Forlorn, Amongst The Survivors and Dead Loss @ The Flapper, Birmingham - Friday 15 October 2010
One, or perhaps several, of the current crop of bugs and general nasties regrettably accounted for Collision Process having to withdraw from tonight's line up. Kicking off the evening therefore were...
Dead Loss. Having had 'one of those afternoons' when they appeared at Scruffy's during a recent Grindhouse all dayer, this performance was a distinct improvement. Going off on a tangent for a second, indistinct is the only way to describe the sound - somewhere between sludgy and muddy would be close. All the bands suffered with a general lack of crispness to the guitars which reduced their impact somewhat. To coin Ronnie Corbett's old saying "but I digress"...

After a beefed up rock and roll intro the band settled into a style somewhere between stripped down death metal and doom. There was a considerable degree of groove too and the band were infinitely tighter than at the aforementioned gig. Even allowing for the sound issues the band still sounded a little thin to me - perhaps it's time to look at tuning and the possible addition of a second guitarist? There could have been a little more drive too, although it's always tricky playing to a small crowd.

As it stands at the moment they struck me as being in no man's land - neither clean sounding or possessing any real menace. "Sleeping Demon" stood head and shoulders as the highlight, a lengthier, more complex monster that should form the platform for future performances. Still some work to do fellas, but there were certainly many more encouraging signs.
Set list; "Hate", "Painful Dream", "Downwards", "Evolution", "Sleeping Demon", "Hell", "Children Of Suffering", "Dark Times".

Amongst The Survivors have been having a rough old time of late, clearly reflected in the darker nature of their recent work and indeed this performance. Taking the stage in make up not dissimilar to Marduk or Artisian, the band played a half hour set of considerable poise and style. Morgue Orgy and Amon Amarth were clear reference points as they incorporated various styles into the overall blackened framework. Aside from the sound blunting their impact there was little else to fault. Musically they were tight, Joe was a more than capable front man who led them well, and the set was well paced and constructed.
Picking highlights is somewhat churlish as the set as a whole was so solid, however if pushed I'd nominate "Serpents And Assassins" which will be the track to close the forthcoming album. After building progressively the latent menace was unleashed although there was still a sense of groove, flow, and dynamics. The newer material sounded very promising and bodes well for the album when it finally sees the light of day. In summary Amongst The Survivors are evolving into a potent force; fingers crossed that this evolution and momentum continues over the coming months.
Set list; "Lambs", "Under The Skin", "Disgraced", "Serpents And Assassins", "Without Glass", "The Greatest Depravation".
Forlorn started with an impact opener and were playing a blinder until a broken string put paid to James's efforts on guitar and he turned his hand to being vocalist/front man instead. The set had to be cut short which was a pity as it was bassist James's last appearance with the band. As ever he contributed a stunning display, and his soloing ability will no doubt be missed. Until the guitar malfunction Forlorn were in fine form mixing furious death metal passages with stripped down doomy sections of immense power with consummate ease. Indeed the slower sections with their less is more approach to generating power were particularly impressive.
Knowing the band's collective love of Metallica it was somewhat ironic that the string gave way during a cover of "Creeping Death". With the stricken BC Rich lying wounded on the stage a short exerpt from "London's Calling" by The Clash led into an original song, prior to a furious Nailbomb cover concluding their truncated set.
James's bass work will be sorely missed but I wish him all the best with his recent arrival and family life. His deranged mortician meets Flares outfit will be remembered for a considerable while! Forlorn will continue and I wish them well in their quest for a replacement. Unintentionally short as this set was it showed immense promise and the band displayed a dynamism and compactness that will stand them in good stead for future performances.
Set list; "Vulcan's Flame", "Worlds End", "Floods Of Martyrdom", "This Wicked Sin", "Doomed", "The Rotting", "Creeping Death", "In The Face Of Terror", "Wasting Away".



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