It’s a warm Monday evening in London as we head towards 229 The Venue, near Regent’s Park, for a celebration of metal from the Southern Hemisphere spearheaded by the excellent Deity’s Muse.
The absolutely brilliant South Africans have additional support from Temples on Mars and Kamikaze Test Pilots. Temples on Mars are London based but originally formed in New Zealand with two members also hailing from South Africa. Kamikaze Test Pilots themselves have members raised in Zimbabwe completing the Southern Hemisphere celebration.
Kamikaze Test Pilots are first up so we head down early to make sure we don’t miss a note. We at GBHBL rate this band highly. They played at Bloodstock Festival in 2018. We caught up with the band beforehand and rated them very highly in our festival review. This would be the first time seeing them indoors. How would they fare? Well, brilliantly actually. Playing like they are on the main stage of a festival in front of thousands, they explode with energy and enthusiasm.
The fast paced, quirky but catchy music sounds brilliant in a cavernous room as the band whip through tracks showcasing odd time signatures, amazing drum beats, thumping bass lines and fiery leads. All while the frontman bounces around with non step energy switching from powerful shouts to his unique and brilliant clean vocals. To top it off, they also interact well with the crowd and are genuinely funny with the introduction to Crocophile being hilarious. Funny stuff out of the way, the song itself is a belter. If you don’t know this band, you should and Crocophile is the perfect introduction to them.
Next up we get Temples on Mars. Now here is a band I know very little about so it is a great opportunity for me to hear, and hopefully love, something new. Unfortunately I wasn’t quite sold on them. They were good. Very good actually. The frontman has an amazing voice and there is obviously a plethora of talent in the band. The guitarist in particular seems to know every trick in the book spending loads of time tapping and playing with amp dials to tweak his sound. Musically, they were quite hard to pigeonhole. Occasionally feeling a little metalcore. More often heading into progressive and post territory.
I saw enough to be intrigued to look further into them and was enjoying their set but the ballad part way through killed momentum for me. I never fully recovered from the drop in tempo. Well worth a look though. They are obviously a band on the rise with a big future ahead of them.
To the main event and Deity’s Muse. Having just spent a week touring with Monuments and due to fly home in the morning, Deity’s Muse would be forgiven for being lethargic. Somehow they aren’t though, instead putting on a fantastically energetic headline performance. Having a bit more time than they are used to, they pack in a full hour of songs dipping into their back catalogue as well as playing tracks from their latest release, Lungs Full. What a band these guys are. Not just in music, in their ethos, their work effort and their relentless efforts to improve and inspire people from their home country to expand their horizons.
The hour passes in minutes as you get lost in frontman, Wayne Boucher’s amazing vocal talent. He is pretty handy on the guitar too. Hard rock, progressive metal and many more sub genres all find their way into the sound of a band that are an immense talent.
So the bands, did their part. All three of them showcased themselves as consummate professionals. Passionate, energetic and exciting metal bands all with different styles. On a celebration of Southern Hemisphere metal like this though, as different as all three bands were, they somehow came together as one singular entity. The very best of metal available to anyone willing to look outside of normal avenues.
So, a perfect night right? Well, no actually. The bands were amazing, the venue had great sound and a decent stage set up. What let it all down? Well, to blunt, we did. London metal fans. Not that it is an issue unique to London. This should be a concern for any fan of live music. 3 amazing bands all playing at an easily reachable venue for a measly £10 a ticket. Kamikaze Test Pilots played to no more than 25 people. Many of which were the other band members. Temples on Mars maybe had an extra 10 people join by then while Deity’s Muse probably had at most 40 people. That is not right!
I get that it is a Monday night. I was tired too and came straight from work, as did a few others in there but seriously, we need to consider what we are doing. Attend shows and support small venues and bands or they just may stop coming.
That disappointing fact aside, I had a great time. I thoroughly enjoyed all three bands and was seriously impressed with their energy and enthusiasm. They played 3 eye catching sets to a handful of fans but played like it was the biggest show of their lives. For that, we are grateful and hope to see all three again as soon as possible. Hopefully you can catch them too.
Deity's Muse at 229 The Venue, London (08/07/2019)