SikTh are commonly referred to as the pioneers of djent, so it’s no surprise that there was a buzz surrounding their Hangar 34 gig amongst the metal community in Liverpool. Local legends Loathe and Glasgow boys Lotus Eater drew in a large hardcore audience, making the atmosphere at this gig particularly special as different crowds merged together to enjoy the music.
First up was exciting up-and-coming Liverpool band Our Divinity (formerly Lost In Translation), who have recently taken on a heavier sound which accompanies vocalist Zara Saunders’ soaring clean vocals. Unsurprisingly, some of the band seemed slightly nervous at the beginning, their previous gig being in the much smaller Zanzibar where they headlined. However, as the set went on, their well-deserved confidence shined through as the crowd received the songs well and applause rang out when Saunders spoke of their lyrics addressing mental health issues. You can check out their single ‘Intoxication’ on streaming platforms now, and I’d recommend that you do.
Scouse alternative band Vulture Cult followed, bringing energy with a heavy rock vibe. They looked pretty comfortable on stage despite being a new band, but I think they’d have been better received at a rock gig than a hardcore/metal one. Nevertheless, the band performed well and added yet more diversity to the lineup.
The third band on the lineup are one who never fail to impress. Bringing Gloom from Glasgow, Lotus Eater had the crowd instantly. As usual, they gave it everything, with vocalist Jamie McLees encouraging the excitable crowd to try to die in the pit. Sure enough, aggressive hardcore pits ensued. It seemed that the rest of the crowd were also enjoying the band’s wild energy onstage. “Anger. Aggression. Despair. Violence. Feral rage.” This is how the band is summarised on their social media, and that definitely shines through in their live performance.
If you’re into heavy UK bands and haven’t yet seen Loathe, what the fuck are you doing? With fans including the likes of Corey Taylor and Caleb Shomo, it’s clear to see these guys have got something special. Although they’re still decent on record, they’re very much a live band, and this shows in how loved they are by other musicians across the U.K. A few of the other bands were repping Loathe, and it’s rare to attend a metalcore gig and not spot a Loathe tee, especially in the North West. The fact that this was, to them, a hometown show allowed for a more confident performance, potentially the strongest of the night.
By the time SikTh performed, much of the audience had already seen the bands they were there for, but joined the many already warmed-up SikTh fans in moshing the night away. At first, the band struggled to get the crowd going after the initial buzz, but, with some heavier songs and fan favourites such as ‘Summer Rain’ and ‘Scent of the Obscene’, the energy picked up around halfway through the set. The pit transformed into more of a bouncy push pit as the style of music changed slightly, and all types of fans came together to enjoy it. Towards the end, everyone was having a good time: the hardcore fans, the diehard SikTh fans at the barrier, the nostalgic metal dads and couples at the back of the venue… Though Lotus Eater and Loathe brought more energy, credit to SikTh for performing to a crowd whose most energetic people weren’t there for them, and putting on a decent show despite being one member short as of recent.