Tucked under the arches beneath Brighton train station lies the Green Door Store, a sub-300 capacity venue  witness to a four-part death metal event headlined by Portsmouth’s Bloodshot Dawn. I was on hand from the start to capture the evening on behalf of PureGrainAudio.
Opening the night are two hometown bands, the first being Subservience who released their debut album Forest of the Impaled last year to strongly positive reviews . Their old-school death metal is driven by filling the lower reaches of sound, which works well in the room, however they do suffer somewhat from the night being young, and the attendees not being quite warmed up enough by this point. Subservience’s main strength is in the simplicity of some of their riffs, and tempo changes within these elicit some response by way of movement from the crowd.
Following them, Enslavement could be categorised similarly in terms of genre, and backed by the constant ferocity and speed of Danny Yates’ drumming the band tear through a 25 minute set. Vocalist Harry Jones’ plea to “have some enthusiastic headbanging please” is met with compliance by the audience, leaving ears ringing, necks sore and this writer eagerly awaiting their debut album later in the year.
Enslavement on stage playing to a filled and mobile room.
As the only act joining Bloodshot Dawn on all twelve of their dates on this run, Reprisal certainly continue the pace of music set by their predecessors, cranking up the technicality and thrash yet maintaining an undercurrent of groove. Compared to the local bands, they arrive as perhaps the least known band on the bill, but upon exiting the stage they leave no one in any doubt as to who they are and what they’re capable of. Tonight, they have displayed that they could be headlining venues such as this in the very near future.
Touring the UK in support of newly released album Reanimation, Bloodshot Dawn take to the stage almost 4 hours after doors open and deliver a set packed with tracks old and new. Their brand of technical melodic death metal can feel clinical and cold in a live environment when performed by some artists, yet this is not a pitfall Bloodshot Dawn fall into – they give a show full of personality and energy. Josh McMorran’s growls are as bloodcurdling now as they were on 2012’s self-titled release Bloodshot Dawn and 2014’s Demons, and the technical guitar work is up there with some of the finest on display in the genre.
Exploding into their performance with 2012’s "Visions", likely their most well-known song, Bloodshot Dawn quickly settle into putting on an excellent show, displaying why they deserve to be headlining a bill such as this and also why they’re in the 15th year of their career. With a range of songs from all three of their albums being performed, it’s somewhat surprising that the highlight of their set comes from Reanimation - "Survival Evolved" has the perfect blend of technicality and accessibility in a live environment – and you can check out the video for it below.
Check out the band's "Survival Evolved" lyric video here.
The evening has shown long established members of the UK metal scene Bloodshot Dawn demonstrating their craft perfectly, as well as showcasing three more bands with the potential to grow hugely themselves. I highly recommend you try to catch one of the remaining dates on this tour - and you can see where they’re playing in Canada later in the year here too.