Metal fans have a lot to thank Roadrunner Records for. From mighty legends such as Sepultura through to the mammoth-selling Slipknot, Roadrunner is a label that has consistently come up with the goods in the arena of brutal music, and for the purposes of integrity we’ll continue to assume that Nickelback was a “paying the bills” investment!
That said, the reason for the label’s continued prominence in the scene is down to events such as this – the Roadrage tour – now in its fifth year and existing as a pedestal for hot, new (and tonight the youngest!) talent.
Still Remains are making the very most of their given platform as I walk in to be greeted by a bunch of schoolboys thrashing their hearts out to a small but loyal fanbase in a rapidly filling Garage. The highlight of their set, aside from the sheer amusement of watching a prepubescent keyboard player (apparently thrash metal is branching out!), is undoubtedly finale number The Worst Is Yet to Come. With a strong vocal performance and some amazingly tight lead licks, these young lads should go far, especially if the singer keeps coming up to reviewers such as yours truly and telling them that the reason he started playing metal was because of the band on their T-shirt (Living Sacrifice, take a bow).
3 Inches Of Blood are a joke. They know this, and they look plenty hard enough to be able to deal with any abuse thrown their way, which tonight is purely in the form of shocked amusement that a thrash metal version of The Darkness should be championed anywhere near the words “new” or “original”.
I doubt that Bruce Dickinson or Judas Priest‘s Rob Halford were in attendance tonight. However if they had’ve been, a few tips of the hat would’ve been due. Providing old skool metal to the maximum, 3 Inches are amazingly talented musicians, tighter than Vanessa Feltz in a leotard, and much like said Z-List celebrity, they certainly know how to get attention. They work great as a support act, but I would question their ability to hold their own in a larger venue without the crowd having downed many, many pints of the amber nectar beforehand.
The anticipation then builds amongst the eager young crowd who await the arrival of fellow youngsters, the increasingly fast-selling Trivium. As they appear, an unprecedented surge stage-wards sends many a teen scrambling for the bar. Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr is a battering assault, bursting with melody and aggression, with more than a slight nod in both Slayer and Metallica‘s direction that sends the crowd into a frenzy.
The set highlight is A Bullet To The Head Of Trepidation, which proves that despite their age and relative lack of menacing stature, Trivium are fighting tooth and nail to become a force to be reckoned with on the metal scene. With their vocalist Matt Heafy spending his interviews speaking of nothing but hard work and dedication to their goals through four-hour daily practice routines, you get the feeling that Trivium’s success is an age-old case of reaping what’s been sown.