Devil Driver at The Garage

devildriverTonight, a thousand maniacs serve their lives up on a silver platter as they congregate at The Garage to participate in the metal onslaught of Malefice, Trigger the Bloodshed, Suicide Silence, Behemoth and DevilDriver. The bloodied faces that exit the venue post-performance testify to the fact that, on this night, the ‘safety in numbers’ tactic proves to be no protection against five of metal’s most brutal acts.

Malefice and Trigger the Bloodshed open the evening with an invasion to be reckoned with and Suicide Silence rips through a set that makes cannon fodder of the crowd. No Time to Bleed, the title track off the band’s latest album, and Disengage are highlights in a performance that captures the band’s raucous stage personality and verifies why Suicide Silence is gaining in popularity and continues to entrench a solid fan base. The Californian quintet even found time to hang with fans after their stint – a true sign of a working band carving its way to the top.

The aftermath of Suicide Silence’s assault is amplified by the unsettling site of Behemoth’s war paint, which inspires a foreboding that makes the venue’s dark corners seem rather inviting. But the band does not allow it: fear is beaten into submission with opening song Ov Fire and the Void, which provokes the crowd into a craze of delirium, manifested in the chants of “hey, hey, hey” led by the great and powerful beast that is Behemoth. Fans of the beast welcome the blackened death metal vehemence of songs including Demigod, Conquer All and Slaves Shall Serve, and revel in the carnage of an authoritative performance draped in the characteristic scorn and malice of the occult masters.

The evening finally meets its purpose: DevilDriver. The band has gained a reputation for its mind-blowing live performances and tonight the machine of mayhem obliterates the crowd with awesomeness. DevilDriver gigs are characterised by a level of insanity that is driven by the monstrous charisma of frontman Dez Fafara, who inspires fans to pump their fists in the air and animate songs with impassioned facial expressions and gesticulations. Only a minute into opening track End of the Line, surfers are somersaulting over the barrier to be greeted with a slap on back, or whatever body part is nearest, by Dez. The atmosphere ignites as the singer commands the crowd to “bang those heads” and by the time Clouds Over California strikes, it is evident that the chaos truly reigns. Hangman’s Noose is affirmed as one of the band’s best live songs and Pray for Villains establishes itself as a firm favourite with fans. DevilDriver’s riotous performance is driven by a dynamic setlist (End of the Line, Not All Who Wander Are Lost, Nothing’s Wrong, Pray for Villains, Clouds Over Calfornia, Fate Stepped In, I Could Care Less, Hold Back the Day, I’ve Been Sober, Back With a Vengeance, Before the Hangman’s Noose, These Fighting Words, Another Night in London, Meet the Wretched, ENCORE: Dreamed I Died) that expresses the potent strength and energy of the band. In Another Night in London, DevilDriver acknowledges the importance of the collaborative relationship that exists between the band and its fans and, to the appreciation of the crowd, pays homage to one of the world’s greatest cities:

It takes people like you to make people like me
It takes people like me to make people like you

Let’s start a riot, another night in London
Let’s start a riot while the night is still young
Let’s start a riot, another night in London
Let’s start a riot while the night is still young

While the night is still young!

DevilDriver takes the crowd back to its first album with encore song Dreamed I Died and as the song’s final notes blast the venue into oblivion, it is clear that the night is not over for the battle survivors who stagger, limp or crawl out of the venue – hardly recovered, the yearning for the next onslaught has already set in.

Check out review and killer pics on ClinkMusicmagazine

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