Out Of Sanity Live @ Asylum 2 – 17th January 2014


I have said it many times but live music really is one of the finest things in the world. At one end of the spectrum you have seeing your favourite band in a huge arena with however many other thousand people. And at the other you have where I was last night, small intimate venue, a supportive audience and a bill full of bands bit by bit trying to master their craft.

As often seems to be the case in the last few months the weather was awful but I found myself trekking across Birmingham to go and see another band take another small step on what they hope will be the road to success. The band in question was Out Of Sanity. I had seen them just before Christmas last year and had been impressed so I had high hopes, and I’m pleased to report that I wasn’t disappointed.

They opened with a track called ‘Destroy Your Captor’ which is very Black Sabbath-esque in structure and tone. The track builds from a low base and bursts into life, incorporating a couple of brilliant breakdowns and gets the set off to a hard hitting start. Up next was ‘Beneath The Ground.’ The highlight here is the fantastic guitar solo from Kris Davies, as the rhythm guitar hammers the song forward the solo over the top is one of the best that you will hear on the local circuit bar none. A quick glance around to those also in attendance showed that it wasn’t just me who was impressed. ‘This is The Time’ stands out as a track that could be a single. It has a very catchy lead riff and although it is a little softer than the opening two songs the sound of the group isn’t compromised.  

‘Blind’ is a song that I was very much looking forward to hearing. I had heard a very rough demo of the track in the week while doing a bit of research on the band, and I was interested to hear what it would sound like live. It starts with just the bass and drums opening the song (Another Sabbath staple) and then comes in this heavy heavy riff, followed by an almost growling vocal. There is definitely a darker edge to this track that hasn’t been evident so far and the classic metal screaming vocal shows that vocalist Brad Weston is far from a one trick pony. There had been a hint of nerves early on but by now the group had really settled into their rhythm and grown into the performance.

Next up was ‘Rebel’ which was a personal favourite of mine from when I saw them last time and again everything was totally on point, including a fun little interlude which some er….’interesting’ dance moves from Weston and drummer Mike Gregory. This might seem a strange thing to say but I had my fingers crossed as the opening chords of the next song blasted round the room. It was a cover of ‘Don’t believe a Word’ by Thin Lizzy. I’m a big Thin Lizzy fan so I was really hoping they weren’t going to try and be too clever with it and end up just ruining the song. But thankfully and to much head-nodding from those in the audience they produced a brilliant rendition.

We were getting into the final stages of the performance now but there was no letting up from the wall of sound coming from the stage. ‘Take This Life’ opens in brilliantly ominous fashion but soon explodes into life and you can’t help but think that this would be a fitting soundtrack to Armageddon. (No Bruce Willis) It’s at this point I would normally use a phrase something like ‘as the set winds down towards the finish’ but here the set closes as it began; with a musical punch in the face. ‘Going Over The Top’ starting with a killer bass heavy ensures that the band go out with a bang and get one of the best reactions from the audience all night.

Overall it was a very good performance, hard-hitting and in your face. Early on you could tell that there were a few nerves (In the grand scheme of things the band haven’t performed that much) but they quickly warmed to the task. All the members of the group complement each other. Like all good bands the bass and the drums lay the foundation Gregory and Jim Griffiths really put the platform in place for the rest of the band, the importance of this really cannot be underestimated. The rhythm guitar work from Adam Davis really powers the band forwards and helps provide the hard hitting sound, again giving a platform for lead guitarist Davies and singer Weston to build on. Davies intricately picks his way over the organised chaos to dance through solos with brilliant precision, while the vocal from Weston is versatile and packs a real punch. All the signs of a band being in tune with one another.

In short, Out Of Sanity are a band you really should be following.

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