Live Review: Carcer City, Perception, MSRY & The Horologist @ O2 Academy 2 Oxford 1/6/2018!

The O2 Academy 2 in Oxford is the venue for tonight’s live mayhem, with a pair of home town bands on an impressive bill that could and perhaps should be a tour in it’s own right, rather than a one off warm up show for Carcer City before they play Camden Rocks! Opening a show while the audience is still arriving can’t be easy but The Horologist [7/10] manage to keep their energy high with some dead pan humour and tech-infused Metalcore riffage. New track “Dysphoria” is among the Oxford quintet’s finest material and the band, formerly known as Shattered Compass play a wealth of older material from “Matters Of Mind”. Reason for the name change? Who knows. But it certainly hasn’t stopped the momentum and for a band that only started playing live in 2016. They’ve earned their stripes and on this evidence they should be following the likes of Our Hollow, Our Home and getting straight out of bedrock.

The problem with MSRY [6/10] is the sheer volume of back-tracked material that the Oxford trio use in their live show. That’s no slight on the band themselves, who do a fantastic job of playing their hardcore punk material, but when you have the bass, a second guitar and backing vocals all on tape, it’s off putting for the audience. Frontman Kial Churcher delivers plenty of throat shredding vocals and at one point leaps the barrier and wanders through the audience delivering a verse in impressive fashion. There is no doubting guitarist Charlie Bishop’s talent, though for the most part he only plays the rhythm guitar parts, leaving the backing track to handle all the leads. When we reviewed the bands 6 track self titled debut EP, we mentioned they were obviously influenced by early Cancer Bats material and they do pull out a version of “Hail Destroyer” mid-set. It’s pretty obvious from the newer material from the bands upcoming “Safety First” EP in the set that the band are going places, simply because its so much better and that’s more obvious with killer new single “Broken Teeth”.

Southampton Tech-Influenced Metalcore crew Perception [8/10] don’t leave anything to chance. They’ve been building their band since 2011 and new EP “Monolith” puts them into Loathe territory. The four piece include a number of songs from 2016’s “Collapse” and “Delusions” is a fine example of how to deliver a tech-metal track while “Heartburn” has an extra depth of atmosphere live. Their sparing use of clean vocals and melody to allow the heavier elements to stand out more while also including eerie atmospheres brings the darkness to the stage. Perception are on the bill at this years incarnation of UK Tech-Fest at Newark Showgrounds, while also having co-headlining dates with Bristol’s Valis Ablaze. Tonight goes to prove that they’re among one of the finer offerings in the UK tech-metal scene and deserve a lot more of our attention.

Carcer City [10/10] deliver the goods every time. They are a phenomenal live act and it’s criminal that they’re not sharing bigger stages with bigger bands at this point in their career. The Liverpool quintet are down a man tonight with second guitarist Yacka being strangely absent, but still deliver a set that is stunning, with their trademark tech-metal groove and buried electronics packing a punch. Their new drummer Brad is bedding in nicely and Carcer City haven’t missed a beat since the sticksman trade. The band tell us they have a new EP coming out this year and play a brand new song, the same one we previously posted fan filmed footage of, while also delivering the rarely performed “Nothing But The Rain” to an audience who want more. Playing, as frontman Patrick Pinion put it “The Hits”, they smash through the likes of “Infiltrator”, “Infinite//Unknown” and “Perceptions” before closing with a simply crushing rendition of “Sovereign” amid an impressive light show and some 2 step. Carcer City are nothing short of exceptional and we look forward to seeing them at Bristol’s Fat Lip Fest in a couple of months time.


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