Butcher Babies are in town tonight here at The Marble Factory in Bristol, and judging by the relatively small queue patiently waiting outside for doors to open we can tell tonight might not be the best of nights. Punk metallers Sumo Cyco are also on the bill tonight along with Exeter metalcore band Reign Eternal.
Opening up a show is never easy, especially when the other bands are fairly established and of completely different genres. However Reign Eternal saunter onto the stage and are kept cloaked in dark and mysterious lights and they kick things off. The sound is bit muddy and the guitars are almost indistinguishable as they howl with fuzz and at times screeching feedback, which kills the power and punch of their modern day metalcore. “There’s a lot of you in here so let’s make this a party!”, the poor lighting obviously affecting vocalist Ellis Jones’ vision as the room is barely a quarter full and doesn’t look set on changing. To give the young lads their credit they play with enthusiasm and drummer Jobe Whiteman pummels his kit to add a weighty impact to the Killswitch Engage/Miss May I style riffin’. Alas this isn’t enough to muster a lasting memory, maybe next time. (5/10)
Coming all the way from Toronto, Canada is the tours main support act, Sumo Cyco. The lights actually appear to work this time around as the band bound onto stage and pull the trigger on their punk infused metal. Frontwoman Sever’s outfit consists of a SWAT police strapped top with hair and make up like Harley Quinn, but not as mental looking. The energy levels and atmosphere are raised immediately and it seems like we might have a gig on after all. The band are an eclectic bunch visually with their bass player looking like he just came from a Hells Angels meeting and their axeman looking like a quirky punk, which describes this group pretty well. Fairly straight forward and cliche lyrics are in order for the next 40 minutes as Sever displays her vocal range from girly squeals to unexpected guttural growls which impact as more ridiculous than impressive. A cover of The Red Hot Chilli Peppers ‘Give It Away’ is given the punk treatment and sped up whilst ‘Fighter’ see’s Sever make her way through the crowd. Ending with the over the top and pretentious ‘My Name Is Rock n’ Roll’ see’s a miniature mosh pit open up. (6/10)
LA metallers Butcher Babies take to the stage after the lights dim and a throbbing, pulsating rhythm rings out as they explode into life. The duel female vocal delivery doesn’t compliment each other all that well with Heidi Shepherd bringing the deeper, guttural squeal to the party with Carla Harvey providing an overly American delivery. There’s no real well worked vocal trade offs either which is a shame as when properly utilised can be devastating. We must say as well Harvey is ill tonight and takes the time to let the crowd know, she’s suffering with a sore throat but powers on anyway, fair play to her as she still does a half decent job of getting power and projection behind her vocals. Double time two step style riffs and rhythms threaten to turn this place into a frenzy, but the lack of members in attendance halts any ambitions of getting this party started.
‘Monsters Ball’ sparks a muted singalong with its “can’t stop moving” refrain, and the ridiculous smoke machine causes Shepherd to stop in her tracks momentarily. For the first time tonight the urgency and bulky riffs are put to one side as the band spread their wings and throw in a slow number. This is the best example of the girls vocal abilities and provides a welcome change to tonights proceedings. One thing that is certain though is that there are still single minded idiots out there who go to gigs. In between songs there’s cries of “make it naughty” and “have my babies” which dials down the tone and visibly makes the two female performers look uncomfortable. We’re sure they’re used to it but thats not on. Anyway, they tail off with some older material to rapturous applause from the diehards and make their way off the stage to the love and adoration of those in the Marble Factory tonight. (5/10)
Written by Joshua Clarke (@jpclarke91)