Ohhms, Boss Keloid and Final Coil – The Vault, Leicester [Live Review]

Leicester’s lacking when it comes to music. The city that birthed Gary Lineker and Kasabian is understandably a hub for sports, and displays a dearth of decent gigs. It’s rare that bands that really bring in a crowd would ever choose to visit the East Midlands City, especially with Nottingham being a stone’s throw away, but tonight is one of those nights. In the low ceilinged downstairs Vault at The Shed, a wonderfully inventive display is set to unfold.

Opening the night is local quartet, Final Coil. It’s a reasonably impressive set with a grungy feel to the rhythm section and passionately delivered power chords. Their longer instrumental sections really give room to breathe and let ideas unfold, however there is a scarcity of inventiveness on show. Feeling a touch one paced, the five songs drag a little, but their set is still an admirable showing. Jola Stiles has an awesome, gritty bass tone, and acts as the band’s anchor point – though the entire performance is a touch unrefined, and not quite tight enough for the evening’s proceedings. Unfortunately their descriptor of being like Alice In Chains seems to only apply in the fact that they have two vocalists, and the off key delivery really underserves the set. It’s a spirited performance marred by vocals that could do with some fine tuning, and some fat being trimmed. They seem like a really talented and committed bunch. Tightening their performance could really take them to the next level.

‘Hello, we’re Ohhms’ grins Boss Keloid frontman, Alex Hurst. It’s a great encapsulation of the positivity that exudes from the band’s music; there’s a sense of madcap tomfoolery about the Wigan born quintet. This set is all about fun. Entirely taken from their latest album, Melted on the Inch – a near masterpiece – the set is utterly flawless. Every note played has even more weight to it than the recorded counterparts, and not a single ounce of the intricacy is lost in the mix.

Opening with iron-clad banger Chronosiam, the audience is immediately on side. Gentle whispers of ‘fucking hell they’re good’ echo through the gaps of silence, as Keloid’s dynamism takes the room on a bonged out sea-faring adventure. It’s not just boneheaded stoner metal the Vault is party to; there’s as much Pink Floyd and King Crimson infused in the music as there is Kyuss, and to stunning effect. Utterly breathtaking stuff.

After blasting through pitch perfect renditions of Tarku Shavel, Peykruve and Jromalih, it’s impossible to believe that the set is over. Miniature opuses that feel like three minute belters rush by with the haste of grindcore, culminating in rapturous but unheeded calls for an encore. If there were another hour in the day, Boss Keloid would fill it and have everyone eating from the palms of their hands.

After a speedy changeover, headliners and post metal maestros Ohhms take to the stage. The real Ohhms this time of course. Fun is not on the agenda for this band, a complete antithesis of their preceding counterparts. It’s a set of brooding ferocity that builds over their relatively short time. Not content with the intended stage, bassist Chainy Chainy (according to Metal Archives at least), mounts the bar and stalks the room with his wiry yet physically imposing frame, playing his instrument as if he is banging lead pipes together.

The set is halted after its first song due to technical difficulties, but it in no way stunts the band’s momentum or the crowd’s enjoyment. Everyone here is on side and wishing only the best for the artists. It’s a beautiful sight to behold.

Come finale, powerhouse vocalist Paul Waller is writhing across the stage looking to be in genuine anguish. He keeps the audience engaged and singing along to the refrain of ‘Sail On’ for the last explosive moment of the night. While they may not have the Friday feel good factor of Boss Keloid, Ohhms’ music is no less enrapturing. Beautiful expansive post metal, played with an energy and verve of the genre’s luminaries, lead to a perfect end to a wonderful show.

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