Residual Effect - February 26, 2009 - Auntie Annie's, Belfast, Northern IR
By: Ken McGrath
To the outside observer the Belfast metal scene seems to be in quite a healthy state, especially with promoters The Distortion Project managing to put on a constant weekly run of gigs. Take a quick delve into it and youíll see that perceptions arenít deceiving. New punks on the scene Gacyís Threads, instrumental noise-heads ÖAnd So I Watch You From Afar and of course still standing at the top of the pile Stand-Up Guy. A name thatís probably not going to familiar with you yet, but if youíre a thrashfiend will be worth looking up, are Sinocene.
These guys are part of the new breed to thrash band to be inspired by old school Metallica. Weíre talking Kill ĎEm All, Ride The Lightning-style stuff here. This isnít youíre clean cut Trivium brand of thrash, itís more of that raw, scraggly haired, torn t-shirt kind which dominated throughout the 80ís. Of course the only problem with this is that if you werenít a fan the first time around then youíre not going to get it now. Thrash hasnít exactly changed all that much, or so Sinocene would have you believe pushing out plenty of big headbanging friendly riffs and James Hetfield inspired vocals. When their new album, Scar Obscura lands in May it could easily see them shifting up a level or two if the bubble hasnít burst by then.
Having been away from the stage for close to five months, not necessarily all by their own choosing, youíd have thought Belfast brutes Residual effect would have grown shabby. Thankfully not though, as a tight, punchy performance and the new track aired reveal. Big slabs of riffs are the order of the day here. Itís a much more forceful and thoroughly more modern assault than Sinocence. Something between Lamb Of God, American HeadCharge and Panic Cell itís vacuum packed guitars and throbbing bass laying the groundwork for the hefty vocals, especially during a great ďSlit Wrist.Ē New drummer Ger Gallagher has slotted nicely into his role, keeping things locked in at the back, most noticably during ďWitheredĒ with its many rhythms running throughout and hooky riff slipping in and out. Letís hope they donít leave it so long before they grace the stage again.