An Evening at the Asylum Aug23


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An Evening at the Asylum

An Evening at the Asylum

I arrived shortly before 7pm and queued behind Aramantus, the band who were first of the three up on stage. I’d never been to Asylum2 before. It’s a small “intimate,” venue, with a fully-fledged bar, good lighting and a great sound system. In terms of venues, this one’s small. Though I didn’t see a sofa, it would not have been out of place to have seen one there.


Aramantus took to the stage. Having played The Roadhouse in Coventry, this was a pseudo home-coming gig for the five-piece from The West Midlands, and they did it justice. Their stage presence was immediate and charismatic instantly winning the 150 or so strong crowd over with some thumping bass and strong, catchy riffs. They’re a band I’m sure we’re going to see a lot more of on the metal scene as they develop in the time to come.
What’s the music like? Well, Aramantus play “progressive groove metal.” It’s the kind of music which picks you up out of your seat by the ear-lobe, and in a couple of instants has you shaking your head to the unique arrangements being played by Elijah storer (rhythm/lead guitar) and Cici Powell (head-banging bass guitar) from a tiny frame. It’s been a while since I saw a bass guitar being played with such gusto I my sense of purpose left me.
Nyah Ifill (lead vocalist) has the most belting voice which really adds grunt; Alice Bates commands the drums with effortless accuracy and Jake Elwell on guitar; Jake on the cusp of heading off on other ventures but providing some great guitar work. Tracks played included “Dark Soul,” “Voices,” and “Actor VII,” ending the seven song set with the belter, “Broken Trust,”


After a short break – equipment being replaced and set up and very quickly too, Sister Shotgun took to the stage. Fronted by the lovely Chloe Ozwell on vocals, Sister Shotgun are aided by Rob Hayes and Niall Wills on guitar; Tim Chambers plays bass and Adam Yeardley (who’s middle name should be “Angry”) on drums.
Without any disrespect to any other band on this evening, these guys really do rock out! They played a great set with music from their EP “For The Love of Hate,” including the  brilliant “Dirty Mind,” “Scarlet Visions,” and “Silhouette.” Immense power to the playing of this band who have been around since 2013; their craft show in their playing and Chloe is a great commanding on stage presence as really, is everyone in this band. The guitarists are how you’d imagine guitarists in a rock band to be and the drummer, bangs those drums’n’the sound goes right through you.
Sister Shotgun have an interesting few month ahead of them, with their name down for playing The Underground in Stoke; Fort Fest 2
nd-4thSept and then up to that great venue in Nottingham, Rock City Basement where they share the bill with the likes of “Eva Plays Dead,” and “Bad Touch,” to name but a few.


I shot off for a drink and chatted with a couple other photographers during the set change, with my back to the stage. When I turned around the icing on tonight’s cake, “Secret Rule,” were already running through their sound check. The first thing that struck me was the size of the very lovely lead singer Angela Di Vincenzo. After making sure her mic was working adequately, disappeared to the back of the stage and waited, patiently. Andy Menario (Guitar) and Michele Raspanti (Bass), did a very quick check of their instruments and the drummer Andrea Miazzetto put stick to skin, ensuring all was working fine.
Then the band waited, as The Asylum staff hadn’t noticed they were ready and had the background music playing at a level which would have had it a waste of time had the band started anyway. Then, all of a sudden the background din disappeared and Secret Rule took control of the stage.
Hailing from the beautiful city of Rome, this was “Stop 13,” on a 17 date tour of Europe having played Manchester, Pontypool, Evesham and Northampton on their UK leg. Their established high reputation was all apparent as they took command with brilliant form.  Starting with “Ex-Machina,” Secret Rule played a brilliant thirteen track set which included “I Don’t Wanna Be,” “Storytime (Nightwish) and “The Journey;” the only break coming just before playing “I Will,” when a minor problem occurred with the mic for the drums. During the break Angela told the crowd the sentiment behind “I Will,” being urged to find a nice man, settle down and have kids by family and her answer being, “Yeah, I will,” but knowing she bloody well wouldn’t. At that, the dreams of many a would be willing suitor were dashed and the music played on. Angela has been singing since the age of 15 when she joined the band of her brother’s friend. She went on to study opera and has found melodic metal more to her liking.
The band’s Facebook page currently stands at over 10,000 followers, and having played five gigs in The UK, with Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany to follow before returning home that number is certain to grow as they are now pretty well established in the metal scene. Worth a look and well worth a listen.


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