Savage Messiah Bloodstock warm up with Blackdown and Vulgate at The Carlisle, Hastings, Saturday 4th August
Words and photos: Antony Roberts
Savage Messiah are playing Bloodstock this coming weekend and so they pulled out all the stops to play a warm up gig in guitarist Joff's hometown of Hastings.
First band up were local thrashers Vulgate. Their vocal style reminded me at times of a cross between Venom and Kreator. It bordered on old school death growls whilst retaining that raspyness of their German contempories, and the music has elements of classic early Testament and Exodus. They have a stage confidence which surpasses their young age, and their take on classic speed metal manages to inject technicality without sacrificing the songs themselves. This is something I wish more bands were capable of doing. Just because you can play fast doesn't mean you shouldn't learn to write a song! With the skills of said guitarist they even took on and did justice to Death's "Lack Of Comprehension", definitely a band to watch out for.
The Sickening Fanatical Mind
Sea Of Stars
Lack Of Comprehension (Death cover)
Light In The Sky
Waters Of Judgement
Second support was another local act, Blackdown. Slowing things down to a more traditional heavy rock vibe but again the technicality was there, as lead guitarist Alex 'flash' Bolt showed off his shredding skills, with pitch harmonics a plenty and a guitar sound very reminiscent of Zack Wylde. Whilst the majority of their set was filled with groove filled rock hooks, they slowed things down for song "Th13teen Coils", self proclaimed as "The only chilled song you'll hear tonight", giving female vocalist Kate Maunsell an opportunity to show off her powerful voice. Drawing in an ever packed crowd closer "Blame Train" seemed a local favourite with the crowd singing along finishing off the set.
Cowboy Way (Hell yeah cover)
Headliners Savage Messiah seem to be blowing up right now. Support slots on the recent Evile tour, a headline tour with Diamond Plate and now a show this coming Saturday at Bloodstock festival on the Sophie Lancaster stage. All this touring has paid dividends, they are a shockingly tight band through their entire set. With a backdrop and side banners mounted on the stage, Savage Messiah also bought with them the monster of all backlines, I heard it took 9 people just to carry the mixing desk up the stairs. With speakers stacked towards the ceiling they reveal themselves from behind the banners as the intro music finishes and tear straight into "The Accuser". Bass player Stefano Selvatico walks out and stands there beaming away fist raised to the crowd whilst guitarist Joff Bailey and singer Dave Silver go straight into full on head banging mode.
The first two thirds of their set is made up with tracks from their most recent album "Plague of Conscience" , and it's not till after "In Thought Alone", that they then announce they're "going back to an album we did in 2009", and launch into "Silent Empire" from debut album "Insurrection Rising". The bulk of the remaining set is made up with songs from the debut album. The technicality of the first few bands were just a warm up to Savage Messiah, guitarist Joff Bailey can play, this is after all a guitarist who made it into the top 15 finalists for Dean guitars 2008 world shredder of the year competition. They manage to combine his intricate solos with blisteringly fast thrash with enough catchiness to have you humming along without bordering on the commercial. This is just straight up fast metal music to bang your fist and head to, which is pretty much what the crowd did for their entire set. Make sure to catch them at Bloodstock this weekend, i'm sure they'll be some pretty big pits opening up in the Sophie Lancaster tent for them.
Plague Of Conscience
All Seeing I
Six Feet Under The Gun
Architects of Fear
In Thought Alone
crowd jam/Heaven and Hell/Black Cat/Enemy Image
He Who Laughs Last
Carnival Of Souls
Servant To Your Death
Savage Messiah play the Sophie Lancaster stage at Bloodstock Festival at 11.50 a.m. on Saturday 11th August. For more info and tickets check out the Bloodstock website.