On Saturday night I took a trip to Leicester’s Shed for a night of PURE. HEAVY. METULZ! So imagine my surprise when I walked in to find the venue blasting ‘Royals’ by Lorde – oh what a brilliant way to start a night! It only got better once the music progressed to playing Paramore‘s After Laughter in full… and the bands I saw? They were great too.

Although I missed opening act, Monachopsis (sorry team!), I was raring for a good time once post-rockers Pijn entered the stage. Floating through a set of bleak bliss, Pijn were a therapy session for me: large expanses of music were traversed throughout as the band proved just how incredible music is at expressing pure emotion. The contrast between airy softness and gnarly darkness made for a set that felt even more fulfilling. Although there were times where I felt the band disappeared a little too far into the ether for too long without adding much (these moments were very sparing), Pijn showed the beauty in oppressive emptiness. They were a delight to experience.

The surprise at the end of Pijn‘s set turned it from something good to legendary as the band brought Dan and Brady from Conjurer onto the stage to reunite Curse These Metal Hands. As someone who was gutted to miss this supergroup-of-sorts at ArcTanGent Festival, this moment was very well received by me, and it turns out the rest of the crowd were well up for it too. Admittedly the excitement got the best of me alongside the impressiveness of the music to the point where I can’t remember much about this short set. The one thing I can tell you though is that it was absolutely stunning, the dream team brought about the best parts of their individual music to make something perfect. Combining the vocals of the Conjurer lads with three guitars and the emotion of Pijn tenfold, the set brought out the biggest smile from me. This is what music is all about.

Within minutes after Pijn left the stage, Conjurer were set up and ready to play a set that saw me headbanging on a nonstop loop. Every song was welcomed like an old friend as they stormed through a setlist that bands on their 6th album wouldn’t be able to compete with: the fact that this band are on their debut album is astonishing to me. It’s clear that they’ve spent their career relentlessly grinding away to build up incredible chemistry together and a brilliant collection of music.

The band had the crowd in the palm of their hand as they flew through the set with accuracy… filthy, filthy accuracy. The times where Conjurer shifted gear into poisonous, slow, dirty music were like candy for my ears as I stomped alongside the crowd, the band have built up an admirable stage presence making them one of the most exciting things I’ve seen in a long time.

Conjurer have become somewhat of a legend amongst fans of modern metal music, with the scene rallying behind them with power upon the release of their debut record, Mire. We’re at the point now where you know that as soon as those lads walk onto the stage and remove their long hair from a ponytail, shit’s about to kick off. And kick off it does. Every. Single. Set.

You can rely on Conjurer to be heavy. You can rely on them to leave you feeling sick to your stomach. And most importantly, you can rely on them for a great night of exciting modern metal. You shouldn’t ever miss them when they come by your way. As far as gig nights go, this one was brilliant.

This gig was put on as a part of independent venues week and I just want to take a moment to remind you of why you should support your local independent venues. Simply put, it’s the only way that gigs like this can continue to happen. It’s how your favourite band can grow. It’s part of the power of live music.