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Fear of Hatred, a project started originally in the mid 90s by main songwriter and vocalist Steve Cowan and currently in its ‘third phase’ after various changes to the line-up, come on stage looking confident, with all members wearing sunglasses, until at the end of the first song when guitarist Craig Furniss asks “can I take these fuckin’ glasses off now?”. After an initially atmospheric but heavy start to their set, the pace picks up in second song ‘Destruction of the Nile’, which incorporates a skilled solo from stand-in second guitarist Paul Etcell, and sees the band’s two vocalists moving to perform on the area in front of the stage (due to the stage itself being incredibly small with practically no room for them to manoeuvre). Probably best described as an almost industrial wall of sound with the use of drum machine and atmospheric keyboards on backing and crunching overdriven guitars, their music has a skilled and layered sound, without sounding muddy or messy, as can often be the case with bands that ‘have a lot going on’ in their live sound. Also, the varied vocal styles of the two lead singers, ranging from growled to spoken and sometimes slightly off-key vocals, fit the music perfectly, adding depth and originality. ‘Elegy for No-one’ follows on from a couple more frenetic songs, starting with more down-tempo, melodic guitars, and then developing into a massive sonic soundscape of guitars, bass and keys that has an almost modern psychedelic feel in the way that it builds up as the melodies develop. ‘The Candle Burns’ follows on from this, with a sound slightly reminiscent of Fields of the Nephilim, which fades out to guitars and the solid bass of Ice at the end. Their set concludes with ‘Egoism‘, a song with quite a good groove and fan favourite according to their MySpace, where Cowna really gives it his all on vocals. A truly fitting end to an excellent gig.
Saturday 23rd August 2008
Travellers Rest in Lincoln, UK
Review by Hannah Sylvester; photography by Mark Holmes
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