When Northern Ireland band SINOCENCE landed the support slot for PRONG on the Belfast leg of their European tour, it produced a wry smile amongst long time followers of the local act – the Prong staple, ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’ as long been a feature of Sinocence’s live act.
It was therefore a night that produced a synergy between the bands and the audience in a hot and sweaty venue on Belfast’s Ormeau Avenue.
Sinocence took the stage with a real sense of purpose, launching into ‘Long Way Down’, the single from their release ‘No Gods, No Masters Vol 1’.
With Moro taking the lead role as singer and rhythm guitar, his wingmen Jim (bass) and Anto (lead guitar) were engaged in a heads down, furious gale of tight and precise playing: while Davy behind the kit was in top form, despite a sometimes off-kilter snare sound.
The inclusion of a new track ‘Ascension Code’, from ‘Vol 2’ of the ‘No Gods, No Masters’ triumvirate, was a healthy indication of what’s to come.[gallery columns="5" ids="1050,1051,1052,1053,1054"]
Whilst Prong were late on stage, it did allow for a few more punters to get in the doors and the mercury in the thermometer to climb yet higher.
Making only their second visit to Northern Ireland, it’s evident that the band has grown in the 12 years since their reformation. Whilst Tommy Victor is very much the leader, the link to the past and the original member, Jason Christopher (bass and vocals) and Art Cruz (drums) is now integral to their live sound.
Evidently, many there already knew the tracks off the latest Prong release, ‘Ruining Lives’ as most were singing along to the cacophony, which was nicely balanced by some excellent work from the sound desk.
In a set that reached right back to ‘Beg to Differ’ (the title song was part of the set) through to classic tracks from ‘Cleansing’, such as ‘Whose Fist Is It Anyway’, and ‘Another Worldly Device’. However, some of the most enthusiastic response was for ‘Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck’, and closers ‘Prove You Wrong’ and ‘Revenge…Best Served Cold’.
Throughout, Victor was calling the audience into action, urging participation, while ensuring that his playing never suffered.
Although Cruz has only been with the band under a year, he produced a spot-on set, and his linkage with his bass compadré Christopher was notable on ‘Ruining Lives’ and ‘Another Worldly Device’, something of a given with ‘Ruining…’ being the most recent release.
They were no less accomplished in older tracks, and throughout Victor played some amazing riffs and solos.
Although the band seemed to lag a little in the middle of the set, it was barely perceptible to the vast majority of those in attendance.
The only downer, on an otherwise excellent night from independent promoter, James Loveday, was that what should have been a packed Limelight2 only saw it two thirds full.
But as both Prong and Sinocence proved, no matter what size the crowd is, they deliver solid, enjoyable metal.
Review: Jonathan Trayner
Photography: Darren McVeigh
Promo image by Tim Tronckoe]]>