||MONUMENT/KAINE/STORM OF EMBERS
Tuesday 13th May 2014
Johnny Main: Photos by Carlan Braid.
As the house lights go down in the busy venue and the into music starts, Monument slip almost un-noticed onto the stage and as vocalist Peter Ellis makes his entrance onto the stage and the band waste no time in jumping into their headline set with 'Fatal Attack' which has the fans with their hands in the air and the first of the head bangers make their way down the front.
The galloping rhythm courtesy of drummer Matt C and bass player Dan Mailer (who does double duty tonight as he's also playing with the main support, Kaine) sets the pace before guitarist Lewis Stephens plays a great, if short solo.
With the crowd giving the band a heroes welcome it's left to Ellis to tell the crowd that Scotland is "the band's second home and it's good to be back!" to which the audience respond with rapturous applause.
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There's no time to spare, though, as the band crash into 'Carry On' which has Mailer covering every inch of the stage almost banging into Ellis as he tries to get everyone in the audience involved - a not altogether fruitless task as the audience partake in the first sing-along before Stephens plays an incredible solo as Ellis presses the flesh with the faithful down the front.
The bands new album, 'Renegades' has just been released, and we're treated to a good number of tracks from the album including 'Crusaders' which has the audience punching their collective fists in the air while Ellis gives his performance everything he's got. With his powerful voice, friendly demeanor and his exuberance, Ellis is an ideal frontman and he's backed up by some solid musicians making this a band that are sure to have a bright future ahead of them.
'Midnight Queen' is dedicated to the "ladies and the guys that look like ladies" jokes Ellis and is a full on Metal song that has the heads banging all over the venue with the occasional fist thrust in the air for good measure. Instrumental track 'Red Dragon' gives Ellis a breather whilst Mailer and guitarists Stephens and Dan Baune close ranks down the front. Usually these instrumental affairs are rather staid and sometimes a bit dull but Monument play with such passion that the crowd were kept entertained throughout the song.
With the end of their set drawing near, the band pays tribute to Whitesnake/Deep Purple keyboard legend Jon Lord (who died almost ten months ago to the day) by playing the classic 'Black Night' which sends the crowd into a frenzy as they all do their best to sing as loud as they can. Ellis makes one fans night by inviting the lucky audience member onstage to sing the chorus with him – it's touches like this that make this band so damn likeable!
'Rock the Night' closes the main set in fine style and there's the feeling that the gig is actually over and as the crowd move towards the bar, however, as Ellis appears on stage followed by the rest of the band he explains that they've still have time for one more song so we're treated to an unrehearsed rendition of 'Omega' – the final track from the new album.
It may have been an unexpected and unrehearsed addition to the set and surprisingly for only the second time the band have played the number live, it goes down a storm as Ellis commands the audience from atop the drum riser one last time.
Having seen Monument live before I know how good they can be and this live set just reinforced that. With their new album released, a growing list of live dates to fulfill and a sizeable audience turning up to see them on a midweek night (sometimes these can be difficult to judge), it's safe to say that the future of British Heavy Metal is in safe hands here.
The band doesn't need any gimmicks – their music does the talking and they seem quite happy to let it be that way.
Monument Set list:
Rock The Night
Peter Ellis - Vocals
Lewis Stephens - Lead Guitar
Dan Baune - Lead Guitar
Dan Mailer - Bass guitar
Matt C - Drums
Official Website: http://www.planetmonument.com
Monument's main support act for this tour are English four piece (and Monument label mates), Kaine who seemed to go down rather well with the crowd – many of who hadn't seen the band live before.
First song, 'Entropy' had the dandruff flying both onstage and in the audience before the band treat us to a new track, 'Iron Lady' (which won't be released until August) which had bass player, Dan Mailer taking a wander round the stage while drummer, Chris MacKinnon, thrashes out the beat.
'The New Wave' gives the audience a chance to rest their necks from head banging as most of them have their hands in the air – something they're quite happy to do without even being asked, but it's not long before the head bangers are back, and in greater numbers than before.
'Solidarity' has Mailer steps up to take lead vocals and manages his best Steve 'Foot On The Monitor' Harris pose as guitarist/vocalist Rage Sadler gives his voice a rest and takes the lead in encouraging the crowd to make some noise.
Last song from the band is 'Lost Sages Tower' which is a full on show from the band while the head bangers down the front give it everything one last time.
Mailer windmills and lead guitarist Anthony Much plays a solo looked his life depended on it. This may have been a rather short set from the band but there was no shortage of appreciation from the audience. With a quick plug for their EP, the band leave the stage to warm applause with smiles on their faces knowing they'd done a good job and had gained a few new fans in the process.
Kaine Set list:
The New Wave
Lost Sages Tower
Rage Sadler - Vocals/Rhythm Guitar
Anthony Murch - Lead Guitar
Dan Mailer - Vocals/Bass
Chris MacKinnon - Drums
Official Website: http://kaine-metal.com
Glasgow based trio Storm Of Embers seem to have their sound locked in from the first song, 'Undercurrent' and show that they have what it takes to put on a great performance.
There's some solid drumming from Micah Johnston who uses just about every drum and cymbal at his disposal but does so without overdoing it while there is a good vocal performance from Al Douglas.
'Mountains' has a slow start with bass player, Stuart McLeod, getting his moment in the spotlight before the song really comes to life with a great vocal performance from Douglas once again before the whole band links into gear to create, what was for me, the best track of the night from the band.
The Instrumental 'Light Pollution' is quite short but is still entertaining enough before a short lull in the set gives McLeod the chance to tease the crowd with a short burst of Ozzy Osbourne's 'No More Tears' before 'Beyond the Pyres of Night' and 'One Last Time' brings the band set to an end.
The former certainly goes down particularly well with the crowd as the song builds and builds to its climax and elicits a loud response at its conclusion. Having not seen or heard of the band before, it's certainly one that I will be looking out for in the future.
Storm of Embers Set list:
Beyond the Pyres of Night
One Last Time
Storm of Embers are:
Al Douglas - Vocals/Guitar
Stuart McLeod - Bass Guitar
Micah Johnston - Drums
Storm of Embers Online: