Between The Buried And Me - Sub89, Reading
London's brightest prog metal hopes The Safety Fire have made huge leaps this year on the back of a good record and an enormous amount of touring, a combination that pays dividends as they kick off this monster tour tonight in Reading. It might not be the most energetic that I've seen them this year, but the band ooze confidence and assurance in a consummate performance lapped up by the incoming crowds.
There's bad news for Periphery fans, as drummer Matt Halpern slopes on stage with an arm in a sling to introduce the band along with Monuments' Mike Malyan who has had less than 24 hours to learn as much of the set as possible. They manage a 25 minute set in true trooper fashion. The performance is still fun and energetic, with the usual dose of silliness alongside the electrifying guitar work.
Between The Buried And Me are heady mix of expansive songwriting and fantastically technical musicianship all wrapped up in a highly acclaimed prog metal maelstrom, but completely lack any sort of individual identity. As they go deeper into their set it becomes all the more apparent how uniform they are, one song indistinguishable from the next. They might get most of the crowd headbanging with the unbridled heaviness, but the boredom isn’t far away.