Hang The Bastard, live in London
Venue: Electrowerkz, London
Support: Profane And The Sacred, Death & The Miser
As you walk through the door of the venue, you're hit by an eerie mist that seems to cover the entire place. It gives off a cool netherworld atmosphere, as if you entered an undiscovered dimension. And this is appropriate for Death & The Miser .
Only just starting to make their mark, this band meld early Trouble to Budgie and Atomic Rooster. It's a late '70s riff rage, with Love And Terror proving an outstanding moment. While their sound is a little more organically doom-laden than Angel Witch circa 1980, somehow they've also captured the appeal that made the cult NWOBHM masters so popular in those formative days. The promise and potential is there for a big push forward.
Frontman Luke Alleeson is wearing a Clutch T-shirt, and that seems to be logical for Profane And The Sacred . They've a style that draws heavily from this well, albeit tempered with elements from Down, COC and even Thin Lizzy. This lot comfortably hold the attention, the music driving forward with a classy, creative hybrid of energy, musicianship and no little charisma. There's a real sense here of watching one of the best young bands in the country. And Words could easily become one of 2015's biggest anthems.
Although there's nothing at all wrong with their headline set, Hang The Bastard  don't really hit to the standard of what has gone before. A lot of their manic 45 minute performance is based solely on the desire to set up a mosh pit, with little true substance to underpin the head wound agitation of the approach.
Vocalist Tomas Hubbard sounds like a banshee gasping for air, but this works in complementing the fiercely combative metal instrumentation. And nobody can deny that Hang The Bastard are a rousing live band, at turns bringing to mind Gallows, Sikth and Iron Monkey. But what they lack so far is musical depth. Everything here is on one level, and nothing sticks to the memory.
There's no doubting the growing following for these Bastards; now they have to move everything up a notch if they're to have a fully fermented future. As it stands, both Death & The Miser and Profane And The Sacred have more to offer longterm. But what this gig does show is that underground British metal is stirring and ready to strike.