Live Review : Stand Silent + Recall The Remains + Leatherback @ The Live Rooms, Chester on May 24th 2019

I think it’s fair to say that metal bands, local to Chester, that play originals are a rare and unique breed. It’s a real treat then to have one of these young, up-and-coming bands playing a headline set at The Live Rooms in Chester. It’s a shame that more original metal bands, both local and from further afield, don’t get a chance to play this venue more often. As I’ve noted previously, this venue is a little gem of a venue and I’d like the excuse to get down to it more often, especially to see local rock and metal bands starting off on their journeys.

Tonight we’re in the front bar for the gig itself, with a small stage housing the bands to an attentive yet small crowd. First up is Leatherback. I didn’t know what to expect from an online description of ‘Dark, instrumental industrial metal from the North West of England’, with previous realisations of such accounts often involving stationary gothic characters with a sequencer and no eye-contact. But on this night we get a suited solo industrial act, complete with low-slung Les Paul, laptop, pedals and keyboard-sequencer. So I guessed one part of the setup correct…sort of. He presents a mix of Ministry, Static-X and Nine Inch Nails influenced fare which has something interesting at its core. It’s often a little too confusing and disjointed, but when he hits on the right mix of Metal riff and pounding electronic backing it’s very engaging. However, it is all a bit frenzied but without the charisma of The Locust or The Blood Brothers. This is an act that isn’t yet fully realised, but could be the start of something really intriguing.

The main support are Telford-based Recall The Remains. These guys are a slick and professional example of brutal Metalcore. The quintet fill the stage both physically and with their performance presence, displaying a perfectly cohesive image and attitude. I turn to my mate and point to my Betraying The Martyrs t-shirt; he nods and rightly notes their closer similarity to The Devil Wears Prada. Frontman Jacob Collins is an immense vocal behemoth, switching from guttural growls to screeching chattering with ease. His dreadlocks flail as he commands the stage and orchestrates the crowd. Solid guitarwork, stirring bass and constantly varying drums set the landscape for an intense and fierce musical ride. Hopefully Recall The Remains will grace the North West again very soon.

Tonight is all about quickfire sets from bands looking to establish themselves, but headliners Stand Silent use their short time on stage to maximum effect. This band offer everything I look for in a band these days – abrasive and intensely yelled dirty vocals, melodic and soothing clean vocals, spider-walk technical guitarwork interspersed with pneumatic drill-like rhythms, pounding churning basslines, and jazz-infused yet violent drum patterns. Some are now calling this kind of music ‘New Core’, but truth is Stand Still are just a great example of a very genuine mix of Metalcore, progressive and technical Metal. If you’re a fan of Northlane, The Amity Affliction, TesseracT or Erra then you’ll enjoy much of what these guys have to offer. There’s also an impressively mature mix of beauty and brutality in their work, similar to that recently seen on ArchitectsHoly Hell”. I feel some of the nuance of the guitar-work and Andy Casson’s vocals are lost tonight due to the acoustics of the small bar venue, but I can’t wait to see Stand Silent on a bigger stage as they undoubtedly begin their climb up the Metal-scene ladder.

Words by Matt Fraser
Photography by Johann Wierzbicki