Tempest Live – Rosie Malones Cellar, Coventry, 2/8/12

Tempest Live is a new hardcore/metal night in Coventry, aimed at bringing the best in the area’s scene together for your pleasure. The opening show, at the Cellar in Rosie Malones Irish Bar, had a decent turn out, even if the main bar itself was getting all the attention for its Thursday night karaoke specials. But if we put karaoke and terrible Foo Fighters renditions sailing down from the main bar aside, Tempest’s first outing was a success.

Opening the night were Centauri (3.5/5), a reasonably recently formed post-hardcore group. The riffs might have had a Glassjaw tinge to them, but the singer didn’t necessarily have that Daryl Palumbo tone in the clean vocals, instead affecting an almost classic rock feel. That isn’t exactly a bad thing – it gives Centauri an edge and a swagger that they’d otherwise be lacking. There were some seriously commanding parts to their set – the second song in particular was truly indicative of what Centauri can achieve – but at times, they couldn’t decide what genre they were striving for most. However, once they experiment some more and work out a more coherent structure, Centauri should have the potential to seriously impress.

Dropping back from the headline spot to accommodate their guitarist’s rough schedule, it’s easy to see why most of the crowd left following a truly magnificent set from Even Flowers Kill (4.5/5). The intensity that their experimental post-hardcore features on record is perfectly replicated live and even in a tiny basement, with the sound desk sat on the bar, EFK sounded phenomenal. Despite a few complaints from themselves about a lack of practice, they sounded completely tight, and for a band with such complex rhythms and difficult sequences, that’s not exactly easy. The biggest highlight of the set was Song For Brad Svoboda, a song that after an incredible buildup, hits you like a freight train on record and it was no different in the Cellar that night. Despite such an intense performance, the band still managed to have a lot of fun, as was evident from some brilliant banter and some ridiculously lively Refused-style jazz sections. If this was EFK on a bad day, then I simply can’t wait to catch them at their best.

It’s a shame that Hurtseason (3/5) just couldn’t keep up with the incredible performance that they had to follow. Sounding a bit like early Trivium but with less twiddly bits, they played a solid set but with hardly any innovation and by the end, it was getting difficult to distinguish between songs. They played new single Black Waste which was suitably brutal, yet lacking in the intensity and showmanship that had preceded them. Nevertheless, they had some die hard supporters there with them, were well practised at what they do and that was more than enough to end a night of great music in Coventry.

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