After a mix of beats Void Of Vision bounce into action as people are still coming through the doors. All dressed in the same VOID tops these young lads show their worth, twirling in sync to breakdowns, screaming the lyrics at the crowd fiercely. They want the newcomers to remember them and from the start cast themselves into action. It doesn’t take long for some hardcore dancing to commence and it feels appropriate – mimicing the bands sound, they’re angry and they mean business.
Next on Make Them Suffer also induce the crowd to head banging. At times their music comes across very atmospheric, taking you on an adventure. With the brutal screams of singer Sean and melodic vocals of the keyboardist Louisa in the background they come together in harmony, almost trance like. The Australian band enjoy their time on stage, playing tight until the end.
Out touring and feeling unstoppable they’re here to promote their new album The Resilient. Betraying The Martyrs create tremendous energy levels and almost feel like headliners as the crowd absorb their angst and pit, tumble and headband to no end. They play comfortably on stage as Singer Aaron toys with the crowd creating a amiable connection before spraying cans of beer over the front row. Keyboardist Victor jollies around the stage before taking a impressive stage dive over the front row throwing his trust into the crowd before reappearing to tease with the intro to Let It Go, which is unfortunately quickly dismissed by the rest of the band.
Unlike the previous bands on the bill Chelsea Grin just sort of appear on stage and kick start their set almost too faintly. An ‘oh shit they’re starting’ moment hovers over the crowd as people move forward. Out on tour to support their reissue Self Inflicted they’ve got a hell of a European tour to fulfil and kick off their UK tour tonight in Cardiff. The front row feel hyped, they’re hoping for chaos and a night to remember.
Alas, their music live feels in part lost. It’s not as distinct and not as interesting as those charming music videos make out to be. It doesn’t help that the energy levels on stage feel lethargic as frontman Alex dawdles around the stage. Perhaps they’re tired or perhaps it’s because the crowd is dwindling, or perhaps it’s because it’s become quite tame compared to the previous bands tonight whose fans seemed more frenzied and up for a fight. They soldier on and keep the set mixed. Their drummer Pablo acts like the anchor of the band, teases the crowd, pulling weighty screams and keeping it tight.
Alex spends a song caressing and singing gently into the faces of female fans on the front row leading to overjoyed tears and slightly bemused fathers looking out for their daughters. What’s striking is the mix of fans here – old, young, hip and goth – everyone’s got their own personal reason to admire the band and none hesitate to throw their hands out to show it.
Chelsea GrinWith Betraying The Martyrs, Make Them Suffer and Void Of Vision.
Clwb Ifor Bach - 6th February 2017
Photographer: Nadine Ballantyne - www.nadineballantyne.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nadineballantynephotography/