It was a brisk Tuesday evening when I found myself heading out to the Asylum 2 in Birmingham for a night of insane heaviness with a line-up of bands that the hardcore fan in me would die for, those bands being God Complex, Phoxjaw and Loathe. Upon my arrival at the venue, I was talking to others there while waiting for the doors to open and everyone shared the same mindset of “If this is in the small room, I’m pretty sure someone I’m gonna die”. To my great pleasure, it was in the small room.
First up was Liverpool hardcore act God Complex, bringing an instant onslaught of aggression to the audience. With filthy riffs and tight musicianship, it was easy to get lost in the set (when you could see it past the strobes that is). With pits opening instantly and people truly mesmerized by the band, the mood for the night had been set. All in all, I was very impressed, great sound and just as great of a performance.
Next up was Phoxjaw, bringing their noise filled blend of post-metal grunge to the stage. I was pretty excited to catch them again too, as I haven’t seen them live since Amplified 2018. Other than some unfortunate technical issues with a pedalboard, the performance was top-notch and better than I could have ever remembered them being. With no lack of energy, the band made the venue their playground while they proceeded to play one of the most musically unique sets I’ve had the pleasure of witnessing in a long time.
After two great sets getting both myself and the audience in the mood for more, Loathe was ready to blow the roof of every building in the surrounding area. Celebrating the launch of their latest release, Loathe proved exactly why they’re one of the leading forces in the newest sound to hit the metal genre. Within the first minute, the audience was assaulted by a barrage of riffs and vocals that made the entire room move with a mix of pits and people just shout-singing along with every song. What stood out the most to me though was how easily they went from ruthlessly aggressive to slow and ambient without compromising the performance. Two Way Mirror was a perfect example of this, the song translates perfectly into their live set without compromising the performance despite the drastic difference in sound. A fantastic performance from one of the UK best bands.
When the night had finally come to an end, I bought Loathe’s I Let It In And It Took Everything on vinyl and headed home, those in attendance all had smiles on their faces and jolliness in their voices and it was incredibly obvious just how much the night was enjoyed by all. With 3 bands all playing their hearts out and showing exactly what it takes to stand out in an oversaturated genre, each of these bands should be caught live as soon as you have a chance to. An incredible show and I cannot wait till the next one.
Review & Photography // Daniel Stapleton
Pulse Media Photography
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