So, this weekend I got an invite to an event that was pretty hard to turn down.
Local band ‘Element’ were playing a gig in Wigan to celebrate the launch of their second album ‘Corrupt Desires’. Joining them on the bill were fellow Wigan metal band ‘Sacrament’ and Element’s record label mates ‘Solitary’, who made the journey down from Preston.
First to hit the stage were ‘Sacrament’, led by charismatic frontman Mike Winrow. Despite The Boulevard being a little quieter than normal (probably down to the Download festival taking place this weekend), it certainly didn’t stop the guys giving it their all.
Playing a mixture of original material along with some classic metal tracks, it was obvious that these were four talented musicians. Lead guitarist Steve Kay showed some real flair, shredding his way through the set, backed by the solid basslines and drumming of Matt Avery and Jake Daly respectively.
They manage to pull of the classic 80’s metal vibe without straying into ‘cheese’ territory.. their cover of Dio’s “Holy Diver” was a personal favourite of mine. If you get the chance, go watch these guys, you won’t be disappointed!
You can check out Sacrament, along with a selection of tracks at their website HERE and view the gallery by clicking on the pic below.
The ‘Main Event’ was a blistering set from the evening’s headliners ‘Element’.
Lead singer and guitarist Adam Calderbank is a confident frontman with a ‘Hetfield-esque’ vocal style. Their debut album ‘Under the influence’ took full of advantage of this, at times sounding eerily similar to early Metallica. This was something that the band were keen to move away from with their latest album however, looking instead to evolve their own sound. It’s a slightly risky strategy considering the positive reviews their debut album received, however it seems to me that the gamble’s paid off in bucketloads.
Tonight’s gig was the first public performance of the new material and judging by the reaction of the crowd, it’s going to be a hit.
With a set that blends thrash, melodic rock and some straight up dirty chugging metal, it’s easy to see why Element are being talked about as one of the North West’s brightest metal prospects. Here’s hoping their cranked up version of ‘She sells sanctuary’ makes it onto a B-Side!
Hop over to Element’s MySpace where you can check out tracks from the new album and order yourself a copy online.
Finally, rounding off the night were Preston based thrash metallers ‘Solitary’. Also signed to Copro Records , these guys were playing a crowd pleasing ‘Big 4’ covers set. I’ll admit I was a little apprehensive, I mean c’mon.. Anthrax, Slayer, Metallica and Megadeth. They’re the daddies, top of their game in every sense and it’s a brave band who decide to cover one of them, never mind all four!
Driven by one of the best live drummers I’ve ever heard in Roy Miller , every track they played was note perfect. Master Of Puppets, Raining Blood, Sweating Bullets.. it didn’t matter how technical the track, the boys were more than up to the task. Frontman Rich Sherrington had a potential nightmare job on his hands with four completely different vocal styles in the set, but made the correct decision not to attempt to copy Hetfield, Mustaine et al and just going with his own unique style.
Check them out for yourselves at their website where you can hear the Vinnie Paul style drumming on ‘Keep your enemies closer’.
Overall it was an incredible night that did the local metal scene proud. Over four hours of solid musical entertainment, played by gig hardened musicians, all for free… now when’s the next one?!