Sylosis // Burner // Harbinger // Live Review // The Limelight II // Belfast

Sylosis // Burner // Harbinger // Live Review // The Limelight II // Belfast

Fancy some filth on a Sunday night? We’ll join us in the heart of Belfast City post-Easter chocolate coma for one of the hottest gigs of the year thus far. The mighty Sylosis are bringing their brand of hefty metal to this intimate venue and in tow two killer bands in Harbinger and Burner. I think the last time I caught Sylosis live was at Bloodstock a few years back (2022), so tonight I have the absolute pleasure of capturing them live up close and personal here at the Limelight II. By the time I land down there is already a healthy crowd in the room patiently waiting for the arrival of tonight’s first band. Looking around the room we have a highly excitable crowd as they push their way forward to get a better view, the layout of the LL2 is a little quirky, the same as it has always been fundamentally but an awkward stage stuck in the corner, a bottleneck leading to the front before the space opens up and usually no pit to speak of to attempt to shoot a band in. The joys, so the challenges were amundo last night and of course three heavy, heavy bands whipping up a Belfast crowd hyped up on post-easter sugar the bodies will be flying across the room tonight moshing their little asses off so the floor is off bounds! But all of those same faults are the very same reason this venue is special, the intimacy and close proximity that allows you to be in the face of your musical heroes. Sure you can’t beat it with a big stick.



Around 7:50 Harbinger take their place side stage reading themselves to get on and wreak havoc. 8 pm arrives and they unleash unholy hell on the LL2, a brutal display from this bloodthirsty band who are not here to make up the numbers, the power and weight of their riffs are a thing to behold live. The gnarly breakdowns, wailing vocals, guttural growls have the Belfast crowd screaming for more, with every track the crowd and getting more and more into the set, the roars of approval at the end of each song tell’s you just how much. Now the stage is rammed, 3 bands, 3 different drum kits taking up the back of the stage, two huge racks stage left and 5 band members in Harbinger means the guys have all this pent-up aggression and not a lot of space to let it all out, but the music is doing the talking! They are slaying it, a massive sound fills every inch of this venue and anyone up front gets to appreciate it in its full glory. It’ll be great to catch these guys again on a bigger stage that gives them room to breathe and let their energy shine. But the personal feel that the LL2 gives you is pretty special and anyone who caught Harbinger tonight won’t forget it in a hurry.



Burner from South London is up next and their brand of Hardcore-Groove Infused Death Metal is an absolute beast live, from the start through to the finish it was a relentless punishing set on the senses, the beauty sometimes of one guitarist that allows the riffs to sound so clean against the backline of the bass and drums and the powerhouse vocal display was just a thing of beauty. A brutal and savage display by Burner leaves you exhausted just watching them, their quick-fire songs hit you like a blow to the head, over and over again the crowd was lost in their chaos, their manic intensity and powerful performance was a crazy beautiful thing to enjoy. If a UFC brawl is your way of relaxing if you know what I mean. Sure what else would we be doing on a Sunday night? Burner’s debut album, It All Returns to Nothing was released in 2023 and is one to check out.



8:35 and a packed out Limelight sees the arrival of one of Britain’s titans of modern metal, Sylosis released this latest offering ‘A Sign Of Things To Come’ and reinforced the brutal, technical brilliance of Sylosis. This album was all killer no filler, from the album’s opener ‘Deadwood’ with its savage riffs and blistering solo through to the album’s closer ‘A Godless Throne’ this album did not disappoint on any level. So the opportunity to bear witness to these beauties and feel the air move in the room is just awesome. The band’s proficient technical ability just shines through live, with their intricate songwriting style and challenging rhythmical patterns just leaving you in awe, the room is in a frenzy, the energy is through the roof,  and anyone who is a fellow musician standing there soaking it all in can’t believe their eyes and ears. But like many bands Sylosis are a product of their time together as a band, forging an unforgettable sound and clocking up those miles on the road forging a reputation as one of the best bands to come out of the UK metal scene. With the mighty Josh Middleton at the helm, every guitarist in Belfast with a JM patch on their Kemper or digital unit of choice is watching every thrash of his guitar or stunning lead work. Sylosis is a band well-loved by the local metal scene and I can see familiar faces far and wide, a band that inspires and makes you want to be a better musician. Their ability to translate the perfectly crafted sonic tapestries from their recordings to the live setting has to be admired, the band’s sizeable back catalogue means there is no shortage of material in which to entertain the Belfast crowd, so their set is packed with older fan faves and new material off their latest album, these guys could honestly have played the phone book and the Belfast audience would have lapped it up.

A musical education unleashed on a Sunday night, this is the only schooling i’ll ever need! The sound was majestic, the drums pummelling you right through your chest, the cutting solo tones ripping through your eardrums, the gnarly vocals and slamming basslines all hitting you where it hurts. Sylosis brought it all tonight, wrapping up a great night of stellar modern metal, showcasing the genres strengths in spades, metal is here to stay, it is getting stronger year on year, the diversity and scope for young upcoming metal heads is so vast now you can totally lose yourself in the genre for decades, all thanks to game changers like Sylosis.

A breathtaking spectacle from start to finish, the guys busted their balls to be here fighting off Storm Kathleen to make it across the Irish Sea and going by the passion and energy in the room this evening, Belfast appreciate the effort. Dublin’s gig rescheduled from last night to tomorrow night, that’s if the Solar Eclipse taking place and the sacrifice of the red heifers doesn’t signal the end of times! If somehow you make it through, pick yourself up a ticket, you won’t regret it.


Photo’s by @flashartmark for @rocknloadmag #justsayin


A Sign Of Things To Come was released Friday 8th September 2023 via Nuclear Blast Records.

Pre-Order Here