The Prognosis Gullivers Takeover: Live Review
Words: Danny Thornton | Photos: Anthony Firmin
The 2nd August sees Manchester's progressive metal titans Prognosis return to home soil for the first time since November of last year. Not content to just play any old show the lads have truly outdone themselves in providing the Friday night revellers with a veritable spectacle, taking over two separate live rooms and organising a varied and interesting snapshot of the North West's diverse music scene.
Kicking off the proceedings tonight is solo acoustic act Lewin Cantor whose reverb drenched soulful set and incredible guitar chops wooed the audience. He played a great cover of Massive Attack's Tear Drop. Interesting stuff and he did a great job of making sure he was heard over the loud Metallers making noise in the corner!
Next up were progressive metal four piece Konom on the Main Stage upstairs. Taking to the stage with seemingly boundless energy the band were full of dynamics and the musicians themselves were seemingly an incredibly talented bunch. While their music was not really to my taste I cannot deny the skill and professionalism with which they delivered their set. Vocalist Arya has a really powerful voice which he manages to keep clean even when singing at volume and guitarist Dan played some really nice almost Guthrie Govan-esque solos. One point of contention would be that the sound was very heavy on the drums which were at some point drowning out the rest of the band - still the audience didn't seem too perturbed.
Back downstairs we go to catch another acoustic set this time delivered by one half of Sky Valley Mistress. Dressed all in white and armed only with an acoustic guitar (played by Starsky) vocals and a shaker, Kayley "Hell Kitten" Davies blew the roof off the venue from the get go. Their set came to crescendo during a cover of Sound Garden's Black Hole Sun which got everybody in the room singing along with Davies soulful, tortured vocals. I also snuck back into the acoustic room later in the night and could hear them jamming some other tunes and can't give them praise enough, what a band!
It's just past 9 and Glasgow's Darkness Divine take to the stage. Energetic and thoroughly enjoying themselves the band led by singer Toni-Benedetti-Martin tear through a spirit melodic metal set which got everybody going. The aforementioned drums from earlier drowned everything out for the first song but this was thankfully fixed pretty quickly and when it did we were treated to a tight band with great stage presence. Never having seen the band before I was impressed with their song writing and Benedetti-Martin’s stage charisma. Having gone back and listened to their debut ep Prelude I will definitely be checking these guys out if they play around Manchester again.
And now the moment the night has been building up to.....It's time for Prognosis.
Before the lads have even taken to the stage the venue is filling up almost to breaking point and the energy in the room is electric. This is their hometown and we in Manchester haven't had nearly enough of our Prognosis fix as of late.
As soon as they launch into opening number Drones the crowd goes absolutely berserk and the band are all grins (especially guitarist Phil Weller). This was the sound of a band truly riding high and with their next gig being Into The Grave Festival with Death Angel and Opeth it's not hard to see why.
The rhythm section of drummer Aaron James Youd and bassist/vocalist Danny Daemon are tight and groovy while guitarists Christian Hickson and Phil Weller's different playing styles complement each other perfectly. A real highlight for me was being able to hear Phil Weller's vocals and just how well they have developed. Also the addition of A screen playing artwork while they were performing just shows how professional Prognosis have become.
If you get a chance to see these guys in a club in Manchester take it because if this gig is anything to go by very soon they will be playing much bigger venues.