Live Review: Torche, Iron Witch & Trojan Horse – Moho Live, Manchester – 13/09/2012

It’s a brisk, windy, and miserable day in the hub known as the centre of Manchester and plus there’s not much else to do. The relief of such irksome boredom can be found by the metallic pleasantries that have just arrived at Moho Live, a venue which is going through the middle of a rebrand.

Local Mancunians, Trojan Horse unfurl a back pack full of interesting shapes that are formed by one’s imagination and sounds that can confuse or dazzle the ears of the intrigued on-lookers that are watching them.  Their arsenal contains a hybrid of pedantic 70s space rock with the jazzy noise rock of modern progressive post hardcore a la Jupiter era Cave In and The Mars Volta. While their aforementioned sound is an interesting sight to behold on the stage they stand, the sheer length of their songs can be somewhat tedious to swallow.

Sludge metal infused hardcore troupe Iron Witch from Liverpool provide a disgustingly good display of pulsating thick basslines, the grooves of which go through an individual like a knife, and slow trudging drum beats, layered with the wickedest screams. Their marsh covered set is layered with plenty of warning signs of how deadly their sound but it’s just too hard to not get sucked in such a menacing and tasty spectacle of dirty sounds.

Like Baroness, Floridan metallers Torche really know how to combine honest and beautifully melodic pop structures with the heaviest and meatiest of riffs which helps to produce a wonderfully artistic combination.  Tonight they show off their work with the loudest and most buzz filled of performances in this small room. From their fingers they manage to create a broad palette of colourful sounds that span across their discography from the self-entitled that laid the starting blue prints to the brilliant sludge pop antics of their newest record ‘Harmonicraft’.

The first half is shimmering with the grandest of anthems creating a rather summery shoegazesque atmosphere which soon descends into fast hectic whimsical riffs layered with pop undertones to rolling basslines and thudding percussion that shifts the light of the first half into an incoming marvellous thunderstorm of delight. After all this has passed by the signs of a dimmering backlight and the withdrawal of the fog machines, you realise that this indeed is the heaviest pop band on the planet.

4/5

Words by Aaron Lohan (@ooran_loohan)

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