Sunday, 6 February 2011

Devil Sold His Soul / Feed the Rhino / Betrayal within the Ranks @ The Sugarmill 4th February 2011

Review by James Winter Samuel

Photo by Kevin Percival

I walk in halfway through Betrayal within the Ranks set of sub-standard metal-core fare that about 1000 bands are doing right now, and immediately I can tell that these guys have just listened to their favourite As I Lay Dying album and just regurgitated it out in their own Stoke style! I can cut them slack because they are all about 16 and are trying their best, clearly enjoying being onstage and playing before a sizeable crowd. They are tight and technically gifted but I was just wishing they had more originality. I’ll put that down to youth and finding their feet. In two – three years time these guys will probably be well worth checking out, and if you like your tech metal-core, please do so!

If it was five or six years ago when the UK underground metal scene was alive and the healthy beast that it was back then, Feed the Rhino would be as big as Gallows are now. Unfortunately, the scene has stagnated somewhat, leaving bands like FTR to forge their own path and take charge of a new breed of promising underground bands. An excellent combination of high and mid tempo hardcore with a heavy dose of bruising powerful riffs and passionate vocals. To sum it up, they do exactly what it says on their flyer, “crushing, balls out rock and roll hardcore.” I cannot put it better than that really. Brilliant stuff!!

Coming on to the soundtrack from Inception, Devil Sold His Soul start with the usual slow, drawn out build up before kicking into the most epic of riffs. This is heavy stuff but not in the way that Feed the Rhino bulldoze you over, more like being swept along in a stream of massive riffola. The set is tight and their reputation for impeccable live shows certainly holds true tonight. When they veer off into ambient territory, the parts are interesting and didn’t linger around too long because those huge riffs that they seem to do so well were just around the corner. The lead singers vocals ranged from throat shredding cookie monster to impressive clean sung in the blink of an eye and all this whilst the band are throwing themselves around the stage like some progressive hardcore Nureyev’s! All in all, a good show, and a show that proves that the UK underground metal scene is still alive and kicking.

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