Oceanis plus guests – Liverpool, 16th September 2011

with Scare Tactics, Lazarus Syndrome and Mourning Glory
The Masque, Liverpool

Review by Hez 
Starting the night off was Mourning Glory who I reviewed in July when they played Helrazer.
Sadly due to the early start of this event, we arrived just as the band was finishing their set so did not get to see their performance.
Lazarus Syndrome
Next up were Lazarus Syndrome, a band I had never heard previously so was unsure what to expect. When the band began to set up on stage and looked somewhat nervous I admit I feared the worst, but by the time the music started all traces of this had disappeared and they were ready for action.
And action is exactly what they gave to the crowd as this 5-piece from Liverpool blew the socks off everyone in the room.
Singer Pete belted out the songs with one of the most amazing voices I have heard in years… not only can this guy growl with the best of the death metallers but he can also actually sing!
Guitarists Jamie and Mike deliver the tunes with screeching intensity as bassist Tom adds the groove. Binding all of this together is the intense drumming of Dave and the final result is not only great to hear but also refreshingly unique.
Right from the first song “Forsaken”,  I was impressed with this band but I have to say that as the performance went on the band got better and better and the relatively small audience didn’t slow them down in the least bit.
Of particular note was their new song “Parasite” that was given its first playing to a live audience that night. With an awesome funky sound, this song makes you tap your feet as well as banging your head and if this is a hint of things to come then this band is one to watch for sure.
Even though all of the songs were totally new to me, they were all enjoyable and the set went by far too quickly.
I look forward to seeing Lazarus Syndrome again in the future.
Set List:
United We Stand
Age of Darkness
A Path Less Travelled
Blameless Creator
Scare Tactics
I had heard a lot about this band, and listened to their music online but none of this had prepared me for the madness that is Scare Tactics live.
As the band took the stage the room filled up with an obviously eager crowd, which considering this was not the headlining band was surprising and also nice to see.
With a confident start to their set, it was obvious that this band feel right at home on the stage and the song “Right Hand Man” had the audience dancing along in seconds.
Frontman And’A can only be described as a livewire, as he belts out the songs, plays guitar and entertains the audience between the songs. His energy is infectious and the crowd respond gleefully every time he begins his banter. On guitar and also providing vocals is Paul, who heckles his band mate adding to the fun, but when it is time to play the songs, both of them get right down to business.
Unlike many bass players when faced with twin guitarists, Danny doesn’t keep his head down  and instead dishes out an amazing funky undercurrent to the powerful riffs making the songs leap out and grab you.
And last but certainly not least Stuart, the powerhouse on drums bringing an aggressive side to the music that keeps it firmly grounded in metal and had a lot of the audience headbanging away.
With a seven song set, the band made full use of their time, and the song “Drunk Fuck” was quite obviously a crowd pleaser. Apparently they had been asked to dedicate it especially to one girl, but instead decided to dedicate it to every girl in the room which went down surprisingly well considering the song title.
Should you ever get the chance to see Scare Tactics (or the Scary Tictacs as they dubbed themselves) then no excuses will be good enough, they are not to be missed.
Set List:
Right Hand Man
False Power
We Live
Drunk Fuck
Someone Else
Wrong But Righteous
Oceanis have been causing a major stir in Liverpool for some time now and I having seen them blow away the Snub Fest at the Masque in May I was looking forward to seeing them headline tonight.
A quick glance around the now crowded room told me that a lot of other people felt the same way as eager faces of all ages turned to the stage as the intro music began.
Trying to describe the music style of Oceanis is almost impossible. To compare them to any other band is a serious injustice as simply put, they are one-of-a-kind.
Vocalist Joe is one of the most animated frontmen ever and as the first song, “Of Flesh” gets underway he paces the stage like a caged tiger, gesturing wildly at the crowd and grinning like a madman when the audience go wild for him.
But this is not a one-man show, and the quality of the rest of the band makes sure that you never think differently.
The incredible aggression in the drumming  from Dave firmly grabs you as the pulsating bassline from Craig refuses to let you go, and then the searing guitar riffs from Stu and Phil carry you kicking and screaming up to the growling vocals and blissful frenzy that is the music of Oceanis.
The band work well together, interacting during the songs with ease and appearing as though they have done this many times before,  so it is a great surprise when they announce that this is guitarist Phil’s first gig with them.
With seven songs after their intro music, the band should have had ample time to satisfy the audience, but by the end of it they were still screaming for more and where it not for the late hour and the venue closing the crowd would quite obviously have stayed to listen to more.
It’s hard to pick out a best song from the set as they are all so good, but my personal favourite has to be the final song “Rise to Ruin” which has some wonderful rhythm changes and amazing moody guitars.
To say Oceanis are captivating is an understatement. I have seen a lot of music shows since we started Phoenix Rising and this is the first time I have outright forgotten to take notes because I have been so engrossed in the performance.
Miss them at your peril.
Set List:
Of Flesh
Sanctity of Sin
The Destroyer
Rise From Ruin