Despite summer trying, vainly, to make a last ditch attempt to make its disappointing presence felt inside, and the counter-attraction of equally disappointing live football in the adjoining bar, an extremely healthy crowd sequestered itself in the darkened environs of metal’s spiritual Belfast home for this weekly early-evening triple header.
A goodly proportion had also made the effort to turn up early to catch the eagerly anticipated live debut of Terminus – and it must be said that their commitment and dedication was well rewarded. The quintet have a good solid classic metal sound, underpinned by an extremely tight rhythm section and highlighted by some very decent lead work: the only weak factor is the vocals, which don’t quite have the power to match the music – but, then, it is a debut gig, and for that it is an incredibly confident affair.
Clad from head to foot in matching black jeans, tees and caps, Cutter plough a very Danzig-influenced path – and do it very well. The rhythm section are suitably dark and heavy, with references to the likes of Down also coming to mind, while the guitar work is equally foreboding (despite being mixed a little too lightly): vocally, they don’t make the mistake of many bands and try to outright copy the mighty Glenn’s intonation, but deliver with aplomb and overall are received extremely well (the barman looked extremely lonely during their set!).
After the doominess of the middle order, headliners Rabid Bitch Of The North hit the stage ferociously, tearing into a set of simple but highly effective hard-hitting classic metal: there is a very NWOBHM influence to their sound, with touches of Judas Priest and Iron Maiden peeking through, but it also lends heavily from the likes of Budgie and other great British power trios, all dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century with elements of grunge, stoner and even ambience. The unfinished instrumental interludes were perhaps a tad unnecessary, but otherwise hugely impressive stuff.
Photograph taken from Facebook.