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Tremonti, Man The Mighty, The Raven Age, Wearing Scars @ Forum, London (UK)

TREMONTI / Man The Mighty / The Raven Age / Wearing Scars
in Wednesday, 16 December 2015 at Forum
by Nick Webb

*Photography: Nick Webb (full gallery here)

Heavy modern melodic rock hit London’s Forum hard, featuring some of the 21st century’s first guitar gods, up and coming bands and members of established groups.

Opening the night with a dose of heavy melodic riffery were WEARING SCARS. Formed from the ashes of MUTINY WITHIN and SACRED MOTHER TONGUE, these guys really went out hard. The set was comprised entirely of songs from their debut album, “A Thousand Words”, which was released earlier this year, and definitely had lots of the early doors crowd singing along (I’m not going to lie here, that includes me. ANDY JAMES has been one of my favourite guitarists for a while now). The set was full of energy, with leather-lunged vocalist CHRIS CLANCY prowling around the stage almost constantly. The set was spot on, with some incredible fretwork from Mr JAMES. As well as some incredibly tight playing from across the band.

The second act were a band I’ve seen before, and each time they have got better and better (first opening for VOODOO SIX at the Camden Underworld, then for BRITISH LION at Brighton’s Concorde2). THE RAVEN AGE’s brand of metal is a lot heavier than the other groups on the bill, without going into “core” territory. The group’s tight riffs and crushing breakdowns really brought the evening up another notch, songs all coming from their debut self-titled E.P. (Catch them opening for IRON MAIDEN in 2016- don’t miss these guys).

In the main support role were Chicago group MAN THE MIGHTY. This four-piece’s heavy rock was loud and uncomplicated. The music was fast and heavy hitting, but somehow lacked a spark and energy that was evident for the rest of the night. Maybe the pressure of weeks on the road was getting to them? The audio levels seemed a little bit out, with the singer’s guitar seeming to overpower pretty much everything else from the front of the crowd. As the third act on before the headliners took to the stage, the crowd was already pretty geared up and down for anything with energy and volume to keep that buzz going. However the music that MAN THE MIGHTY performed seemed a bit lacklustre and was almost what someone who doesn’t know what heavy rock sounds like would come up with…

Finally, the main event; running onstage blasting into the title track of their second album, “Cauterize”, TREMONTI had the audience in the palm of their hands from that first all-powerful riff. The group love what they’re doing, MARK TREMONTI going from snarling into the mic to shredding like a demon on the turn of a pin, with loads of amazing interplay between him and guitarist ERIC FRIEDMAN- who’s bluesier style really complimented the heavier sound that MARK TREMONTI goes for. The set was made up of a mixture of tracks from both of their albums, including awesome renditions of “All I Was”, and “Flying Monkeys” which allowed the group to show their softer side. The improvisatory side of the guitar players was allowed to shine through with solo “duels”, with each really going guns for each other- but not trying to turn it into a ridiculous competition. TREMONTI are a real force to be reckoned with, and can stand alone as a great band before you look at the pedigree and other projects that each member of the group is involved with (ALTER BRIDGE, CREED, VAN HALEN). This is how rock should sound; loud, energetic, hard, melodic and soulful. It was easy to see why MARK TREMONTI has been topping guitarist of the year polls left, right and centre for a while now.


Promoter: Live Nation UK
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