Expectations are always high when Rolo Tomassi are in town and tonight's Halloween one-off special is no exception; it's a late one though, with doors not until 8pm and a curfew of 12pm.
Bone Cult (4) have the unenviable job of warming up a two-thirds empty venue. Being on just fifteen minutes after doors, the duo’s electronics-heavy, fog-shrouded set does little to get what little crowd there is moving. There’s an over-reliance on drum sampling and electronic effects that doesn’t stand up too well tonight and the songs blend together throughout the set with no clear distinguishing features. The masks were pretty cool though.
The room is looking a bit less empty by the time Cassus (6) take to the stage to (hopefully) explain what on earth just their self-described “emoviolence” is. The band open with feedback before lurching into a vicious assault of breakneck drumming and screeching vocals but the guitars are utterly buried in the mix unless on their own. While it’s often difficult to ascertain what’s going on musically given the breakneck pace and overloud and murky mix, it’s not lacking for heart and sounds to be aiming for somewhere in the region of The Used covering Napalm Death. It’s a different take on the tired screamo genre, fusing raw emotion to grind and powerviolence and the band have heart for days, doing more than enough to warrant at least a second listen.
Billed as melodic punk rock, Blood Command (8) open to a nearly full room with their high-energy, relentless assault and singer Karina Ljone has the crowd in the palm of her hand very quickly. After a decade honing their craft, the band are on top form, polished and tight but they still retain an edge of unruliness. Their bold blend of Paramore’s youthful fizziness along with the punk’n’roll swagger of Rancid, the chaos of Kvelertak, occasional stabs of synth and even the appearance of a tambourine, despite sounding like it shouldn’t work, absolutely does and it sounds monumental and makes for a raucously good time.
It's obvious, though, that with the room heaving, tonight is truly all about Rolo Tomassi (9). The band emerge to a murky stage and have donned some impressive corpse paint for the occasion and launch immediately into a blistering 'Ritual' off latest record Time Will Die and Love Will Bury It. The band move serenely through calm passages and thrash around, jerking madly during the more chaotic elements of their music. The band released easily the best record of their career earlier this year and they show no sign of slowing down, conquering stage after stage and tonight makes no exception. The band are on blistering, riotous form and are simply on top of the world right now.