Die Shellsuit, Die!

An Alternative Music Magazine

Manchester Academy 3 - 28th March 2008

The Sword

It’s been a while since I have been to the Academy 3 (Or Hop & Grape, as it was known once) so I couldn’t really refuse when the offer of free entry to this gig was dangled in front of me, coupled with pay day it was a no brainer really.

There was another support act, but I missed them and arrived just in time as Black Cobra started their attack run on the audience. And an attack it was. If your familiar with them then you will know that they make a racket louder than most full bands with just one guitar and drums. Backed by a wall of Orange heads and cabs they proceeded to play a nice mix of new material and older excerpts. I do love this band but they were slightly crippled by the sound being somewhat quiet at the beginning. This did get sorted out by a few songs in and left Black Cobra to continue to destroy with what was left of their set.

After some quiet time Oakland’s Saviours were on. I really enjoyed the “Into Abandon” album and “Cavern Of Mind” 10” of recent times so was pretty looking forward to this. Saviours play a sort of fuzzy, stoner metal take on Iron maiden esque metal. My friend even said it was like “Iron Maiden playing Kyuss”. The sound was better straight off the bat. They basically played all the best tracks off the recent album. A lot of beer is drunk and lots of hair flung around. They leave to an audience that respond with a very warm cheer and lots of waving fists.

Which leave’s The Sword to follow up the openers. While on record they come across as being more “jack of all trades” metal than is probably good for them. They have some cracking songs mind. But my unfamiliarity of the newer material, which live left me feeling quite bored didn’t help at all.

Coming on stage to a massive cheer and applause, they launch straight into a couple of the newer tracks. They play well. It’s only with the unveiling of “Winter’s Wolves” that they really start to take off. “Iron Swan” and “The Horned Goddess” follow. All big riffs, solos and shouting. I say its only when...because the sound was god awful at the beginning. With the bass mixed into a farting fuzz sound and the low end of the drums pushed to the front of the mix destroying any body to the guitar sound. Thankfully this was remedied by the time the good stuff kicked in.

After a fair short set they disappear off-stage. People cheer and some leave only for them to return and surprise the entire audience by breaking out a cover of “Surprise Your Dead” by Faith No More. Big smiles all round.

This is then followed by their “hit” as it were; “Freya” is wheeled out and despite its putrescence in one of the Guitar Hero games is still a sweet song full of sweet riffs.

All in all, a proper fun night of metal and rocking out. Black Cobra did own the night but everyone else did their part as well.