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Secreum & Ashes of Ire @ Wangies, Eccles review – ambitious and wild melodies

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Featured image: Alex Gartside Norris


Metal rockers Secreum may be newcomers to town but they certainly left an impression with their first ever Manchester gig. The band took over Wangies, an Eccles’ hotspot for metal and punk, and were supported by Ashes of Ire.

Opening the night, Ashes of Ire silenced the eagerly awaiting crowd with the sound of a chord and the audience is soon silenced. Hit ‘Bankai’ showcased their energy and understanding of the genre with Jacob Lalley (drums) going ham on his snare keeping the heavy rhythmic beats in check and reigning in the bassist, Ash Taylor, who lead him through the rhythm of the song.

Ashes of Ire performing ‘Bankai’

The melody and rhythm invokes vibes similar to those of Avenged Sevenfold, following distinct patterns, bends and ungodly screeches that makes you wonder how on earth a guitar can make those sounds.

‘Raining’ starts with an insane shred by Rob ‘Claw’ Fox on guitar, implementing tremble picking and tapping to get a fast yet pleasing start to the spectacle. Jumping straight into the action with a style similar to that of the Butcher Babies.

Fox did this all while mixing vocal techniques to make the lyrics stand out, his screaming backed by Taylor’s clean vocals to mix it up and distinguish the band’s style.

Ashes of Ire performing ‘Lifeless’

As the breakdown begins, the two guitars chug out a low heavy beat with the drum matching the same energy. My ears and eyes focus on the lion of a man on stage, somehow sustaining a note that splits the air itself with utter brutality.

The highlight of the set appeared in the form of ‘Lifeless’. Kieron Philips and Fox both tapped their fretboards producing a heavy symphony to really kick the song off as the drummer slowly added his beats bringing substance to the back of the energetic spectacle.

The band killed their performance and the audience with it, with red faces in the crowd and screams for an encore. Despite the limited time they had to show off their skills, they really made the most of their time on the stage and have won many new fans as a result. Cementing this small band visiting Manchester as a band to keep watch of.

Hyped up already by the support it didn’t take much for Secreum to turn that up to the max. All it took to steal everyone’s attention was a single beat by Shawn Tillet on the snare.

After what we’d just witnessed, the crowd were craving more from the stage and Secreum delivered. Their set continued with a rhythmic and energetic form.

Leading with ‘Venomous’, an accurate name for the song as it worked its way through the crowd’s system – blood running and heads banging.

The energy of the song coils around the body, the beat of the drums pounding thorough us all, the brutal vocals performed by Sonny Antoniou ripped through the air, splitting the atmosphere.

The band invoked the feeling of eighties power and hair metal and the band members embraced that energy themselves, with headbanging as they chugged along on their instruments.

Dual guitars played by Sonny and Delano Harry Coldham brought a depth and sophistication to the show that you often don’t expect with metal. Power chords implementing the higher strings complementing each other and highlighting the low bass-ey notes on the E and A strings.

‘Voice of Reason’ debuts with Sonny – the vocalist we’d grown accustomed to by now tapping out, as Charlotte Jones took his place and she knew exactly how to woo an audience and captivate.

The crowd was entranced as they watched her hypnotic hand movements as she growled into the microphone, a deep guttural roar complimented by a flurry of notes and chords.

Secreum are joined by Charlotte Jones.

Advancing into the song saw the singer almost cast a spell on the audience, her movements witch-like as the hex of Nicholas Meeks’ bass washes over and captures the audience.

The set ended with ‘Behind the Mirror’. By now the audience were begging for more, screams arising from the small crowd and the band was happy to oblige, the snares and cymbals backing the singer chanting “oi, oi, oi” a repetition the crowd soon picked up.

Leading into a teasing riff made the audience even hungrier. Then the crescendo hit. The three strings stood tall centre stage in a line almost as if they were displaying their authority over the stage and their combined 16 strings. The bass grooved as the guitars shredded blending seamlessly together into pure euphoria for the ears of any metal head.

If there is ever a band to watch as they progress through their careers this is it with feats such as performing in heats for Bloodstock festivals ‘Metal 2 The Masses’ we know we aren’t the only ones who recognise their talent.

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Alex Gartside Norris

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