My car's outside temperature gauge is reading -4.5 and I'm wrapped up like an intrepid North Pole explorer. The last gig I went to all I had on was a t-shirt and jeans (A Perfect Circle in Las Vegas) man how a few weeks makes a difference.
In what could possibly be one of the best line ups of the year it's a little disappointing to see not even a half full Rock City for Fear Factory. First up are DAATH from Atlanta Georgia, with their twin guitar thrash assault and what a tight band these prove to be. Sean Z is tearing Rock City a new one with his death like grunts and screams as he drips blood and sweat into his mic. With some extreme riffing and superb solo's combined with a pummeling bass drum attack it's worth keeping your ears open for DAATH… Move over Lamb Of God the new boys are in town looking to piss on your parade.
Next up is America's answer to Motorhead. HIGH ON FIRE, themselves a three piece, they take to the stage to hammer our ears with their brand of stoner, old school metal. I've always been a fan of the three piece as I feel they offer the simple meat & potatoes of music and HOF simply prove me right. Last time I saw these was at High Voltage and they impressed me then, tonight is no exception as they soon blow away the cold and frost of this bleak December night. Matt Pike's vocals are rough and ready and his nine string chugging stick is making the walls shudder, highlight being 'Bastard Samurai' which is quite simply a metal juggernaut that thunders through the venue. HIGH ON FIRE…big fan, catch them next year or beg, steal or borrow their latest album 'Snakes For The Divine'.
I've seen FEAR FACTORY so many times now that I've probably become complacent to their live show. When Dino Cazeras left and Christian Olde Wolbers took over six string duties I felt he offered the band that something they had missed. With Dino firmly back in the fold and Christian ousted to be replaced by the more than capable Byron Stroud, Fear Factory are now touring their ass off to rebuild the reputation the unpleasantness of the split took away from them. From the industrial set opener 'Mechanize' to 'Shock' the band sound seasoned and ready to power through the cold. Dino Cazeras is as fat as their sound and Byron's Yeti death stare is shuddering the bass through my chest cavity. What follows is a greatest hits set, Linchpin, Biggod, Martyr, Self Bias Resistor all get the brave few here responding in a circle pit of appreciation. Burton C's vocals struggling somewhat on a few numbers but he certainly makes up for that in pure passion and aggression. Signing off with 'Dog Day Sunrise' followed by 'Replica' the Rock City faithful go home happy…Now if Dino could only put some solo's into his songs it would be a revelation.
Mark 'Tosh' Davies