Thursday, February 29, 2024

Live review: Psycroptic, Scarred, The Infernal Sea, & Conjurer

Peterborough has seen a sad time over the past five years with the closure of one of our few venues suited for rock and metal, but thanks to a few local promoters with a taste for metal, the scene is slowly stirring with life again. This gig put together by Camblast Promotions and Belligerent Promotions at The Met Lounge was the latest offering, and what an offering it was!

First to hit the stage, Birmingham’s Conjurer provided a mightily heavy start to the evening. Bringing a sludge-like doom down on the venue as hard as they could, you could have been forgiven for realising that there was no bassist present, who as it turned out was sadly stuck in traffic on the way to the venue during their set. They pushed on regardless and didn’t let that stop them sounding like a nuke being dropped. A band that are worth checking out at any gig they are supporting, I can only imagine how good it will be with a full line up present.

On next came Scarred, joining Psycroptic as main support for their UK tour. Fresh from hitting the New Blood Stage this year at Bloodstock, Hailing from Luxembourg, they bring a prog-metal sound somewhere between ‘Gojira‘ and ‘Meshuggah‘. Smashing out heavy groove riffs mixed with superb technique you would expect from ‘Jeff Loomis’, and then a voice that cuts right through to be heard. They really picked up the pace from where it was left. With some people still arriving, Scarred were already setting the standard for what was yet to come, and I couldn’t help but feel bad that they had missed their set so far.

The reason most people had turned up for was coming next: Peterborough’s very own The Infernal Sea. Like Scarred, they too had attempted to win a slot at Bloodstocks famed New Blood Stage back in 2012 but sadly lost out in the later stages of ‘Metal2Masses‘. Such was their ability and fast growing rise though, Bloodstock invited them for the headline act outright for the Saturday on the New Blood Stage for 2013. With an unrelenting blend of black and death metal, they took to the Met Lounge stage donning their black plague masks for what would be a first show of their UK in honour of their soon to be released ‘The Great Mortality‘ which was played in full. Having very much grown over the past 5 years as a band together, you get the feel this is more of a story being told than a gig, both bassist and guitarist donning their plague masks for the entire performance and the glaring eyes from within. It is hard to do anything but pay attention to the unholy sound of this band, and I for one cannot wait to hear this on CD. With some more very exciting news yet to come from the band, they are one that everyone should go out and witness!

Reaching the pinnacle of the evening, Tasmanian head liners Psycroptic had brought the devil indeed. I had only heard the track ‘Cold‘ by them previous to this gig, and that was more than enough to know I was in for a treat. Opening with that, they blew every expectation of mine out the window. Furious vocals over some insanely talented guitar and bass work, and a kick drum that feels like a machine gun fired to your chest, they feel very much like a Tasmanian ‘Decapitated‘. Jason (Vocals) makes full use of the stage, barely standing still for more than a few seconds, and really getting the crowd involved. Anyone standing still would easily become a target as the crowd furiously headbangs and windmills everywhere, Flying through song after song, the crowd lapped it up and the energy was high. Feeding from this, Psycroptic worked the place into a frenzy, bringing the roof down quite literally! I counted at least three ceiling tiles that had been broken and smashed up! Psycroptic are a band that deserve more recognition here than they get, and I am sure they are making heads turn that had never heard of them before at gigs through the country as they tour. If the chance is there, get out and support the scene, especially while there’s a chance to see talent like this.

Ash Crowson
Ash Crowson
RAMzine Senior Contributor - Guitarist, photographer, geek, gamer, full on metalhead and allround barfly, if i'm not at work, a gig or studying for my degree, you'll find me at the bar! A fascination with second world war history and military aviation. All with a very dry humour to round me off!

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