Fearless Vampire Killers

With Support From The Dead Lay Waiting/

In Dantes Eclipse and Sondura.

The Slade Rooms Wolverhampton 17th October 2012.

Life and music could be pretty mundane if we didn’t dare to walk in unchartered territory from time to time, and I sensed a whiff of musical adventure in the air tonight which I was hoping would lead to the discovery of a whole new world out there along with an ample helping of good times!

For those of you that know me and of my guilty indulgence for melodic rock, it will come as no suprise to hear that our opening band Sondura , are a band that I was really looking forward to seeing. These guys drag melodic rock kicking and screaming into the new age of metal with an edge that is tough enough to keep those seeking a more intense experience satisfied whilst maintaining those glorious harmonies and hooks that are sent to sooth the inner soul.

Tonight’s set was sadly not a particularly long one, but long enough to hear a little of Sondura’s past, present and also future potential. With songs including the immense ‘ Falling Free’ from their 2009 album ‘Live Before You Die’, and You Remain’ from their impending EP release of the same name, their set showcased this bands progress to date and with a new album set for release in the Spring of next year, I feel that this next part of their journey will be one that is destined to pick up speed.

A few weeks back I had the pleasure of seeing In Dantes Eclipse for the first time and the experience then made the opportunity of a repeat performance tonight, one that I was most definitely up for. For a band that are so young in age, their song writing ability, talent and confident stage presence, were all highly visible again and tonight’s gig saw In Dantes Eclipse on top form.

In Dantes Eclipse lack for nothing in the department of creative endeavour and with great ease, they unleashed their own blend of gothic infused rock ‘n’ roll upon their hometown audience tonight. Despite ‘Grave Digger’s Wife’ being a favourite with the crowd, their new single ‘Swallow’ was the one that excelled for me tonight. With the razor sharp guitar of Antony Birch and the formidable vocals of Hal Lows Steadman, this song hits the spot and is well worth a trip over to their Facebook page to check out for yourself.

“The Killing Is Dead Tour” is a mammoth Live Nation marathon of 18 dates across England and Wales that is set to close on the 31st October in London. Former Kerrang nominees for Best British Newcomer of 2011, The Dead Lay Waiting, have played an important part in this tour and fan reviews to date paint a picture of a hard working death metal band, who live, play and perform to their maximum and throw everything they have into their gigs.

Even an exaggerated interpretation of such comments could not even come close to the reality of seeing The Dead Lay Waiting live, as in action tonight they delivered a set that was fuelled with such intensity and adrenaline, I saw my life flash in front of my eyes whilst sat in the photo pit this evening. To say that this band sit outside my musical comfort zone is an understatement, but hand on heart, they were such a refreshing revelation and experience to behold that their performance tonight was one that will stay with me for a long time to come…. and for all the right reasons. The dead MAY lie waiting, but this band are going places!

With our headlining band yet to take to the stage, I had an awful feeling of impending doom, as any band that is faced with following such a performance could easily suffer a painful death, but I should have known better of a band that proclaims through their name, to be ‘fearless’.

First impressions certainly were dramatic as Fearless Vampire Killers have an image that is straight out of the dusty Victorian age and visually serves the band well as this sits in complete contrast to their 21st century sound of gothic style pop. It was an absolute pleasure to see their belief in themselves shine through in the complete absence of arrogance and based upon their quality performance tonight, I can only assume that this belief has been born out of hard work and commitment.

With tonight’s audience on a mission to enjoy every theatrical minute that the Fearless Vampire Killers had to give, the atmosphere at The Slade Rooms was nothing short of electric and even as the band’s set drew to a close, no-one was going home without an encore. Given that this band had easily proved themselves to be ‘fearless’, any encore was destined to deliver a final impact and their unorthodox version of Wham’s ‘Club Tropicana’ certainly did the trick!

So, I found myself going home tonight slightly punch drunk from all the greatness I’d seen up on stage here at The Slade Rooms and if you find yourself in a position to get to any of the dates left on this tour, I can’t recommend strongly enough that you go!

Words and Photography by Sue Wardle

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