Helrazer – Zanzibar, Liverpool 22/7/2011

Helrazer –  Zanzibar, Liverpool
Review by Hez 
Helrazer is a new monthly event in Liverpool being arranged by a promoter named Pagan Hel.
We were lucky enough to be invited to go to the event early to see the sound check and settle into the venue before the event, as well then review the evening.The venue itself, the Zanzibar is well-known amongst music lovers in Liverpool and has been the home to many amazing events in the past.
Finding a corner seat with a table I armed myself with a notebook and pen whist my partner went to set up the video camera as we had been asked to record the event. However due to the amount of vibration through the wooden floor of the venue, the hard drive in the video camera would not record properly (don’t you love technology?)
The bad point of the night was the much-promoted raffle as the organiser decided that not enough tickets had been sold and so pulled the major prizes from it which led to a lot of discontent.
There was an awkward fifteen minutes whilst she took the stage to draw the tickets and hand out the remaining prizes to the winners, and the crowd grew very restless during this.
She then presented something to the soundman but it was unclear what it was and the crowd was quite clearly now impatient for the music to continue and beginning to heckle.
Otherwise a good first attempt and I look forward to the next one as the organiser gains more experience.
Bury the ConsciousAfter a quick “good evening” Bury the Conscious launched into a ground-shaking start.
With the twin guitars of Matt O’Donnell and Dan Ford playing over the strong bass of Luke Crowther and the pounding drums of Matt “Beanz” Clynch, the music makes people sit up and take notice, but as soon as singer Mike Roberts begins his snarling vocals into the mix every eye in the venue is fixed firmly on this band.
With multiple rhythm changes and a beautiful guitar solo in the middle of the song ‘Crossing‘ is the perfect opening track for this set.
With a clash of cymbals the band swiftly launch into their next song ‘Epicenter‘, and the guitar riffs in this one practically sear the instruments and as they move onto their third song,  Mike begins to headbang like a man possessed, triggering several of the audience to do the same.
The band then inform us that the next song is a new one and in fact this will be their first live playing of it. With the addition of melodies from Matt and Dan behind the deep intensity of Mike’s vocals this new song is quite simply, incredible.
Without wanting to detract from the rest of their set, this song shows far more of what Bury the Conscious are capable of, and has to go down as my favourite song of the night.
The final song ‘Eyes to the Sun‘ has a super-fast intro that grabs your attention instantly, and despite tech problems with the guitars the band continue playing with an ease many veteran bands would envy.
As with the previous song, this song features more harmonies combined with sheer power to great effect and the band finish with all four of the mobile members headbanging in a line across the stage leaving a great visual image even after the drums fade away.
Set List:
Unknown Skies
Eyes to the Sun
Band Members:
Mike Roberts – Lead Vocals
Matt (Beanz) Clynch – Drums
Matt O’Donnell – Guitar/Vocals
Daniel Ford – Guitar/Vocals
Luke Crowther – Bass
 Mourning Glory
Mourning Glory take the stage and immediately launch into the self titled track ‘Mourning Glory‘ to begin the set.
Full of screaming guitar riffs from Jordan Ault and with an extremely heavy dose of bass from Andy Wright, backed up with the rhythm guitar of Lewis Stanton and the manic drums of Matthew “Airhead” Watkins, and overlaid with the brutal tones of Joe Tyrell,  this song shows you exactly what this band are all about.
As they move into their second track “Monster“, singer Joe shows himself not just to be a powerful singer but also an excellent frontman, working the stage and playing to the crowd.
During a quick pause between songs he thanked Pagan for putting on the event and told us that the band will be releasing an EP on September 22nd and then the band once more began to play, sharing with us their views on our “Corrupt Society“.
Another break follows as Joe informs us that the band are have played 3 gigs in three days and are feeling the strain, confiding in us that usually all they do is “sit at home eating burgers“.
Warning us that the next song is really heavy (as if their previous ones hadn’t been?) they got right back into it. And sure enough this song is heavier than a ton of bricks in a lead casket and as Joe decides to get off the stage and up close with the crowd, Jordan takes centre stage to show off yet more blistering riffs.
Finishing the performance the band encouraged people to stick around for the entire evening, and praised the other bands on the billing showing an often-lacking support that is much needed in local music.
Set List:
Mourning Glory
Corrupt Society
Bow to Me
Era of Shit
You are Nothing
Band Members:
Joe Tyrrell – Vocals
Jordan Ault – Lead Guitar
Lewis Stanton – Rhythm Guitar
Matthew “Airhead” Watkins – Drums
Andy Wright – Bass
Wearing matching outfits of black trousers shirts and ties, Sa-Da-Ko certainly look dressed to impress as they play their music intro, giving the audience a taste of things to come.
With the yell of “We are Sa-Da-Ko” singer Jim makes sure we are in no doubt about who we are watching and as the guitars of Simo and Deano scream out, the bass and drums of Rob and Gregzilla bring in the rampaging rhythms for the song ‘F.E.V.’
During this first song Simo manages to break a string, but the band continue to play as if nothing has happened and the enthusiastic crowd certainly aren’t in any way disheartened by this.
As Simo changes the offending string, Jim asks the crowd to “give it up” for him as he manages to break a string during every gig and usually on the first song.
Once this temporary setback is dealt with, the band dedicate the next song to our hostess Pagan and launch into ‘Red‘, where the incident of only a minute earlier is swiftly washed away in a sea of ponding drums, growling vocals and a strangely haunting guitar melody.
In a slightly unexpected turn of events Jim starts talking about the well known metal act of Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, and says that the band would like to play their own hip-hop version of their metal song. They swiftly proceed to deliver the most unusual rendition of ‘Boom Shake the Room‘ ever heard, as they give it their very own metal twist.
Then after kindly throwing some free merchandise out into the crowd (damn the luck of this reviewer being stuck at the side), Gregzilla  launches an amazing burst of drums that make you instantly want to bang your head along.
And as the rest of the band join in Simo also supplies backing vocals adding a great contrast to Jim’s growling tones and also giving the singer a chance to show off his dancing during the song.
Just before the final song, Jim encouraged people to stick around for the next act Horrorcausedand said that everyone needed to stand at the front of the stage for this performance as there was “absolutely nothing horrible going to happen” and with a shake of his head and the announcement that “they’re f***ing wrong!”  the final song of the set is upon us.
Last but not least is the song “Name Your God“, another  rip-roaring track with backing vocals from Simo and as the band bring their  performance tonight to a close, it is easy to see why people are taking note of this band’s name.
I just find myself wondering why they chose the Japanese for “chaste child” as that name…
Set List:
5 Shots
Name Your God
Band Members:
Jim – Vocals
Simo – Lead Guitar/Vocals
Deano – Rhythm Guitar
Rob – Bass
Gregzilla – Drums
Horrorcaused are more than just a band, they are a full blown stage show. As such just listening to their music will not give you any idea of what seeing this band perform is like – you really have to see then live in all their glory… or should that be gory?
The minute the band begin their performance you know this will be something different as this is a six-piece band and  has the unusual set-up of two singers, Adolf and Dave and also because the entire band is either covered in blood or has a zombie-like appearance.
They open with the song ‘Zombie Killer‘, a song more likely to raise the dead than kill them as Dibbit’s insane drumming literally shakes the earth.
A powerful  bass line from John Smith and screeching guitars from Philly and Petal complete this to create an all round battleground of sound that seems to hit you from every direction.
The second song ‘Myra Mains‘ continues in the same vein as Adolf’s brutal deep-pitched vocals are overlaid by Dave’s screams that sometimes border on the painful. Though as he is apparently a resurrected Nazi soldier who was shot in the throat, these are all he is able to utter.
As the set progresses and the song “Undead” is announced, bassist John Smith moves to the front of the stage seemingly to emphasise the throbbing chords he is playing, but then slowly blood begins to ooze from his mouth adding to the effect that the band itself is the undead the song title refers to.
Then the band quiets down and announce that the next song will feature a live performance being shown for the first time ever.
As the music once more slams into us Dave begins to writhe on the floor, his legs kicking and in seeming agony. Then the band start to seem confused and Adolf keeps glancing around the floor as if searching for something.
With a cry of “we’ve lost the baby” the performance is sadly cut short, and a quick search for the baby is undertaken before being called off and the final song swiftly announced.
The final song is ‘Ghouls n Ghosts‘ and despite the disruption caused by the missing prop, the crowd are still riveted to this performance as the guitar riffs scream out and drag everyone into the nightmare that is Horrorcaused.
Set List:
Zombie Killer
Myra Mains
Abortion Hell
Ghouls n’ Ghosts
Band Members:
Vocals – Adolf Bityer
Vocals – Dave
Drums – Dibbit
Bass – John Smith
Guitar- Petal
Lead Guitar – Philly Atikinson
A recorded theatrical intro plays to lead us into Sclavinia’s set, giving the room hushed tones for the bands opening number, the self titled “Sclavinia“.
Bassist Łysy provides the main vocals, but guitarist Lachovsky does far more than most backing singers as he add his voice into the mix. Topped off with the thundering drums of Orti the song tears through the room and certainly sounds like there should be more than just the three of them.
The crowd definitely like what they are hearing as the band continue into their next song and are more than happy to oblige when Łysy encourages them to get involved and they move forward towards the stage.
Even the most exhausted people in the room have to sit up and take notice of the third song, ‘Heritage‘ from the band’s EP ‘Liber Magnum‘. This features some seriously skilled drum work, containing several major tempo changes and Orti does it perfectly whilst Lachovsky’s guitar riffs pierce the air.
As the set progresses the band introduce a new song, ‘Atheist‘ about a 17th century philosopher who was tortured and killed for not believing in god, showing that the band draw on a variety of sources for their inspiration.
A mix of several Behemoth songs makes the crowd go wild, and the band performs the medley with obvious enjoyment and slips between the tracks with ease creating what appears to be one smooth song.
As the crowd mosh away the band follows up with another track from the EP, ‘Devil’s Parade‘ which features some seriously intense dual vocals and searing guitar riffs.
For the final song Łysy announces a change from the planned set list, deciding instead to finish with ‘ Master Twardowski‘ based on a character from Polish folklore ( similar to the GermanFaust for those who are interested).
During this song, Horrorcaused’s missing baby reappears and is thrown around the crowd and onto the stage as high spirits abound as the set and the event draw to a close.
Set List:
Husarian Demons
Liber Magnum
Behemoth Medly
Devil’s Parade
Master Twardowski
Band Members:
Łysy – Lead Vocals / Bass
Lachovsky  – Vocals / Guitar
Orti – Drums