Slioch , with support from Killjoy and Disposable at Tooth & Claw, Inverness.

A quiet Thursday night in Inverness was about to get the kick up the arse it sorely needed.  Proceedings kicked off in local sweatbox Tooth and Claw, with the Swiss punk supernova’s KILLJOY – who within 2 minutes of playing had me hooked.  The three-piece had a furious skate-punk type energy throughout the set that just makes you want to move, the whole time. 

For a slightly niche comparison they really reminded me of a band called EMANUEL early in the set.  Some standout tracks for me were “Neighbour” which was really good, “Girls” was ace and had me jumping and shouting along and the track they finished on, called “Funky” was absolutely excellent.   

“Funky” had a real RATM feel throughout, the track pulling various ways with a fluid funky feel at times and then jagged guitar punching it’s way into choruses.  The dynamic between the two vocalists was ace too, with the bassist having a smoother quality and the guitarist bringing in some Hives-esque screaming to great effect.  Not to mention the drummer having utterly impecable playing throughout the set.

The band had driven all the way from Switzerland but you couldn’t tell it as they really went 100 kmph for their set.  The biggest compliment I can pay them, is that I felt like they would fit perfectly on an early Tony Hawks soundtrack – they just oozed a skate/punk/funky vibe and it really won the people and me over big time.  

 Inverness is no stranger to DISPOSABLE, and after having witnessed them earlier on in the year I knew it was gonna be a good time.  Last time round the singer, William had a nasty chest/throat infection and it really affected the vocals – this time we were treated to absolutely savagery from him and it was top class.  For those completely unaware, this band is in my opinion real top-tier thrash metal from Edinburgh who’ve gone from strength to strength over the past couple of years. 

The four-piece thrashers opened with 2 tracks from their forthcoming album and both were ripping and the madness didn’t let up. Whilst I loved their whole set – a real highlight for me was when they pulled out the as yet untitled opening track from their upcoming album and it was unreal.  Right in the middle of the track there was some brilliant time change/progression stuff going on that brought a grin to my face as well as knowing nods from my buddies – this album is for sure in my top “ones to watch” for next year based on these tracks. 

An unsurprisingly intense performance that never let up and was “SEAMLESS”. At one-point guitarist Oli jumped into the crowd mid-song and started a circle pit – still totally shredding.  The musicianship in some of the songs absolutely blew me away, the solo work that both guitarists put in was breathtaking to watch.

Unfortunately, this set finished all too early for me but it was last track “Scar My Eyes” from their Life Misguided EP, released in 2015 that really stole the show for me – for a band that play fast all the time, when they somehow get faster it’s perfection.  I implore anyone who enjoys a good bit of thrash to sort themselves out and get down to a Disposable show, to which I hope us schneckies get another sooner rather than later. 

 SLIOCH are tonight’s headliners and with a tough night to follow, Mata and the crew including a new guitarist in tow, don’t disappoint.  The scene is set wonderfully with some rain and thunder bellowing from the PA as the stage is wrapped in an eerie fog (some generous smoke machine work). They opened with “A Coming Storm” which is a track all about a Giant from the Cairngorms a great opener for the set. 

It’s evident before long that the addition of a second guitarist is really making a big impact to the sound of the band – and certainly a very positive difference – with all new harmonies adding a completely new edge to the band, especially evident for me on “Ancestors Beyond The Sky”.  There’s a far more Melodic Death Metal element reminiscent of early-ish In Flames brought into the band now.  The added power of a second riff machine behind solos ensures that the heaviness is taken up a notch.  With ragers like “Churches Curses” and “Darkness Devoured” peppered throughout the set it flew by in an instant. 

SLIOCH took to the headline spot and absolutely made it their own, with a renewed confidence and a blistering set that didn’t really let up from start the finish the crowd was right into it and there was a decent amount of pitting.  I really could’ve done with another 15 minutes from the Invernessian Heavyweights – Friday work went on the backburner as I nursed my neck back to health! 

This was a varied show genre wise and I think it was a big positive for the show.  The metal scene in Inverness has really taken a turn for the better over the last year or so and the fruits of hard labour from everyone involved is really starting to show.