Cursed Sun – Belfast, Limelight 2, 01/11/2014

Sometimes I feel like I live in Belfast’s most famous music venue rather than five minutes ’round the corner, given the amount of time I spend there… this was my something like my 26th or 27th gig here this year so far (a that’s not counting the amount of evenings spent in the adjacent bar), as, having survived the previous evening’s Halloween-related shenanigans relatively intact (and more than most!), I found myself taking up my usual station (third beer pump on the left!) for another early evening showcase of some of the best metal Belfast has to offer…

ScimitarOpening this particular triple header were rising thrashers Scimitar (  They kick things off at a fast and furious pace, with a complete play through of their new EP, ‘Plague In The Vatican’ (which was officially released the previous day and will be reviewed by PM in the near future);  the three songs clearly show the quartet’s increasing maturity, without sacrificing the necessary rawness which songs of this nature need to have.  Ryan’s drumming is as tight and powerful as ever, combining well with Chris’ increasingly complex bass patterns, while frontman Johnny has learned to be a bit more restrained in his delivery, yet do with just the right amount of venomous lust.  Overall, it’s a tight and extremely efficient set, with the new material sounding fresh and vibrant.

Mid-Ulster deathcore crew Katabolisis ( epitomize the genre through and through, right down to the synchronised hip swivelling and exaggerated foot-stomping during their opening barrage.  Regular readers will know that I am not a particular fan of this sub-genre, but the Portadown lads nevertheless have an infectious groove, coupled with a neat combination of melodic and hard-edged guitars – and some pretty impressive lead work – to produce what is an entertaining if unspectacular set.

Cursed Sun - The Fall And Rise artworkHowever, the focus of today’s proceedings most definitely is the resurgent Cursed Sun ( – one of the few NI bands to have learned the art of carefully picking and choosing their gigs and not over-saturating the live scene in this wee part of the Planet Mosh.  The occasion for them venturing forth once more is the launch of their latest EP, ‘The Fall And Rise’.  And the boys were determined to make a show of it, as the house lights darkened to swathe the stage in crimson red, the haunting refrain of ‘Cry Little Sister’ permeating the pores of everyone present as the band members took their places – frontman Jones emerging through the smoke, ripping off his ‘Bale’ mask to unleash an even deadlier monster…

Right from the very first note, it is a furious performance, Jones ferocious in his intensity and proving that, in this latter regard, he has very few equals, particularly in this part of the world.  Tight, solid rhythms and the huge bottom end of the bass sound complement the winding guitar melodies, which in turn shine through the overall aggression of the delivery – and even the quieter moments carry their own underlying malevolence.  If you’re going to launch a new product, then you have to do so with conviction and intent:  tonight, Cursed Sun do this and more – as evinced when they invite Katabolisis vocalist Mark (who just happens to be celebrating his birthday) back up on stage for a venue-destroying take on Lamb Of God’s ‘Red Neck’, which sees both singers creating their own circle pit!  My neck hurts even typing about it!

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff