Live Reviews

Doomriders live

With SSS & Tortuga The Islington Acadmeny,
London 31/10/08

From the second I heard 2006’s debut offering ‘Black Thunder‘, Doomriders instantly became my favorite band.

Not only that but the last time they came to these shores, touring with Coliseum and Lords, they played one of the best gigs I had seen that year. Their mix of old school rock ‘n’ roll and metal instantly ticked the ‘Danzig meets Thin Lizzy’ and ‘Motorhead meets Sabbath’ boxes.

Safe to say, I had high expectations for tonight’s show. With the addition of Liverpool’s finest, SSS, to the bill this was truly going to be a Halloween show to end all Halloween shows…..unless you went to see Slayer.*

With much regret I missed Tortuga who, from what the guys at the bar tell me, were “totally fucking yes!!!”. I’m assuming that’s a good thing. After picking up a copy of the new LP ‘The Dividing Line’ at the merch table it was time for SSS to stand up and take names. After hearing only a handful of new songs before going into the show, I didn’t know what to expect from a new SSS set list.

What I got was a terrifying dose of Merseyside thrash. Having seen SSS multiple times before, I wasn’t expecting the new material to be quite so visceral. It’s good to see that this band aren’t just ‘phoning it in’ and are growing into an even bigger force to be reckoned with. New songs ‘Oil and Water‘ and ‘The Bastard Stench‘ make their London debut tonight alongside old favorites ‘Damaged Goods’ and the ever entertaining ‘Thrash With A Small Mustache‘. SSS are always going to be value for money and are one of the best bands to rise from this country in recent years.

Finally Doomriders make their long awaited return to a London stage. I, along with most there, was hoping to hear some new material from the band after such a long absence. We were rewarded for our patience as they fired out new track ‘Crooked Path‘ which instantly had heads banging. The track ‘Mercy‘ is an absolute classic. Available on their ‘Long Hair & Tights‘ split with Boris, it’s a dueling guitar spectacular between axe men Nate and Chris. This all proceeded by an avalanche of killer riffs that I’m sure reduced the nearest church to rubble.

With an amp malfunction halfway through their set, Nate takes it upon himself to flex his comedy muscle with a quick stand up routine. “How do you find Will Smith in the snow?….You look for the fresh-prints.” It’s not all rock ‘n’ roll at a Doomriders gig. You get 100% comedy genius as well. Doomriders continue a beast of a gig with what has now become the band’s calling cards, ‘Black Thunder‘, ‘Ride Or Die‘ and chaotic whirlwind of a song, ‘Fuck This Shit!‘. Everybody by this point was seriously into what JR, Chris, Jebb and Nate were unleashing. Doomriders know how to have a good time on stage and know what pleases a crowd of head bangers. Tonight we get nothing short of heavy metal glory. The boys from Boston finish as they did last time in London with ‘The Long Walk‘. With blistering licks and some filthy bass it was fitting way to end what truly was a raging set.

After almost beheading ticket holders at The Islington Academy with some serious neck breaking riffage, Doomriders saddle up and ride on through the caverns of darkness. Onward to Mount Gogorath. Once there they will pledge their reaped souls to the keeper of the damned via the swords of fortune and glory…..well, that’s what they said anyways.

Tom Lindsey

*I actually sold my Slayer ticket for that night because I’d rather see Doomriders. Yes they are that damn good. Ride or Die motherfuckers!!!