Arcite put on a hometown show on their headline UK tour and they hand-picked a few local support acts.
Shades started off the bill with a very early time-slot, plugging away as the venue was starting to fill. They were the square pegs on the bill, as the band themselves admitted‚ saying “This is probably the heaviest bill we’ve ever played on.” Their math-rock/indie guitar pedal hopping antics seemed to go down rather well though. I last caught them at Lonewolf Promotions party in January, where contrastingly they played alongside the likes of Wake and Goy Boy McIlroy. I didn’t catch their full set and they didn’t quite click for me that night. They were slicker for this show and on form top this time around. The audience watched on intrigued, and most seemed to be impressed. I think I now get them, perhaps they take a few listens to appreciate fully, which is a great thing in my book!
Next up on the relentless bill were Sunderland deathcore legends Osiah. They have been highly active on the local scene for several years, hosting and promoting shows and generally keeping the Sunderland metal scene (most of whom have come to support them) afloat. They started out as a side project put together by Ricky Roper (XisForEyes) and Rowan Tennent plus few other local musicians. They quickly gained a quite a respectable following and were well known for their loud and energetic shows. Crazy, wild, brutally heavy, and always put on a great show. They have a revised line-up for tonight with the addition of some notable musicians to help flesh out the sound. They’re now fuller and heavier than ever before, the percussion is simply phenomenal. Andy Mallaby (ex Nexilva), Chris Keeping (ex Reflection in Exile), Bradie Nixon drumming (last seen in Hieroglyph) have joined. This was such a nostalgic set for me, it’s bloody good to have them back!
The NX were up next, they’re comparatively new but are already well established and are injecting a bit of life into the Northeast metal scene. It’s a Monday night and they relentlessly push people to go nuts and many are swept along with their furious stage energy. Newcastle audiences can be a rather reserved bunch at times, making bands work hard for their gratitude. The NX win people over with ease. Heavier than Feed the Rhino and their counterparts, this lot should do well.
Arcite are back in their hometown for their 1st headline show at the Academy. Last time I saw them they were opening for none other than Soulfly at the Riverside in summer 2014. Since then they’ve been busy touring and working on their second album. There’s some anticipation for the new material. Having heard rumours on the grapevine, all very promising, hinting of bigger things to come.
New song ‘Mask’ (at least I believe that is the title, I may have heard it incorrectly), impressed. The double bass pedal sounded like a hurricane. There’s groove grind and some insane low-end! Hinting of old school ‘We Lie Awake EP’ era Arcite. An awesome song and it went down great with the audience.
During ‘Removed’ the crowd were singing along enthusiastically, many knew it word for word. It’s a great example of the high calibre crafted melodic metal that we’ve come to expect from them.
Next up something different, and somewhat unexpected. They brought on a guest vocalist, Laura. Is this a power ballad I immediately thought/panicked! I really struggled to hear her vocals over the rest of the band. I suspect that was due to my stage-side location as the crowd reacted really well to her performance. It was a very different song for them, very light and easy listening and will surprise some fans but I expect this song could help break through to a wider audience.
They finished the night with ‘Escape Key’‚ which has now become mandatory on their setlist with it’s hugely catchy sing along outro!
Arcite have gained huge local support over the years through gigging and some amazing support slots. It really feels like they’re now on the brink of something big. Why aren’t they huge? They sound huge. If there’s any justice the world will start to sit up and take notice.
This was a bloody brilliant show with a great turnout. It is true; metal ain’t dead!