The Raven Age // Disconnected // Live Review // The Limelight // Belfast
This has been a busy few days for me on the local gig scene, like buses absolutely nothing and then they all come at once! The Cult/Death Cult on Monday, Bob Vylan on Wednesday, Wargasm on Friday and tonight I. Am back at the Limelight for The Raven Age making their return to Belfast.
It was a few years ago that I caught The Raven Age for the first time here at this very venue and it left an impression on me, that night there had been a solid week of major International Metal artists through Belfast, and the band played to a modest crowd, not tonight – Belfast has turned up and turned out for this stellar band so it’ll be great to see them get the response they deserve. The Raven Age have been slaying it over the past few years, a seriously polished band that delivers both in the recording studio and on the live stage. So tonight will be one of the metal highlights I’m sure of the final quarter of this year.
In tow Disconnected a French modern metal band with a savage reputation, and with an early start of 7:30 pm they get stuck right in. Right from the off you know these guys are a serious proposition, a highly charismatic frontman in Ivan Pavlakovic and two blistering guitar players and a killer backline that goes about pummelling the Northern Irish crowd on their Belfast debut.
The guys lay down one of the best sets I’ve seen In a long time from a support band, Disconnected may be new to a lot of the people here tonight but they have won over an army of fans, the only negative is that stage is way too small for them, they are like caged animals up there slaying their way through the set but they need space to breath and the about of gear on stage with them is restricting their movement and the frontman especially is busting some serious moves!
By the time their set comes to a close the roars of approval from the Belfast crowd speak volumes, it’ll be great to see these guys back in Belfast once again and hopefully on a bigger stage, deservedly so.
A short breather and before you know it the guys from Raven Age have made their way down to the stage and are prepping to take it by storm! Most of the excess gear of Disconnected has been removed apart from 2 x MLC 4×12 cans behind the two guitarists, the drum kit squeezed in between and two or three raised platforms stage front to give the guys a bit more presence up there. No need the music does it all, from the moment The Raven Age kick off they are magnetic, all eyes are transfixed on the stage as they toss out banger after banger from new and old recordings, the guys’ set is a carefully orchestrated collection of tracks to keep everyone on their toes, as heavy as you’ll find but packed with melodic quality so that everyone is singing along at the top of their voices. Every song seems to have gargantuan choruses with two to three guys harmonising vocals to fill the room from wall to wall. The cutting guitar tones for the solos rip through the mix and every attack of the string can be heard as clearly as a bell.
The band tears their way across a killer set that has the Belfast crowd chanting, throwing their fists in the air and singing along in unison every chance they can, the energy in the room is highly addictive and you can’t help but join in, from memory the last time I saw them live it may have been previous vocalists Michael Burroughs last gig with the band as they went their separate ways just after the Belfast show, so it is interesting seeing the contrast and styles of new vocalist Matt James for the first time as he orchestrates the Belfast crowd, there are smiles far and wide across the venue and every track gets greeted with rapturous approval as it kicks off and roars of delight as it ends, their set is going down a storm, and the new tracks from the bands recent release Blood Omen especially as it allows Matt’s vocals to shine.
The opportunity is given to one dedicated fan to get up on stage and assist in playing drums on the opening of one track, and the level of excitement as he gets off stage and dances with his mates with glee tells you this is one night this young lad will not forget.I think for many here who hold The Raven Age in such high regard this will be a night to remember when they came back to Belfast and delivered a savage performance in front of a packed crowd.
The sky is the limit for these guys as they only go from strength to strength with each new release, as the crowd spills out onto the Belfast street, gig goers and weekend revellers mingle and share stories of a memorable Saturday night in Belfast, this is what it’s all about!