Live Review from Heavy #19
ShadowEscape impressed Chris B at one of her Shazza showcase events and The Wanch, earning the young six-piece a slot at The Underground’s eagerly anticipated return to metal-themed events. Their debut appearance was heavier than their Shazza slot, Chris B remarked after the show, meaning these guys put all their effort into amping it up as the night’s opening act.
The dual scream-n-clean vocals recalled early Enter Shikari or similarly nascent Bring Me The Horizon. While James Pong’s growling was solid, his fellow frontman Keith Chan’s singing sounded quite thin when competing in the heady cacophony the six-piece was churning out. On second song 獨腳鳥 especially, he was off-key – it seemed like he couldn’t hear himself through the monitor. To make things worse, his mic kept cutting out throughout the set and even began falling to bits on fourth song 圍牆.
Lead guitarist Arthur Wan’s harmonics work provided a nice accent to the riffing coming from rhythmist Nova Chan, but breakdowns sounded dulled and faraway, as if heard through a concrete wall. The overall sound – though especially the drums and bass – could have had more bite. On 心裡的花火可會再摧燦, bassist Kai Lam’s machine was loud and distorted.
Fung Lam’s drumming sounded punchy and assertive on 圍牆, a track on which guitarist Chan took the spotlight with some impressive fretwork. The track recalled the melody-driven post-hardcore of Alexisonfire and the emotive songwriting of As I Lay Dying.
Final track 無需答案 launched with a cool tremolo guitar effect which sounded like a helicopter taking off alongside an almighty strangled scream from Pong. Midway through the track, Wan broke a string, but dutifully carried on to bring the curtain down on his band’s set. In all, ShadowEscape’s set was a fun gateway to an eclectic night of metal noise and signposted them as a group to watch out for as they polish their sound and advance to larger stages.
– El Jay