Review of Messiane plus support @ Invergordon Arts Centre, Friday December 16th 2011
As a warm up to their show supporting Seed Of Sorrow at Mad Hatters on the 22nd of December, Invergordon groove metallers, Messiane, had organised their own show in their home town, and I was there to see how things got on, on the night.
We started off the evening with an acoustic session, provided by Messiane members Finn Creaney and Dean Kernaghan. Both talented songwriters, the set provided the opportunity to showcase songs that they had both written outside of the band. Finn and Dean shared vocal duties by shifting the mic between them, both proving that just because you play in a growly metal band doesn’t mean that you can’t sing.
With a noted absence of the majority of the next band, the acoustic duo played on for some time, trying to keep up the momentum, until they eventually ran out of songs, leaving the audience in wait.
Around 25 minutes after they were due on stage, Soul Rider had finally entered the building and was quick to set up and finally try to get the, now impatient, Invergordon crowd shaking to their unique blend of “Teuchter Rock”. Drummer, Andy Cameron slams those drums HARD, as Soul Rider try to make up for lost time, pounding through songs such as ‘Magic Box’, ‘Possible Regrets’ and the self-titled ‘Soul Rider’. The music itself paid great tribute to the old classic rock bands, such as Guns ‘n’ Roses, Free and Thin Lizzy.
Rodaidh Mackay, on lead guitar, played the role of “Speed Demon”, sweeping his way through the incredible ‘Sweeper’, yet toned it down effortlessly during ‘Reflections’, filling the song with tasteful guitar licks played with plenty of soul. Add a pair of shades and a top hat into the mix, and you’d think that Slash, himself, was performing in front of you.
Of course, with them arriving late to the party, it was inevitable that Soul Rider’s set ended up being cut short. I was disappointed, especially as it was apparent that the band was really starting to get into it. Nevertheless, everyone involved with organising the show was determined to make sure that everything ran to schedule as much as possible, and that “we’d all be back home in time for tea”.
And that is exactly what happened, but not before Messiane proudly took to the stage, performing their own blend of groove metal. The likes of ‘Could Go Anywhere’ had a distinct Machine Head influence, mixed in with Pantera chunks as Finn Creaney, on lead guitar, shreds away, leaving only bassist, Matt Cooper, to lock in the rhythm section with the very impressive drum work of Laurence Johnson.
The rest of Messiane’s set consisted of songs, such as ‘Days Cursed Black’ and ‘Failing Light’, which would have fitted quite nicely on Lamb Of God’s ‘New American Gospel’ album; raw, aggressive simple, yet hypnotic, lead lines and vocalist, Dean Kernaghan’s uncanny resemblance to Randy Blythe. His banter proves popular with the crowd, who have clearly forgiven that things were running a bit late now, as everyone’s heads were banging with the occasional attempt at a mosh pit.
It’s great to see a metal band who doesn’t take things too seriously, which is why I was almost on the ground laughing, as Dean announced the next song as ‘Ahhhhhhhh’. What followed was what seemed to be a, almost, homage to grindcore legends, Napalm Death, very quickly learning why the song was called as such, as it consisted of Dean just screaming down the microphone, with the rest of the band going for broke and completely thrashing the living daylights out of their instruments!
After a return to the Machine Head influence, from the beginning of their set, with their newest song, ‘Raw’, Messiane closed the night with the epic ‘The Gods Lament’, proving there is plenty room for more metal bands in the Inverness area! Whilst supporting a bunch of extreme metallers, in the form of Seed of Sorrow and Scum, tonight in Mad Hatters, I wouldn’t mind seeing these guys playing alongside the likes of Zombie Militia in the New Year. Definitely a band that folk need to keep their eye on!
Review by Mark Dubanowski
Photos by Mark Dubanowski