Sylosis Malefice & Anterior Live Review from London’s Islington Academy, 7th October 2011

Anterior live on stage at Islington Academy October 2011

British heavy metal is arguably in one of its most purple patches since the ultimate heyday in the late 70’s/early 80’s. As a testament to this, tonight’s show at the packed Carling Academy Islington featured four young British metal bands each at different stages in their careers.

Opening band Chapters are newcomers and a band I was not previously aware of, but within seconds of the opening riff reverberating around the quickly filling venue, it was clear they meant business. Their brand of modern metal made them a very good choice of band to fit with the others on the bill and although they only had a 20 minute set, the vast majority of the swelling audience were banging their heads and generally going mental for Chapters by the time their set finished.

Chapters live on stage at Islington Academy October 2011
Chapters: Future promise

Second up tonight were Anterior, who have returned to the fore in 2011 after several years comparitively in the wilderness. Due to line-up issues it’s taken them four years to record their second album Echoes Of The Fallen, but after getting back on the road with Sylosis during February’s Metal Hammer Razor Tour, tonight they were armed with their new album and properly ready to show us what they were capable of. The Anterior take on metal is 21st century thrash with some brutal vocals and it was very popular with the masses as huge circle pits were abound all throughout the half hour set. What wasn’t so cool were the guys who thought it’d be a great idea to literally throw themselves (taking themselves out in the process) into groups of people around the edge of the pit but it didnt detract from the enjoyment of Anterior, who were on a welcome return to top form. It’ll be interesting to see if they can continue this momentum into the rest of the year and into 2012. Guitarists Leon Kemp and Steve Nixon were nice enough to chat to Rocksins before the show, so that exclusive interview will be available here on the site very soon.

Tonight’s main support and the first half of the Reading double act, Malefice are a band who’ve just released the album of their career to date and look like it. Frontman Dale Butler was a constantly moving metal whirling dervish as Malefice opened with Delirium, one of the stand out tracks on their new LP Awaken The Tides. Tonight’s set was constructed mainly of new material and the assembled hordes loved it, singing along en-masse amid the constant motion of some very large circle pits. “Nights like tonight makes it all worth it for bands like us” Dale told everyone, a sentiment I’m sure the crowd would have fired straight back at him. Finishing their half hour set with a near earthquake inducing rendition of the title track from Awaken The Tides, Malefice have clearly stepped up to the next level and on this form I think the sky is the limit for them. The chants of “Malefice, Malefice” from the crowd after the band had finished clearly indicated that they left the audience wanting more.

For more news and stories about Malefice, check back with Rock Sins soon for another exclusive chat with the aforementioned Dale Butler as we discuss everything from Malefice’s touring activities and life on the road to old school wrestling.

Sylosis are a band who have been heavily documented and followed by Rock Sins over the last two years. They are one of our favourite bands and we’re proud to say so. This time last year on the Jagermeister / Metal Hammer tour in the same venue the band played to a couple of hundred people after a blistering set earlier in the evening by another set of fellow Reading dwellers, Exit Ten. Tonight, despite the three sets of quality metal that had gone before, the place was still at capacity and no-one was leaving. Frontman and lead shredder Josh Middleton had once again been struck down by the dreaded lurgy with talk of lots of anti-biotics on Twitter in the lead up to the show so we were hoping that Sylosis’ performance would not be affected, especially with this tour giving them the chance to play the longest headline set of their careers to date.

Alex Bailey of Sylosis live on stage at Islington Academy October 2011
Bailey from Sylosis: Happy as Larry

Opening with Procession, the opening track from the almost encyclopedic in length second album The Edge Of The Earth, any fears over Joshs’s vocals were short lived as the song was delivered almost note perfect (or growl perfect) and they followed straight into Sands Of Time, enciting the masses barely recharged from Malefice into another round of fierce circle pitting. Josh is often a man of few words and with a bad throat he wasn’t talking much, letting the guitar do the talking but he did introduce a couple of old songs kicking off with The Blackest Skyline which was possibly the Sylosis singalong of the night. Teras is usually reserved for finishing off the evening at a Sylosis gig but it was deployed relatively early here, not that it mattered to the masses who proceeded to thrash seven bells out of each other as per usual as soon as the song kicked in.

The new material such as Kingdom of Solitude and Eclipsed was intermixed very well with the older songs such as Reflections Through Fire which had the ICA bouncing almost as one and Stained Humanity for which Josh incited an extremely quick wall of death which didn’t need any encouragement whatsoever. Before finishing off the main part of the set with the awesome Altered States Of Consciousness, Josh thanked everyone for turning out and said how tough it was at the moment for a british metal band in the industry so the turnout had meant a lot to them. A simple thank you goodnight didn’t have anyone believing they were finished and sure enough Sylosis were quickly back on stage blasting out The Edge of The Earth’s first single Empyreal before throwing something of a curve ball with “actually our last song and the heaviest song we’ve ever written, I don’t know why we left it until last”, A Serpent’s Tongue (bassist Carl’s favourite new song as he told us back in an interview in February). A triumphant night for Sylosis on their biggest UK tour yet (and indeed for all the bands), Sylosis have arguably been the rising UK metal band of 2011 and the increased attention from the press and the metal community as a whole has been thoroughly deserved, especially when they put on shows like this.

The Sylosis set list was:

Sands Of Time
The Blackened Skyline
Kingdom Of Solitude
Reflections Through Fire
Stained Humanity
Altered States of Consciousness
A Serpents Tongue

Overall, a brilliant night of metal from a slew of young British talent, finished off by many of the bands milling with the fans down in the foyer which is always nice to see. All of these bands are on the up, don’t pass up the chance to see them next time they come your way. For more live metal gig reviews please keep checking back with Rock Sins regularly!

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