WATAIN Talk about an extreme stylistic clash. My last review job was reviewing the high-energy, youthful post hardcore of Your Demise in front of a packed, clean-cut Academy III. Tonight however couldn’t have been more of a shift, with both Watain and Shining dwelling in the darkness, providing an eye-raising double-headed mix of depressive Scandinavian black metal and disturbing nihilism. Both bands have gleefully courted controversy throughout their respective careers, and welcomed it with both open arms and open veins.


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Crowbar With a two-decade plus body of work behind them, and having been cited as elder statesmen of doom/sludge for most of that, there was only one ticket in town tonight for those acquainted with the art of bottom-end. The return of the masters of the riff, New Orleans, Louisana's own, Crowbar.


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Deftones Despite being active for nigh on fifteen years now, Deftones have managed to defy the odds and are arguably still one of the coolest bands operating today, a fact even more surprising given that Deftones were one of the biggest bands to spawn from the nu-metal boom of the late nineties. With that particular scene now dismissed with the same kind of withering disdain normally reserved for prime-era cock rock, it’s testament to the Deftones’ ongoing musical development and unwillingness to rest on their laurels that has thus far avoided them joining the likes of Ultraspank and Hed(pe) in the 'where-are-they-now' file.


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Deftones Despite being active for nigh on fifteen years now, Deftones have managed to defy the odds and are arguably still one of the coolest bands operating today, a fact even more surprising given that Deftones were one of the biggest bands to spawn from the nu-metal boom of the late nineties. With that particular scene now dismissed with the same kind of withering disdain normally reserved for prime-era cock rock, it’s testament to the Deftones’ ongoing musical development and unwillingness to rest on their laurels that has thus far avoided them joining the likes of Ultraspank and Hed(pe) in the 'where-are-they-now' file.


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Trash Talk There's a lot to be said in defence of musical proficiency, tightness and complexity around the hardcore scene nowadays, especially given its frequent dalliances with metal in all of its pristine, precise forms. This show tonight is NOT about celebrating dizzying guitar runs or championing finesse. This is a latter-day throwback to the agitated, bloody-nosed spirit of hardcore as popularised by the marginalised, reactionary likes of Black Flag and SS Decontrol.


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The Imperial Never Say Die! Tour 2010 When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. Or, when there’s no more room in a sorely over-populated hardcore scene, they’ll whack seven of ‘em on a bill and send them on the road. The Imperial Never Say Die tour is yet another HC package bill that seem to be quite the trend, and for good reason.


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Converge Converge, just never seemed to touch Brum, every single time they’ve come to the UK. More the pity, as they’re arguably the one band from amongst their peers who have managed to successfully traverse the years since that first boom period almost a decade ago with their integrity and identity relatively intact. Until today, so for those who’ve been waiting for Converge since ‘Jane Doe’ or before, this gig really had a real air of anticipation attached to it. It also boasted a carefully picked undercard in the form of Kylesa and Gaza.


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