When you get to see a support band on a tour that seems to have taken forever to get back to UK shores, more often than not it’ll pop up that you hope they don’t take as long until the next visit. Well when Light the Torch came to town supporting In Flames and we wished for their speedy return, little did we know that we would get that within weeks, let alone months or years!
Taking on one of the more intimate sized London venues, a night of insanity was set to ensue, start with post metal Londoners The Sun Never Sets, playing to an unjust sized crowd, they know how to get momentum going. With as little as just a debut EP to their names, they traverse through more time signatures and hypnotic passages than you can shake a stick at, their prominent sound and tight dynamic certainly will help push them further and hopefully grow their stage presence.
Following on came Cerca Trova, much more straight up and in your face, but with a sickly tinge of darkness, much like that rare cousin at family gatherings that knows how to make a bad taste joke in the most glorious form. They bring more of a party style to an otherwise serious night of metal, but none those less the pot boils over with talent.
Unmistakable at first listen, they are ones that stick with you for a long time coming and their blend of hardcore and punk rock to their metal roots is as stagnant as it is loud. They’re a bit like the movie Burn after Reading, you don’t really know what is going on on your first experience, but you love it. (Seriously, check them out, or should I say Seek and ye shall find if you’ve the chance!)
Seriously kicking up the ante were the late additions to the bill Dishonour the Crown, a band with some notable faces, including for Sacred Mother Tongue bassist Craig Daws (a notable reason why many may have spotted guitar extraordinaire Andy James in the crowd) and former Romeo Must Die guitarist Ron D on guitar. Despite guitar hiccups with Ron in the opening track, he is soon back on stage just after the end of the first track, and from that point on they do not lay off the acceleration. Hardcore thrash metal turned up to eleven, they are fully deserving of the ramming and active crowd. The battering they deliver is huge, and looking back on the days of the band I last saw Ron play guitar, it seems fitting their set would end with a cover of some of the guys he played with, and it doesn’t take much to guess what was to be played at the mention of Stampin’ Ground! Absolute eruption follows.
It isn’t easy to top that, but the names in Light the Torch are a perfect start, regardless of the monumental size difference to last seeing them at the roundhouse, the energy and stage presence is still the same (albeit it Howard
can only manage about 5 paces from one side to the other), but that small space doesn’t stop him! Constant chants of Howard’s name break out and he still no matter the size of the crowd has a face of surprise that he is there doing what he is, but he is quick to humble the generous crowd and point out that he isn’t the only one in the band.
Other than the horrible battle to pick songs for a set, they batter through flawlessly and really have the venue eating out of the palm of their hand. Expertly the band has the crowd begging for more, but early curfews are the true downer of the night. The enthusiasm and joy the band have is clear though and Howard makes a point to say for damn sure they will keep coming back and back again. While I am hesitant to say I hope it isn’t long until they next do (considering the last review said that and had them back within weeks!), a bigger stage and longer set is a must! They deserve it, the fans deserve it, and point anyone out to me that says different and I’ll point out a liar. To have been able to witness this all in such an intimate setting though is something real special, it isn’t something we can imagine happening again, and with that we all take home with us that magical memory of a night we hope never to forget!