It’s a very early start at Heaven tonight with people still trying to enter the building when Ukrainian alt metallers Space Of Variations kick things off. They live up to their name with a show full of twists and turns leaning quite heavily towards emo rock and the less complicated side of Djent, if there is such a thing. They were voted best metal band in their home country a few years back and they have the class to show why. Khroma are quite a full force blend of nicely tight guitar work and sheer brutality. They’re not particularly sophisticated but they have enough talent to carry them through a set which also sees the venue filling up near to its capacity. The Fins, like most bands from that close to the Arctic circle enjoy a dour demeanour for much of the time but it suits their style. They warm things up nicely for the next two bands and no doubt gain a few new fans too.
Vicky Psarakis’ entry into The Agonist is now well in the past and she has taken the band forward through three albums worth of material. Much of that catalogue is on show tonight hopefully proving that this is a band well and truly on the up. Benefitting from a great sound system (shame about the abysmal lighting) the Canadians rip through a stunning set which is well received by the crowd. While it’s fair to say it’s the headliners most have come for there are a great many fans also sporting Agonist t-shirts. There seems to be a new drive behind everything live, a new lease of life. The guitar work is world class and musically this is a tight ship. The big question now is can The Agonist kick on to greater success? Based on this performance the answer is a resounding yes.
It’s been a meteoric rise for Jinjer. Not that long ago they were over in the UK all wide eyed and expectant playing up the road in The Underworld. Tonight they’ve sold out a venue much much bigger. They band wear that success well though. They look like they’re keeping their feet firmly on terra firma and their heads ego free. On stage they are quite simply magnificent. They’ve been a real shot in the arm to an often flagging part of heavy music. Heaven takes on the kind of atmosphere you only get when presented with greatness, a large venue full of hot sweaty fans, emotion, and the sheer joy of being there. The set is packed with highlight moments. New album Macro is of course well represented and is now delivering some new classics for the band to play. The really important thing is to see that Jinjer are no one trick pony. They’ve overcome the Pisces effect that could have held them back and are now a bona fida leading force in music. Three album in and you get the feeling they’ve only just got out of first gear. Welcome to the world of Jinjer, brace yourself, it’s going to be a hell of a journey.