It’s Friday evening in Worcester, and it’s cold, again. Rather predictably, the city centre is teeming with overbearingly pompous clubbers. But something is happening. A horde of metal-heads appears to be descending upon the Marr’s Bar…. the event? Why it’s Night of the Furies of course!
First up were Paralus, who consist of Kevin Harris and Tom Blizzard (sharing vocal / guitar duties), bassist Craig Eaketts, and Ben Holdstock behind the kit. Immediately these guys brought to mind early Mastodon material, as well as Coheed & Cambria. The vocals were almost a blend between Maynard from Tool, and Ian Kelly of Karnivool. This is no bad thing. Excellent use at times of delay pedals also made me think of Red Sparowes and others of the post-rock genre. All in all a solid and more than competent half an hour display!
44 Fires were the second band to take the stage, a political metal outfit who hail from the capital. It is easy of course to think of Rage Against the Machine, but if anything these guys captured the vibe of bands like Clutch and Metallica. Brian Small’s vocals are very Phil Anselmo-esque, again no bad thing. They definitely suit the music style these guys have opted for. I felt this band were also very good at holding the crowd, enigmatic without being pretentious. Jay’s guitar-tone was befitting of the band and I couldn’t find fault with bassist Tony Hampton or drummer Aaron Beard either.
Fury were the 3rd band of the night, and have a thrash / power metal sound reminiscent of Iron Maiden, Judas Priest etc. For an up-tempo band they are certainly very tight and have a good crisp sound as well; palm muting and double-bass both sounded very clear from all areas of the room. All band members were enigmatic without losing focus or consistency in what they were doing. Their sound was an excellent progression from the previous two bands, making for an excellent gig so far.
So now it was down to headliners Reign of Fury to bring the evening to a close, and they didn’t hold back or disappoint. Another very thrash-based sound with an unmistakable 80’s Slayer / Pantera vibe. Vocalist ”Bison” spent half the set performing amongst crowd, which cemented his popularity without any trouble. The rest of the band meanwhile were demonstrating why the band have achieved the success that they have so far, with their raw power and tight musicianship as a collective. Although they didn’t outstay their welcome with the crowd, amusingly the lights were dimmed towards the end of their set when the curfew was at tipping point.
It was a fitting ending to an evening of (largely) locally brewed metal. The crowd were a testament to the genre, which despite unfounded popular belief has always held a very good-natured and respectful fanbase, something other music fans could learn from. Everything good about metal was on display here.
It was also hugely encouraging from a TBFM perspective to see just how many people in the crowd were not only aware of us, but had first heard about the gig through our promotion as well. Everyone I spoke to was acknowledging and grateful of our efforts, which of course was great to see. Again, cheers guys! And I must add that we can always rely on the Marr’s Bar to help put on a great night, thanks to the usual good selection of competitively priced beers etc, and their friendly staff with an honest passion for genuine music. There was nothing to suggest that anyone had anything less than a great time. Well done to everyone involved, we will see you very soon!