Date: Saturday 30th November 2019
Venue: [Boom], Leeds
Acts: Haasts Eagles, Pijn, Helpless, We Never Learned To Live, Ithaca, Palm Reader, Ohhms
– – – – –
After spending the start of my afternoon over at The Wardrobe with Yungblud, it was then time to turn up the heavy and head across to the newly re-branded [Boom] to catch the remaining part of Louder Than God festival. With the collaboration of Holy Roar Records and local promoter Bad Owl Presents, this was sure to be a showcase of the upcoming bands across the whole metal genre and certain to give me new bands that i’d be listening to well into the future.
The opening act for me when i arrived were We Never Learned To Live and it was great to see that the room was already nice and busy. As the band opened up it was nice to hear the band’s style of mixing shoegaze with post-hardcore which created a great contrast in sound and added an impact to the heavy section. After showcasing their own work it was interesting to see them take a slight diversion with a cover of ‘Botchla’ by Poison The Well which went down very well with the crowd and Not just the one person that they had hoped for. As a little additional bonus it meant that i had another band to check out after the festival. ‘Retreat Syndrome’ sounded great and was nice to see the respect shown between band and promoter with songs and thanks dedicated throughout. A couple of mic issues hindered the set with it cutting out in places and the clean vocals being a bit quiet in the mix but this didn’t stop the band powering thorough and really making the most of their set. Final track ‘Luma Non Luma’ was the heaviest of the set and ended things off with a bang with everything sounding incredible together. We Never Learned Too Live came off as a very appreciative band which really came as a positive to see as they definitely put in a great performance on stage for the onlooking crowd. It was great to hear they’re back playing after a two year break and hopefully won’t be too long before they’re back in Leeds as they were my surprise band for the day.
Next to take to the stage were Ithaca who were one of my main reasons to attend the festival. After seeing them on a list of 10 new bands to see in 2019 and after listening to ‘The Language of Injury’ album they were definitely on my list of bands to see. Having missed out on catching them at Strangeforms earlier in the year, this was my opportunity to make sure I saw them on their rise up to the top. As expected the band came out with a sonic onslaught with everything sounding spot on. The sets standout moment came from their new album’s title track ‘The Language of Injury’ which sounded incredible and got a sizable pit opened on the floor for the first time. Vocalist Djamila was on top form with incredible screams to lead the charge and despite having a fill in bassist for today’s set, the rest of the band were just as impressive and didn’t put a foot wrong all set. With today’s performance on the cards, it really wasn’t hard to see why they were so high up on the bill and hopefully this is just the start of their rise. Going out with a bang, final song ‘Impulse Crush’ went down a storm with the crowd reforming the pit to finish the set with style. This was definitely a set to remember and Ithaca certainly are a band that i’ll be recommending people to check out in the future.
Taking to the stage next were the first of tonight’s co-headliners Palm Reader. Being the only band I’ve caught before on the line up was an advantage as I already had a slight knowledge of just how good their live show was. Early mic issues caused a slight issue at the start but after a quick equipment switch this was fixed and the band cracked on. As ‘Internal Winter’ came through the amps, they continued as if nothing happened and didn’t look back from there putting on a very impressive set. a very tuneful Happy birthday was sang to vocalist Josh who whilst reluctant to receive the song later thanked everyone saying this night was a great way to celebrate turning 30. Back to the music and it was great to see that ‘Swarm’ lead directly onto ‘Inertia’ as part of the set. Things went even wilder for the next ten minutes and to no surprise the pit opened immediately with a few even trying to stage dive and crowd surf which was great to see and really added even more energy to the huge amounts flowing off the stage. Not content with just tracks from the incredible ‘Braille’, there was a nice treat of older track ‘I Watch the Fire Chase My Tongue’ which again cause a huge ruckus int he crowd and showed that there were plenty of long term Palm Reader fans in attendance. Ending things of perfectly with the mighty ‘A Lover, A Shadow’ which took the band out on a high with the crowd all shouting the words back and dancing along. As live performances go Palm Reader are certainly up there as one of the best around at the moment and definitely a band to be checked out if you aren’t already familiar with them.
Last to take to the stage were tonight’s second co-headliner and the Festival closers Ohhms. Bringing their mixture of Sludge and Doom metal, they weren’t a band that i had come across before tonight. Unfortunately as they took to the stage there seemed to be a much smaller audience present than for Palm Reader, whether this was due to it being late on or just the difference in styles from earlier bands it was still a little bit of a shame to see. This however didn’t stop Ohhms from giving it their all though and musically they couldn’t be faulted with their building style creating a very interesting soundscape. Unfortunately the earlier mic issues had returned however this wasn’t corrected until a fair way into the set which meant that the vocals didn’t hit as loud as they could and it sounded more instrumental that it would have. This slower style didn’t lend itself particularly well to being the final band on tonight as after energy of the previous bands the slow instrumentals and low riffs didn’t hit home quite as well on the tired crowd as they should have. The standout moment came as final track ‘Murder is Murder is Murder’ was blasted out. Being the last song you could see that the band threw everything into it and as both the bassist and vocalist thew themselves around the floor area in front of the stage as the crowd watched on in awe. It was a sure reward for those that had stuck around for the whole set and left the set on a nice ending. As said prior, the set was hurt by being so late on and this could have been much more impressive had the order been switched around on the day. Regardless they were musically very impressive and will certainly be one I consider seeing again to get the full Ohhms experience.
As the festival drew a to a close it was only right that props were given to both Bad Owl Presents and Holy Roar Records for putting on such a well ran event. All bands were set and ready to go well before they were due to start their sets which for a festival is a great feat. As well as this [Boom] never fails to be a good venue for getting up close and personal with the bands of tomorrow and apart from it being a little chilly this evening with highs of 1°c, a very good night was had. With one new band that i’ll be having on repeat already in We Never Learned To Live i also need to check out the three bands that I missed whilst seeing Yungblud. Given the caliber of the rest of the artists I saw I have no doubt that they’ll be pretty impressive. After such an incredible evening it only felt right to pick up some merch as well so if anyone needs me, I can be found hanging about in my new Louder Than God hoodie for the rest of winter. Hopefully with the success of today’s event it will return next year and if so I’ll definitely be back.