Rockfabrik (Underground), Nuremberg, Germany
22th of May, 2015

During their European co-headlining tour this month, Sylosis and Wovenwar played more shows in Germany than I expected. The fact that three of them were played here in Bavaria surprised me, as I still entertain the opinion that Bavaria is consisting of Bavarian beer festivals, soccer and the Christian Social Union only - no metal in sight here.
But, as fate willed, one of the coolest tours of this year took place right at my doorstep (well, kind of). On Friday, the 22th of May, the US-based modern metallers Wovenwar and the progressive thrash band Sylosis from the UK played at the Rockfabrik in Nuremberg, more precisely at the second event location Underground, also known as Little RoFa (the mainhall has been closed recently), which has an approximate capacity of 250 people. "Come on, let's go!", I told myself. As a big fan of Wovenwar and the members' previous projects and after having read loads of positive reviews of Sylosis' latest record Dormant Heart, I couldn't miss out on this show.

After finally arriving at the venue later than planned due to multiple traffic jams on the highway, I immediately made my way to the mostly empty first row (never experienced something similar, actually). The hall wasn't too packed in the beginning. Later on, I got to hear that many people missed Wovenwar due to a mistake on the local promoter's website; the beginning was marked 8 pm and not 7 pm, which of course was bothersome for both fans and the band who played in front of way less people than initially expected.
People were evenly interspersed throughout the entire location - no pushing and shoving (again, something I've never experienced before). With no cordon separating the first row from the one meter high stage, I was already looking forward to seeing Wovenwar and Sylosis playing live. People were sitting on the stage and waited for the show to start. Everything was set to result into an unbent evening, self-evidently within the framework of an ordinary metal show, including moshpits and headbanging.

45 minutes later, Wovenwar started their set with "The Mason" and I couldn't help but sing along with vocalist/guitarist Shane Blay (from Oh, Sleeper) and bassist/vocalist Josh Gilbert from the very beginning. The guys seemed to enjoy themselves on stage and one could definitely feel their energy. They continued with the second single "Death To Rights" and "Sight Of Shore". Unfortunately, Blay's vocals weren't quite audible. Gilbert's higher ranged vocals were a bit better distinguishable, though. It may have had something to do with me standing right in the front or the guitars and the bass being mixed way louder than everything else. That's why I can't say too much about vocal performance - all I can say is that both vocalists had a good time on stage.
Apart from this, everyone had a great time, people headbanged or at least nodded their approval, some people even started a little moshpit. Wovenwar proceeded with "Profane", "Identity", "Archers" and "Moving Up", knowing those tracks are among the crowd's favorites. The two guitarists Phil Sgrosso and Nick Hipa played with ease and never missed a part while going like a train. Their experience definitely showed and every now and then, their solos left me speechless.
At some point in the middle of the set, vocalist Shane Blay announced that it was drummer Jordan Mancino's birthday. The crowd cheered and two guys from the audience stood him a shot.
Some of my personal highlights surely were the following tracks "Matter Of Time", "Tempest" and "Prophets". The band ended their concert with the first single "All Rise" accompanied by the intro "Foreword" and the outro "Onward".
Wovenwar gave thanks to the crowd and bassist Josh Gilbert even came back after the set to shake the fan's hands. The guys had given 100 percent and were deeply grateful for the fan's support.

After the stage had been rebuild, Sylosis were ready to start their set with "Where The Wolves Come To Die", the opener of their latest record Dormant Heart. From that point, the next 65 minutes were packed with intense headbanging and multiple moshpits right behind me. Meanwhile, the venue got fuller.
Again, vocalist/guitarist Josh Middleton had the same technical issue as Shane Blay: His vocals were completely inaudible. Nevertheless, the guys played very well and on point. I think their music comes better across when played live - Sylosis found the happy medium between technical metal and in-your-face thrash metal.
The whole set proved just that. They continued with "Fear The World" and the title track "Dormant Heart". Sylosis played both new songs and one or two songs from each of their previous albums (besides from the album The Supreme Opressor). "To Build A Tomb" for example was one of my personal highlights, along with "Mercy" and "Leech". I have to admit that I'm not very familiar with their earlier releases. There were songs like "Teras", "Servitude" or "Empyreal" that I heard for the first time at the gig, but they really enthralled me. All in all, Sylosis know what they're doing on stage and how to deliver a truly thrilling performance. Near the end of the set, the band didn't let the audience wait too long for an encore. The song "Conclusion Of An Age" finished their set and the crowd cheered.

To sum up, the rather short show went by too fast. I for one am grateful for having seen these two bands play in a relatively small venue as if they were playing for thousands of people. I'm already looking forward to seeing both bands again at some point.

If you live in the UK, make sure to check out Wovenwar headlining five shows with As Lions as support at the end of the month. Sylosis will also be on festival tour in Germany, France, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands during June and July.

1. Intro
2. The Mason
3. Death To Rights
4. Sight Of Shore
5. Profane
6. Archers
7. Moving Up
8. Matter Of Time
9. Tempest
10. Prophets
11. Foreword
12. All Rise
13. Onward

1. Where The Wolves Come To Die
2. Fear The World
3. Dormant Heart
4. To Build A Tomb
5. Mercy
6. Teras
7. Servitude
8. Leech
9. All Is Not Well
10. Altered States Of Consciousness
11. Empyreal

12. Conclusion Of An Age

[Rating: 90/100]

Attending: Cristina Somcutean