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Malefice, XIII and The Betrayer 19th July

By Thomas Little

Firstly I would like to point out how great it is for a more established band such as Malefice to come back to Hull even after touring with giants such as Devil Driver and playing this year’s Download festival. So for a band like this to come to Hull again is a real treat and those that missed out on this event are the reason why bands like this don’t come to Hull, yet those same people complain that they don’t. This being noted I would like to thank ‘Screaming Tarts’ for putting this show on and hope you do more in the future.

So the first band to start was The Betrayer, a fairly new local band from York with this being their first time playing in Hull. Being fairly musically talented on the guitar and bass made it easy to follow the rhythm of the songs, the drumming was good utilizing a few quick beats, especially on a drum kit that was falling apart by the end of the set (cymbals fell off during their last two songs).

The only thing that let it down was the vocalist, who despite having a good mellow voice, struggled somewhat with the growling parts like she was straining in places. I don’t know if this was due to nerves or not. Regardless it was still good to see a female singer doing growling style vox, which is a rarity – unless you’re a fan of Arch Enemy or Beautiful Sin then I’m sure you’ll follow that style.

The second band to hit the stage was thrashers XIII who have been on the local scene relentlessly for four years now. They still play their original songs such as ‘Fuckin Scum’ but also mix it up with recent material. It’s been about 2-3 years since I last saw these guys at Sharkeys (when the venue was still good) and I was quite shocked to see what I have been missing out on. The band have since matured and have undergone a change of style from their early generic ‘Metallica thrash’. They now have a wider ’80′s thrash’ inspired style, incorporating sounds of all of ‘The Big 4′ as well as Testament, Pantera and Exodus, and thus creating a great sound for any classic thrash fan to enjoy.

XIII brought a fantastic set to this night with great showmanship to go with it. They started with a song or two to relax into their performance and then engaged with the crowd by introducing their songs new and old, including solos from Alex on drums and James on Bass as well as some light jokes about them hating Slayer. This was the perfect main opener to Malefice with the way they got the crowd to bang their heads and pump up their blood for the headliner.

The finish of this great line up were metal pioneers Malefice and as soon as they hit the stage the crowd gathered ready to witness this band conquer such a small venue and they did just that, with dignity too. After a great opener the crowd was even more excited, with head banging and fists raised high. Malefice then began to talk to the crowd stating how much of a privilege it was to play a small venue such as The Lamp again, since they rarely get the chance to do so as they usually tour bigger venues. This was refreshing to hear, after all a lot of bands can forget where they started off and how they got to be where they are today, and this showed that the band’s success has not gone to their heads and the members are loyal and down to earth.

They played songs from all of their albums, with the majority from their latest to please the crowd members that might not have heard their early/ less known material while still entertaining their more familiar fans. As the set continued they never failed to keep the crowd pumped up to frenzy level, and even on their last songs the crowd pitted furiously. But unfortunately all good things have to come to an end and these guys did it so gracefully by finishing their set and coming to talk to the crowd and sharing stories, instead of just hiding out back stage like a lot of bands do.

Overall this was a worthwhile gig, not only did I get to rekindle my appreciation for XIII but I also discovered an unexpected new favourite in the form of The Betrayer and got to witness the mighty Malefice to boot. Well worth £10.

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