Updated: Aug 19, 2021
528 days.. 528 excruciating days passed between my last proper Slimelight on March 7th 2020 (add probably another month on top since my last concert) and this perfect evening of bands in a glorious return to Slimes. Although that wait was horrible as were the withdrawals from my spiritual homes and live shows; Alongside the yearning to see friends again in that setting, and of course the tragic news of Mak - the co-founder of Slimelight's passing.. After all of that, I could not have hoped for a better evening of truly magical scope.
To see so many people and friends raving so hard to the music and enjoying what many have described this past week to me as 'A community temple where we all come to worship each other's company' was paradise in absolute.
A fitting moment for Mak's legacy..
To the Slimelight crew.. Thank you so much for one of the best nights of our collective lives. We love you!!
The first ever live show from Jay's project J:Dead met all of my expectations and then blew them away. (Jay Taylor already being the live drummer of EBM/Synthpop bands such as Tactical Sekt, Tyske Ludder and Harmjoy.)
J:Dead's recent debut album of 'A Complicated Genocide' sounds gorgeous throughout, intermixed with softer vocals and occasional heavy, screamed filled sections that can feel like Human League one minute to a full on industrial metal band the next. I had no idea that Jay's vocals would be so very crisp and clear live however. Quite how he managed to walk that line between harmonic vocals and guttural growls is beyond me.
Honestly, he smashed that stage harder than any opening band has the right to and he did so with heaps of style and charisma. Of course, he left the heaviest track until last when thankfully the dance floor had packed with a half decent amount of people; Obviously lured in by the impressive music they had been overhearing, and he absolutely blew everyone away with that ending track. Pure class and I hope to see J:Dead on many more listings in future.
Biomechanimal are of course a band I am hugely biased towards as they are the only band I have seen time and again yet get more excited with the anticipation of each new show rather than less. (Although not strictly true, you can actually apply everything I've just said here to ESA next as well!)
This time around sadly we had no Keith on the Electro Axe as he was shielding and Lex no longer plays bass for the band and I don't think that's something I'll ever quite be able to get over being a huge fan of her stage presence and talent as a musician.
However looking past those two factors, Bio laid down an artillery barrage of a set. The supporting small arms fire of the heavy calibre drums, the intense thudding mortar of the bass, the cannonades and explosions of the backing tracks, and of course the hellfire screams of the battlefield spiralled cacophonies of awe from the jaws of Matt's skull; even if the microphone wasn't picking up vocals half as well as it should have but that's not Bio's fault really.
Each track had been re-tuned and upgraded in undeniably impressive fashion adding layers of depth and enjoyment to the overall monster on stage - Like Godzilla's return as Mecha-Godzilla, Biomechanimal once again proved that London is there's to destroy and theirs alone.
Electronic Substance Abuse
Where to even begin? And what could I even say? ESA being a band I've reviewed time and again, and an artists that very few and far between have yet to experience. What Jamie hits you with is a wall of noise that somehow in amongst all of that brutal, stomping power, reaches in to the core of your being grabs a hold of the right sections of your soul and twists multiple keys at once unlocking parts of you that you never knew you had.
ESA is a multitude of experiences all at once, a rave for the soul, a brutal massage for stress, a tight hug from the beyond, a tribal calling from your ancestors, an outlet for aggression - yet an outlet for love.. Each beat, each tone, each hit of electronics brings you closer to understanding music as a concept and yourself as a human being, and what it means to be alive. It is grandiose yet intimate, strikingly intimidating yet inspiring of courage, small in scale but epic in scope.. No one on this plane of existence reaches in to the ether and creates music quite like the king that is ESA does.
Jamie put his pent up fire in to that performance with each impressive vocal growl, each hit of the electric drum, and each carefully precise alteration of tech. If you haven't seen ESA yet, what the hell are you even doing with your life??
Who can deny that putting on an Alien Vampires track is always a good idea? A.V rounded off the night with a relentless punishment of hard as hell rave that stirred the crowd in to a furious frenzy of dance and smiles. I for one absolutely lost my mind as the first sample of 'He who controls the spice, controls the universe'..
Steve did an incredible job of smashing those sounds out as Damien put on quite the show of anarchistic nature expected from a band such as A.V. The indulgences seemed particularly strong however and the vocals somewhat suffered from it but never the less, the energy and the soul of what it is to dark dance flooded the room with each track. The band was joined in their last song by special guest Atilla from Mayhem making for a rather pleasant ending twist.
Fire and fury spat forth in waves of joyful energy in the shared euphoria of a large crowd that had been desperate for this kind of hardcore rave release and A.V we deeply thank you from the bottom of our hearts for that.
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