Zlatanera/Baleful Creed/Shrouded/Erosion – Belfast, Limelight 2 – 20 April 2017 Print E-mail
Written by Mark Ashby and The Dark Queen   
Saturday, 27 May 2017 05:00

When this gig was first announced, it was billed as a “special show” – a mysterious description which sat for weeks on social media without any further explanation. Then a countdown started, and in the days beforehand it emerged that Zlatanera would be premiering their new video, for the song ‘Bad Case Of The Devil’ – featuring oul’ Nick himself and a cast of various rock ‘n’ roll reprobates and shot in this very same venue… Fair enough, any excuse for an evening of heavy metal and a few bevies with your missus and a few mates!


And it helps that the lads have assembled an impressive supporting cast to help to while away the hours (and soften the blow of the venue having no cider on draught – boo!).


Erosion Limelight


First up are Erosion and their big, thumping groove with plenty of bottom end, which is complemented by a superb sound mix, which draws out every nuance of their complex sound. Mark Stewart being behind the kit, and in virtual darkness right at the back of the stage, adds a mysterious tone to his vocals, as they seem to appear from nowhere: perhaps he could look at turning his drums sideways, a la Kelly Keagy – but when you’re the first band on a four act bill this is perhaps a bit much of a logistical ask. Anywho, the band are tight as fuck, but still with a looseness that lends a dark vibrancy to their post-doom groove, and it’s a strong and confident performance from an outfit who possess plenty of both in every department.




Shrouded Limelight


It’s a total change of mood and pace for the melodic death metal of youngsters Shrouded, who are understandably on a high after winning the Belfast leg of the Bloodstock Metal 2 The Masses competition just the previous weekend (and rightly so, as it was a phenomenal performance from the lads). This is a band that has grown and flourished beyond measure in the past few years, as is evinced no better than in the way Danni Kansanaho stands imperiously at the front of the stage, assured and mature, with a presence that many more experienced frontmen would cut off their penises to possess: in fact, he reminds me of a young Tom G Warrior as he places his foot on the monitor and surveys the temple before him. The distance this young band have travelled in a relatively short time is demonstrated by the easy fluidity of everything they do, from the complex melodies of their twin guitar harmonics to the fiercesome double kick beatdown delivered by Scott Neill… Of course, they still have a way to go, but please let me proffer a word of advice to every self-respecting metal label out there: make sure your A&R rep is front and centre of the New Blood stage on Sunday August 13, when these kids rip Bloodstock a new one \m/




Baleful Creed Limelight


Preparing for the imminent landing of their second album, ‘Seismic Shifter’, Baleful Creed offer another complete change of mood and direction, with their darkly joyous grooves, characterised by rich, thick tones and Fin’s acidic vocals. Understandably, they concentrate on material from the aforesaid new opus, with songs such as opener ‘Devil’s Ride’, the towering ‘Momento Mori’ and the heavier than Devy ‘Levy’ sounding dense and energetic in the live environment. A personal highlight for both myself and The Dark Queen – who spends the entire set perched on the barrier singing along to every word – is the Motörhead-fuelled middle-finger salute that is ‘Lose Religion’ (suitably dedicated to the late Mr Kilmister). BC are big, they’re bold and they sure as fuck are in your face… and should be on your stereo when the album hits the streets very shortly.




Zlatanera Belfast 1


After the premiere of the darkly humorous video, Zlatanera take no prisoners right from the off, doing their level damnedest to break every neck in the room as they declare that this may be ‘A Bar Too Far’. With the Satanic references rammed very firmly in the band’s cheeks (as evidenced in the video – which unfortunately hasn’t made it as far as YouTube yet), their dense, throbbing doom vibrates out of the speakers and washes around the room, and the pace is unrelenting – even if they do mess with their own formula slightly, by interrupting their usual mid-set triptych of “the Satan songs” (as Andy Campbell so eloquently puts it) with the power drill condemnation that is ‘Holy Man’s Crook’. They also unveil a new song, ‘Legerdemain’, which they actually wrote and recorded – “in typical Zlatanera style” – after the album of the same name was released: it’s thick and gungy, with a massive amount of potato-breeding dirt in its groove. It’s a typically powerful and uncompromising set from a band who don’t know how to do it any other way.




PHOTO CREDIT: All photos © The Dark Queen/ Über Rock


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