Friday, 23 July 2010

LIVE: Zuprowski Connection - Bumper, Liverpool 22nd July

It is interesting to discover Cypher 16's summer tour is being headlined by up and coming hard rockers Zuprowski Connection, but it is just for this show only. The look of the Bumper venue in Liverpool tonight is set out the way any good metal gig should be; claustrophobic and allowing crowd-band communication, or so it seems. With a late start, opening act Whytewater kick off to an unfortunately bland start. With no real stage presence to speak of they fail to back up their generic metal/rock arsenal, let alone gain much crowd interest. Things soon look up as local heavily metallers Pandemik wake the crowd up in a violent death metal frenzy. It's good to see a band that not only produces heavy music leaning much more to Behemoth and Emperor as opposed to the metalcore of today, but more to the point, has a good sense of humour to go with it. Vocalist Moses runs back and forth from the stage during songs, humorously forcing people to stand closer and watch them rather than sit at the back. Why pay to see bands when you're just going to sit there? I asked myself. With song titles such as 'My Right Hand' (said to be about "Thing from The Adams Family becoming a barrister!") and 'Satan Helps Me Kill' ("Oh this one's about death it's great this one!" Moses says with such an overwhelming joy to his voice) Pandemik, it is safe to say, are crazy bastards, and that's why they are so good. Next on the bill is the thrash metal brilliance of Entropy, who border along Metallica/Slayer territory (think Metallica riffs with Tom Araya vocals and you've got the idea). Unfortunately thanks to a blown amp they have to cut several songs out of their set but they still get the crowd going. With thrash metal becoming more popular in recent times it's only fitting that Entropy are leading the local scene. London's own Cypher 16, tonights headliners, despite playing a sub-healdining spot tonight deliver a headlining performance. Garnering as many circle pits and walls of death than your average Lamb of God or Devildriver gig (one person is even body slammed by an over-excited reveller). They also deliver the first cover song of the night, a blistering run through of Metallica's 'Creeping Death'. Not your average band, with influences as wide as a black hole they cover everything from thrash to symphonic metal, check them out next time they play your local venue. Grunge may have fallen out of favour with many, but Zuprowski Connection are on a mission to keep it alive, and tonight they don't disappoint. Their alternative take on the genre is unique in it's own right, as they rock through 'The Mirror's Light' with it's speed-funk drum intro it is the perfect headbanger to start a set. Singer Mark Smith's powerful vocal range can still be heard over the noise despite limited amp use. Although there is limited interaction with the crowd they are far from sombre, tearing through sludgy number "I Am" (one of my favourite songs off their s/t album). The biggest crowd pleaser has to be their unique cover of the Divinyl's smash hit 'I Touch Myself' which get's the biggest sing along of the night. With time to spare they finish with a cover of Tool's 'Stinkfist' bringing an end to an eclectic night of heavy metal madness. 8/10

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