After reviewing Sentience‘s début album Sentience, I decided to jump up to Guildford to catch their album launch show at the Star Inn. I was excited to see how well it translated live and I was blown away by their performance. For those who didn’t catch the review, Sentience are a new UK based progressive metal band who draw influences from bands such as Monuments and TesseracT, whilst delivering their own ferocious sound. Their début Oleka is a great example of how bands in the genre can continue to push out new and interesting material, even with naysayers claiming that the scene is drying up. You can check out the review here.
The Star Inn in Guildford was deceptive at first – outside of the venue, the fascia is a typical old English pub and there was no advertising for the gig outside. Inside, you’re led down winding corridors to the sponsored venue room. Said room is a fair size, with a capacity of around 150. Beer isn’t great and the plastic glasses they serve ale in are a bit of a joke. Sound was great, very heavy with good bass levels – until the feedback happened, that is. Three of the four bands experienced jarring feedback from vocals/guitars at certain points of the show, detracting slightly from the show.
Up first on the bill were TideBinder. Unknown to me before the show, I was more than impressed at the way this instrumental trio performed, with the guys using a heavy Modern Day Babylon groove with Scale The Summit slides, descending into Monuments-esque madness. For a band without any released music, their songs sounded crisp and the band played with confidence. The climatic riff to their final song was absolutely divine and, here at It Djents, we will be keeping a close eye on the band’s progression.
FFO: Modern Day Babylon, Scale The Summit, Monuments
Check out TideBinder on Facebook.
This was my third time seeing Fraktions in the last year and each time the band seems more confident in themselves, the way they play and how they adapt their songs live. This is especially great considering they were down two members, with Colin from No Consequence providing a frenetic performance on drums in place of the absent Ross. The band killed their set, even with the dreaded feedback kicking in when Joel and Will pushed their vocals! Bass was on point and Elliot’s guitar work continues to improve. I’m looking forwards to hear how the band will follow up last year’s Anguish EP!
FFO: The Contortionist, Vildjharta, The Arusha Accord
This is a young UK band to watch out for if you’re interested in the deathcore genre, but these guys really weren’t up my street. However, they provided some comedy entertainment when the guitarist dropped his guitar mid-way through their final track and leaped from the stage, much to the bemusement of the rest of the band, who abruptly stopped playing.
FFO: Deathcore bands
Check Nycosia out on Facebook.
Dim lights, engage tones, stare into black, begin intro. I love that part of live shows, and it’s why I’ll happily travel across and beyond the south of England to catch bands who can put on a show like this. Sentience delivered just such a spectacle before ripping into the album’s title track, “Oleka”. Having listened to the album thoroughly pre-release, it was brilliant to see their vision and sound translated live so well and delivered with such savagery. The band didn’t hold back, with everyone grooving hard and showcasing some stage-presence swagger, even when the finger tapping and down picking were exceptionally demanding.
Stuart on vocals delivered well, sounding clear over the PA and shifting from singing to screaming without the need for backup vocalists. Ollie on bass played a stellar set, his five-string Overwater bass sounding off delightfully, whilst the guys on guitars laid down punchy groove to complement Jorge on drums. Sound for Sentience was on point and the mix was separated cleanly, which is fantastic to see at a gig costing £5! Attention to detail seems to be everything for these guys, but that didn’t stop them from putting on a great live show. The only downside was that a bunch of cocks on a stag do (in Guildford of all places?!), were let into the venue and jumped in mid-set, trying to get the band to wear steampunk goggles. Have some fucking decency!
The band pummeled through the rest of the album with their track “The Pineal Gland” being my favourite of the night. It’s an absolute stomper and I implore you to check out the whole of their debut EP.
FFO: Monuments, TesseracT, The Contortionist.
Check out Sentience on Facebook.