LIVE: Martyr Defiled @ The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent (17/09/2010)

Date: September 17th, 2010
Venue: The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent
Support: Your Chariot Awaits, Heights, Postmortem Promises
Website: None available


Set out on a co-headlining tour, switching headline slots date after date, Martyr Defiled and Postmortem Promises are two of metal’s most watched over upcoming metal acts expected to breakthrough into the alternative mainstream. Getting increasingly popular week after week is a good sign of this starting to take effect, and their co-headlining tour acts as both a celebration from the bands as well as proof as to what they’ve got to offer.

At one of the UK’s more derelict and deprived cities, the bands have decided to bring a local and very much less local band to support them. Sadly due to times with interviews and other complications we were unable to catch enough of Stoke-grown Your Chariot Awaits‘ set to be able to give a justifying and genuine review.

The lesser local second support act Heights (****) however managed to deliver what could be a hard to grasp progressive/ambient-esque hardcore sound into something as accessible as Toy Story. With only three released songs very little vocal feedback from the crowd takes place, but those who are familiar with the band and their work, and even a selection of those who aren’t, are going hardcore dancing crazy and loving every second of it. Vocalist Thomas Debaere flails his body about like an entranced madman onstage, making a spectacle almost as interesting as the hardcore tip-toeing beside ambience that’s hitting the ear.

A more smashing and straightforward approach is the Postmortem Promises (***) method of use. Frontman Aaron Ketley switches from gutturals to fry screams with speed and ease, belting out word after word with force and power. Songs like ‘The Sickening’ and ‘Self-Righteous’ have the makings to make baby Jesus cry, pushing walls of distorted guitar chords and double-bass beats to the crowd before them who are throwing it down on the floor. A little more activity from the remainder of the band would’ve made for a better show, but even without Postmortem Promises held their right as a co-headline tour act.

For the Stoke date of the tour it’s Martyr Defiled‘s (****) turn to finish the night off, and finish it off with a dark crunchy bite they do. With a new album due for release just a week from the show, the crowd only have an EP worth of material to work off, but new tracks like ‘III: Collusion’ are a peek into a more brutal side of Martyr Defiled. Kids are throwing their arms and legs about like they’re attacking a pack of invisible ninjas, running into one another in a small wall of death, and getting involved in mini-circle pits, not to mention roaring gang shouts of “Freedom is a fucking lie!” to recent single ‘An Act Of Sedition’ and “Finish him!” from oldie ‘Flawless’. Guitarist Lee Cook is fond of his spot on the side speakers whilst playing chainsaw sounding riffs, but Matthew Jones‘ vocals are what really shine, managing to push his gutturals to monstrous and his screams to satanic effortlessly, especially through encore offering ‘Barren’.

The young underground metal talent is sometimes some of the best, and if there’s any justice in the world bands like those who’ve played this show will reap the awards they’ve rightfully earned.

Written by Zach Redrup