Mindless Self Indulgence, In Case of Fire, Dir En Grey, Black Tide, Bring Me The Horizon

Paul Cook 21/01/2009

The magazine and/or energy drink-sponsored music tour is something really taking hold in the UK at the moment. Kerrang and Relentless have joined up to bring you a thrash and heavy metal line-up that includes Irish three piece In Case of Fire, Miami rockers Black Tide, Sheffield's deathcore band Bring Me The Horizon, Japanese metal veterans Dir En Grey and headliners, New York's shock rock outfit Mindless Self Indulgence.

To begin, In Case of Fire are probably the least known and softer sounding band of the tour. Steering away from the screamo/thrash approach of the other bands they adopt a style more akin to the likes of Funeral for a Friend and Hell is for Heroes. Post-punk vocals and jagged, distorted guitar riffs comprise most of the band's material. Energetic and focused on stage, In Case of Fire were an impressive starting point to the 5-band strong bill.

Black Tide, on the other hand, are in no way post-punk or post-anything. They are instead a pre-era band in many ways, with a style harking back to that of Iron Maiden and Metallica. The similarities end their, however, as the music sounds dated and tribute band-ish. The band are clearly talented musicians but not aware of the current musical climate concerning their chosen genre. People are looking for something new and innovative and unfortunately every riff and solo Black Tide conjure up sounds like they've travelled through time to be here.

Bring Me The Horizon followed and, at the risk of sounding old before my time, are simply creators of noise. Whether this is simply a flaw in their live performance or a 'style' they are going for it is bereft of any kind of depth, subtlety, intelligence or structure. Again, clear musical talent is wasted by over exaggerating everything. The double bass drum pedal and incomprehensible vocals (screamo) comprise much of the band's music and it is something which makes you want to cover both your eyes and ears.

Japanese metal band Dir En Grey are 12 years in this game and they entered the stage to a hugely excited crowd at the Norwich UEA. Visually this band is a cut above the rest adopting a very dramatic style in performance. Lead singer Kyo stands on a large caged box with a light illuminating him from below. The drummer, Shinya, plays a vast drum kit consisting of nearly 20 separate pieces. Luckily it isn't only the look of the band that made them the best of a band bunch on the night. The music was more structured and atmospheric as the band flowed between thrash and metal choruses and calming, euphoric intro's. The tracks were steadily built up and the riffs more crafted than most.

Mindless Self Indulgence headlined the Kerrang Relentless Tour and for the life of me I couldn't see why. Dir En Grey outclassed them, and In Case of Fire displayed a far greater collection of tracks. Vocally and lyrically they bare resemblance to the UK's own Hadouken! - so a poor headline choice when their support acts surpassed them on every level.