Live Review: Traitors w/Lotus Eater & Upon Those Dying | Hobos, Bridgend | 24/02/18

This kind of heaviness should be regulated by the UN, we’re telling you. Kicking things off are Upon Those Dying (7.5/10), who after a fucking slamming opening set the night before, opening for King 810 at Clwb Ifor Bach, are still riding high off that energy and throw it back into the pit. Opening with ‘Savage’ they’re joined on stage with headliner vocalist Tyler Shelton for a brief guest spot that opens up the floor fucking sharpish. Though a mic slip up takes away the initial edge, both Kage Sheppard and Shelton are a sickening duo that sets the pace nicely. ‘Lifeless’ and ‘Vague Memories’ are delivered with devilish conviction with riffs thicker than marmite and twice as dark. However, set closer ‘Backstabber’ may have been a step too far vocally with a few misses hitting those cleaner heights. Though the tightest they’ve ever been, just a bit of raw punch was missing from an otherwise killer set.

On the uglier side of the hardcore spectrum, the grit that Lotus Eater (6) bring to the table is slowly received, slowly building the brutality as time goes on. With little to no fucks given, the sub-headliners have a rusty bite about them as they send limbs flying across the room. They’ve ticked a few essential boxes to take the intensity up another level but not much is really brought to the table once they peak. A few schizophrenic twitches here and there but nothing that we haven’t seen before despite the goods are delivered with all the subtly of a Glaswegian grin.

What Traitors (9) are to metallic hardcore is what rolling boulder is to a kinder surprise. Intending on bringing nothing but unreserved heaviness in its purest form, surprisingly enough this is the Floridians first time in the UK and are piling on the ruthlessness like a stack of barbed wire pancakes. Like slowly pushing a body down into a wood chipper, the punishment being dealt here should be consulted with the World Health Organisation. Shelton is far more beast than man with growls and squeals that could crush diamonds into dust. There’s no stopping this onslaught that they’ve unleashed as wave after wave of bone breaking beatdowns, churning out some of the gnarliest riffs to have ever crawled from the swamps from which they came. Slowly attaining a centre of gravity under their tremendous weight, not a single body on the floor tonight is left intact. This is where this sound thrives and we’re more than happy to welcome this four-piece back whenever they please for another dollop of pain.