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Sunday, April 01, 2007

NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED: Arcadia and Nemhain Live

Duck! Incoming from Arcadia

Hardcore is a word often used to prefix music styles to make them sound… well.. hard we suppose! There is hardcore-techno, hardcore-punk, hardcore-handbag, industrial-hardcore, happy-hardcore, grindcore and many more ….. not to mention hardcore porn and the stuff you put down for a driveway. But it has to be said, few could argue with the right to use the term when talking about Italian Bastard Core outfit Arcadia. This lot really are HARDCORE with a capital H.

Tonight they have stopped off in the Meze bar in Newport on part of a tour that seems to have them invading half of Europe and America almost simultaneously. With a six string bass, a seven string lead guitar and a vocal style that sometimes resembles Napalm Death, they machine gun their way through a set that is like a sonic weapon of mass destruction. Yet despite the ferocity of the event, if you can find something to hold onto to stop yourself being blown off your feet, there are underlying rhythms that lift them above the run of the mill hardcore… like standing at the back of Download Festival in the middle of a hurricane but still being able to here Rage Against The Machine in the background.

The crowd tonight is somewhat lacklustre, but the band do not let this put them off. Plonk them in front of a packed house with a mosh pit in the front and they would make Bad Brains look like the Nolan Sisters.

After they went off we nearly fell over because we had been bracing ourselves against the uncompromising sonic attack and as the shockwaves subsided normality became weird... but it would not last long.


Morrigan and Cherry, goddesses of panic and frenzy

Next up came Nemhain, named after an Irish goddess of war, and yes the band was full of goddesses and they were about to wage war on us. Not quite as intense as Arcadia they knocked us dead with riff laden, high-octane rock and roll with a heavy dose of Jack Daniels and Harley Davidson’s. Adrian Erlandsson of Cradle Of Filth fame kept the back beat pounding like a life size Animal from the Muppets, ensuring the pace never slowed and even though they were not the nuclear deterrent of Arcadia, they were definitely axe wielding psychopaths. Scary, sexy and funky all at once, just how rock ‘n roll should be.


PS: Big up Craig from Pulse Promotions for the tip off and the list



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