It's not often that a venue is gutsy enough to host a line-up of solely femme fatale-fronted acts, but tonight the Kingston Peel took a risk and consequently got itself a brand new arsehole torn by its bands.
In a room oozing with cheap hairspray and Guinness and cluttered with New Rocks you can almost preconceive the type of metal bands playing, however the first to make an impression, Liquid Sky, push the boundaries of the goth-metal stereotype. All '80s new romantic keyboards and Dream Theater epicness, the vocalist's powerful lungs and the bolstering drumming add an edge to their set. And there are no OTT guitar solos either.
Following band Crimson Altar disappointingly fail to match Liquid Sky. Their brand of mediocre old school classic rock is clichéd, tired and does not work well with "I-should-have-been-in-a-90s-girl-band" vocals. Next, the acclaimed goth-rockers Mercury Rain prove that there is a very fine line between looking like hookers and looking "metal". The drummer is excellent but the remaining instruments don't support him and the vocalist's performance isn't sexy, it's disturbing. Their set plods at a happy medium, but their final song, described as "something a bit different" by their frontwoman, clearly shows that they are heading in a darker, less cheesy, direction. Sadly, they do little to arouse the audience, merely serving as foreplay for headliners Season's End.
These guys (and ladyee) are tighter than Hasslehoff's trunks, more rocking than a geology lecture and deeper than a fucking Keats anthology. Their songs boast choral soundscapes that pave the way for the most immense, crashing, thundering, and menacing metal drumming and stunning operatic vocals, courtesy of Becki. They stand rigid against the odd technical glitch, launching seamlessly into the riff-tastic goth-pop gem that is "A Ghost In My Emotion". Season's End are brooding and crushing without being completely clichéd in that "cheer-up-goth", HIM-style manner. If you love Nightwish, crave something heavier and more technical than Evanescence and snog your Cradle of Filth signed photo every night, check out this band before you have to pay more than a fiver to see them live.