The next gig I saw was of a rather different genre. The headlining band I had seen last year, with Karnivool. I went with my dad, and it just happened that the friend I saw TesseracT with last year was there too. I'll be honest that the main reason I went was because Animals as Leaders were playing.
One interesting part of the lineup was the opening act, Navene-K. This is an electronic solo project by Animals as Leaders ex drummer. He makes a lot of use of looping and playback software, playing a prerecorded electronic track in the background, playing guitar and looping it, then playing drums, encorproating electronic samples with it. I was mostly interested in hearing this because it was something NEW. People playing live drums along to electronic music isn't particular new to me, however what he was doing, creating almost all of the performance himself through his extensive looper use was. I'm interested in this as lately with issues organising a band, I've been entertaining the idea of playing dual guitar songs myself, using loopers & of course writing songs suitable for that use. His set was pretty good. On YouTube had watched one or two sets that he had done ealrier during the tour, but often there can be fairly big differences between live and recorded performances, usually to do with the venue and the sound engineers.
Next up were Animals as Leaders. Needless to say, their set was incredible. The played a lot of material from their latest album, which I was pleased by, as I think it is their strongest one to date. Tosin, their lead guitarist used a lot of looping, playing rhythms and doing solos over them while Javier, their second guitarist played the bass lines. The fact the group did not have, or need a bassist was interesting, as at times, both Javier and Tosin were playing heavy, chunky bass lines on their guitars using slap techniques. The tonal creativity their axe-fxs allowed must have contributed to this, but it was still impressive, for them to have such a full, heavy sound with a three piece band that rarely relied on a backing track. During one of the songs, Tosin also used a rather strange seven string guitar which I never knew about, which can't be described with words..
Seeing him pick it up and play it was a rather odd surprise for me. In my opinion, they were the highlight of the night, partially because this was my first time seeing them, but also because they were just so tight live.
TesseracT were on last, with a change since I had last seen them. A little while ago during the summer, they announced that their vocalist, Ashe had left the band (on good terms). In his place they had got Daniel Tompkins, who had sung for them on their album One, before Ashe joined the band. It was interesting having heard both vocalists live as it showed up each of their strengths and weaknesses. I think that while Ashe sometimes found it hard to hit the really high notes, his voice flowed so well, and he sustained notes much longer than Daniel. On the other hand, Dan had a much stronger voice, hitting incredibly high notes, and also had a better growling voice. One thing I was not expecting was that Daniel, who sung a lot of harsh vocals when he was previously in the band, seemed to mostly be sticking to clean vocals, which I guess is because that is the direction the band is heading in. I can't honestly say I prefer the band with either of their lineups, they both have different advantages.
The next gig going to is Parkway Drive, Northlane, Carnifex and Heaven Shall Burn in Bristol!