Ventflow Take Back Their Territory
August the 3rd may well have been the most important and highly anticipated night all year for Swindon metalheads as two of the areas biggest and best bands returned and a much hyped band performed their first gig together as well as a visit from the best Welsh band since Budgie. And not one band disapointed.
A mostly good, friendly atmosphere was in the air tonight as people were having a laugh together, telling jokes, getting drunk and talking about metal. The first band was 51 Wrecking Crew, a band which had been generating alot of excitement and buzz for themselves... and they haven't even played a gig yet! The band features Kilians Red singer Tom Norris on guitar and ex- Prometheus bassist 4D but what came out of their amps was unlike anything a Swindon band has ever produced. These were four guys from the south of England, that played metal from the south of Texas! First impressions always count and my personal impression of 51 Wrecking Crew is that they're four of the baddest, whisky drinking, jager loving guys I ever did see! Although their set contained only five songs, everyone in the place was clearly loving it, even people who didn't seem to care at first were hooked after the first song. They're a band which would fit nicely on a bill with Hellyeah, Black Label Society and Corrosion Of Conformity. Good guys and a great sound. Listening to them, I had never wanted a glass of Jack more in my life! Definitely something fresh for the Swindon metal scene and something fun aswell. I can't wait to see them again!
Next up was In Cold Depth who were the only visitors to the area bandwise, coming from South Wales. They displayed a great technical kinship onstage along with some of the best headbanging I've ever seen. The unfortunate thing is that they didn't gain enough people on the floor which just reminded me of that famous line from the TV series "League Of Gentlemen" but with the word "shop" replaced with "gig" (for those that don't understand the reference the sentence would be "This is a local gig, for LOCAL people"). Their music was a great marriage of technical ability and chaos and I hope they come back to the area soon!
As beforementioned, two of the most well known and respected bands from the area were making their return tonight. First to come back was Prometheus now with ex- Kilians Red bassist Joe Bishop in the line up. I was told before hand that frontman Paul Elston would instantly make the audience eat out of the palm of his hand but I never realized how true those words were. The crowd devoured everything which came from his mouth and moved with full force to both old and new songs. They got the crowd whipped into an even bigger frenzy when they called Lee Brennan from Ventflow and Mon from Blessed By Death onstage to perform one of their fan favourite tracks "Power Trip". After which came the cry from Mr. Elston of "We are Prometheus and we will take no prisoners" which of course would lead into the next song... "Take No Prisoners"! The mosh pit was so intense and brutal I thought a virus had broken out like in 28 Days Later or one of those films, but it turned the crowd into headbanging, violent demons. One of the most impressive performances ever witnessed by a Furnace crowd.
Finally, it was Ventflow's turn to return to the stage. Bar a few guest spots and bassist Craig Daws filling in for a Kilians Red gig, they hadn't performed in eight months and seemed understandably slightly nervous, but you would never believe that watching them! they received a heroes welcome as they tore into their set with a brand new song before launching into staple track "A New Age Of Violence". I haven't seen four men cause so much mayhem since I saw Kreator. They proved that they were what the Swindon metal scene had been missing so much and what the scene needed back so badly. Pure energy radiated from them and the audience (surprising after all they'd been through during Prometheus, I bet they had a good nights sleep bless 'em!) and Ventflow assured everyone that they were back to reclaim what was theirs.
So, in one night, a band made its debut and a load of fans along with it, another band displayed serious ability and heart and no doubt gained some recognition and two others took back their territory. A great feeling lingered in the air that REAL metal was back for good in this town. The new age of violence is now!
Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.
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