Satan’s Hollow as a venue is really fitting not just in name but in its charm. The stage itself is in the middle of the room and usually serves purpose as a dancefloor for club nights. With the bands being in the centre it allows you the ability to watch the band from all sides which is a unique opportunity for such intimate experiences.
First up were STEEL MAGE who utilised a sample of The Purge as an introduction piece before kicking straight into the thick of things. What I thought was rather strange that the vocalist was reading the lyrics from their phone. Were they a new addition to the band? It did come across as rather odd as it is not something that I have ever witnessed at a gig but as the song ended it turned out that this was one of the guitarists and their vocalist had sadly got caught up in traffic. Midway through the next song their vocalist stormed through the stage took over the mic and got straight into the thick of it without fault. It certainly had a dramatic impact, and the band went to another level with the additional guitar contribution too. Incredible praise due to their guitarist for stepping up.
Sound wise they came across as a hybrid of the well known Big 4 of Thrash with touches of early TRIVIUM and KILLSWITCH ENGAGE. Whilst the gutturals worked it was good to hear the use of clean vocals towards the end of the set which worked well adding that additional dynamic. Good things to come from these up and comers.
Main support act came from melodic hard rock act A NEW TOMORROW. Ex-POWER QUEST frontman Alessio Garavello’s vocal range is incredible and perfectly entwines with his guitar skills too. There was a wonderful mix of acoustic ballads, technical rhythms, harmonious melodies, and hard rock anthems that made you want to headbang and singalong throughout. With tracks like I Wanna Live, A Million Stars, Golden Sands, Universe and Heaven there was something on offer for everyone. From their performance you would have thought they were playing in a huge arena such was the professionalism and energy they produced.
I was so glad I finally got round to seeing A NEW TOMORROW as they had been on my bands to see list for some time and undoubtedly I will be getting tickets the next time they come to town. Fans of ALTER BRIDGE should check these guys out if they have not stumbled on your radar as of yet.
Ironically the last concert I attended before lockdown featured DENDERA as part of the bill so it was quite fitting that the first concert I attended was DENDERA on their headline tour. Coincidence or was it the web of fate playing its part? Who knows? However, one thing I do know is that DENDERA absolutely killed it.
Considering the crowd attendance for the show was relatively small they performed as if they were headlining a sold-out arena. As attendees we were graced with being able to witness all tracks from DENDERA’s latest EP release Reborn in a live setting which were originally delayed due to the pandemic.
Opening the set was the piece Insurrection which has a cinematic feel which led nicely into The Void. This track makes full use of guttural vocals which was a welcome addition to the band’s armoury. Lots of sweeping melodic sections had you banging your head throughout. The band followed with tracks from previous releases Age of Agony and Claim Our Throne which are staples of the band’s live repertoire with the latter having some catchy sing along moments. There were more tracks from the Reborn EP that followed, allowing vocalist Ashley Edison to show his range, from high power orientated vocals as he utilises in POWER QUEST and exchanging into thrash laden vibes.
From there it was a journey back into the back catalogue with fan favourites The Daylight Ending and Blood Red Sky which is hands down one of my favourites by DENDERA. Bringing the night to a close were the final tracks Reborn and Edge of Tomorrow. These were both well received by the crowd as the evening came to an end. DENDERA were well on form and showed that they are a well-oiled metal machine that continually deliver and that big things are on the horizon.
Words: Martin White