll on people as they went outside to cool off.
By this point the room was so hot that demand exceeded supply at the bar and beer was being downed in the gallons, well you get the idea. None the less Bloodshot Dawn did what they were geared to do and brought the house down with their menacing and inescapable complex algorithm of brutal melodies and fast acceleration on not only the drums but the guitars too. However at times it did seem as if the heat was getting to them, thus affecting their playing and whilst that can't be helped, what can be helped is the seeming lack of movement on stage, whether they melted so much they became bolted to the ground, or they just could not find the right note to do so in remains anyone's guess.
Credit is given though to them for performing a damn good set, just it was not as good as most in the crowd expected, ironically worse was to come as before the headlining act Wintersun came on, the unwitting sound technician or the like accidentally knocked over a bottle of water near the guitar pedal and thus delaying Wintersun's set for around 10-15 minutes, leading to one fan being impromptu and displaying his anger towards the band for not coming out yet (come on mate it's not there fault you spilled your beer in the venue). Hark, the time had come....
Teemu showed guitarists how to play the Finnish way, ice cold style.
(Interview with Kai Hahto, drummer of Wintersun; also drummer of Swallow The Sun)
Despite the heat, Wintersun's fan had decided not to work tonight which was a shame, however the Finnish quartet did justice after the various issues and unleashed a frost-bitten wind of wintry proportions. Delivering that icy and cold feel to the atmosphere, Wintersun tore the room apart with their epic style of Melodic Death Metal. Interweaving between the new album 'Time' and their old self-titled album, eight years of a hard-long wait came out in one night for the attending crowd to let their hair down to (not implying the guys had their hair done up).
It was rather interesting to see how Wintersun not once mentioned about how hot it is in the room unlike the other bands, perhaps they didn't feel it as much - or the more likely scenario was that they smothered the venue in a brilliant blueish-white with the feeling of cryogenics biting at everyone's ears. It's been a long time since the lads made their journey across the British lands in a tour setup; albeit their Bloodstock appearance a few years ago.
You know the wait was entirely worth it, sure some were impatient; probably the same people were impatient for the second album, but as the saying goes 'good things come to those who wait'. In the end the overall feeling was all round satisfaction and one that certainly put the band in great stead for their next lot of gigs on the tour schedule, as for tonight Wintersun did the honor of not only cooling the crowd down (just), but making what could be the best live performance they have ever done in London.
It may have taken eight to nine years to play their new album live, but Wintersun made it 101% perfect tonight and in doing so, won a whole host of new fans over, we await for the next time they set foot in the London area.
[9/10] RHYS STEVENSON
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