Dead Label is all about the homecoming. The trio (from Celbridge, Co Kildare), have been touring Europe since November and have been looking forward to this night for quite a while and at the stroke of 7.30pm, they kick off the night at full speed. Ground-shakers like ‘Are You Ready to Kill’ (my favorite tune of their set), and ‘Salvation in Sacrifice’, from their latest record ‘Throne of Bones’, lights the place up and the fans (who have traveled far and wide to be here), give rousing gratitude for the band’s dedication and unique sound. Clearly delighted to be home and playing for their home-grown comrades, Dead Label know that playing The Academy again (earlier this year with Gojira) is a milestone to tick off the check list, whilst they continue on their musical journey and give everything they have to their performance. With “Throne of Bones” being released in early 2016, this is a band that we urge you to keep an eye on! 4/5
Ex-Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader’s newest project Once Human, from LA, has a tough act to follow. As expected, they’re very heavy in parts, and samples of orchestral symphonies with melodic pianos echo between the notes. There are issues with sound, as both the vocals and guitar channels have fluctuations in volume. Lead shredder Skyler Howren, is sporting a Dead Label shirt, and Mader looks like he just ate the gym. When describing Once Human, think Nightwish meets Arch Enemy. They bust out a cover of Machine Head’s ‘Davidian’ and everyone goes nuts, but there’s just something about that doesn’t feel right; that one song seems to get the biggest response from the crowd out of the entire set. (3/5)
Starting with ‘Demanufacture’, shit goes down big-time. Fear Factory front-man Burton C. Bell holds 850 people in the palm of his hand… and it’s a big hand, because there are pits opening everywhere. Guitarist Dino Cazares looks like he’s having the time of his life. He seems genuinely happy to be here. As FF make their way through their crowning album, the diehards know what is coming next and react as if it’s their first time. Bell’s vocals sound the best that I’ve ever heard him… in fact the whole band sounds perfect.
The intro to ‘Bodyhammer’ nearly breaks the place in half – even the lighting engineer on the second floor overlooking the stage is losing her shit! Bassist Tony Campos is invited to do a bass solo and has to remind people that he is NOT Kerry King and Mike Heller on drums is indescribable, never missing a beat from start to finish. There’s no real interaction between band and fans for most of the show and Bell’s voice starts to suffer near the end as he can barely talk. Bear in mind he’s been screaming for nearly an hour. After “Demanufacture”, has been played out, the band leave the stage and all goes quiet, until a 6-song encore, starting with ‘Shock’, shatters the still and is followed by ‘Edgecrusher’.
The floor is going wild with insane movement. Let’s just say security is busy. Bell asks everyone to support their favourite bands before bringing Danny Hall (from Dead Label), back up onstage to celebrate his birthday. Also promoting their new album “Genexus”, the band throws a few new tunes into the FF mix, which rattle our brains a couple of more times before ending on a high note with ‘Martyr’. (4/5)
Fear Factory setlist:
Self Bias Resistor
Dog Day Sunrise (Head of David cover)
A Therapy for Pain
Review – Shaun Martin
Photography – Down The Barrel © 2015
© OVERDRIVE 2015
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