Imicus – Hobgoblin, Staines – 7 May 2009

Miller-Imicusx500

The National Union of Imicus – Hobgoblin, Staines – May 7th 2009

Rock, as we know,  is theatre and this band knows how to play a crowd. The crowd is clapping for a while and the band has been playing ‘long time’ before the singer even takes to the stage. And when he does I really can’t help thinking that he reminds me of someone. For a start, lead singer Miller appears to be an eighties throwback (think a cross between Gary Numan and the Cure’s Robert Smith ) And, Sorry, Imicus, you are probably not gonna forgive me for this… but this is the second time in a week that I have had to compare a singer to Tony Hadley… I know it sounds mad but it’s true. The vocal style of Miller (with and without the growls) is Spandau-esque. Yes, I know that Hadley didn’t perform groove melodies, death growls etc, and I know you think I’m mad but still, I am right… if you look / listen you will agree with me.

The song ‘Inveigle’ went down well with the large crowd at Hobgoblin, Staines – bellowing wolfhound bass notes and thudding great drums hunting you down like an army of orcs raging across the border of oblivion. Contrasted with the golden lines of strings and occasional pinch harmonics, lush and rich lead breaks from Billy and the whole damn effect was other-worldly, dark and devastatingly addictive musicianship. Superb stuff.

My favourite ‘Imicus’ number was the slowest song in their repertoire ‘Isolation Dawn’ with its bitter melancholy edge and a Gothic, earthy sub-text. This number starts as raindrops on a pool of silence and ends in a climax of earth shattering shuddering release.

‘Animal Factory’ with its classic-rock sounding lead guitar breaks laid against the blackest of black velvet gauntlets also gained enthusiastic applause at The Hob. This was a thing of sparkling glory. A black diamond.

Billy plays lead guitar with a rare emotion and skill, and so, it seems, sirens and demons spiral and twirl from his dark strings. These are often beaten down by the raging rattling and unpredictable percussion from Dale and doomy bass notes from Steve, with darkly woven textures from Dan on rhythm guitar. But then, like mystical genies, the lighter guitar  sounds begin to rise again like  fireflies in  the  smoke to  encourage and enchant the enraptured audience  ( check the track ‘Visceral’ to appreciate this.)

This band has already gone down well at this year’s Hammerfest and is due to play at the 2009 BULLDOG BASH FESTIVAL. It is no surprise to learn that the band has recently been signed to TRANSCEND RECORDS and it is a tribute to the good folk at Buckle Up Promotions that they managed to secure this young band for us metal-heads of Staines.

The finale ‘Oedema’ with its melodic hardcore overtures reminded me of ‘Killswitch Engage’ or even melodic death metal bands like ‘In Flames’ – this is a progressive, nutritious and amazing number with unexpected twists and turns and heavy sludgy riffs led, as always, outrageously and energetically, by Miller’s vocals and Billy’s guitar.  Satisfying and motivating stuff.

Billy - Imicus Lead Guitar
Billy - Imicus Lead Guitar

If you like your heavy metalcore sounds to include an enticing classic rock attitude (acceptable to Motörhead or Black Sabbath fans) then you should really take time to listen to this band, or better yet, catch ‘em live.

© Neil_Mach
May 2009

Link:  http://www.myspace.com/imicus

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