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Live Review: Sworn Amongst, Hellfekted, Beyond Your Design, Those Once Loyal - The Hairy Dog, Derby

Review by Brady Moody

Let’s take a trip to the heart of Derby, to a special venue hosting a special line-up.

Welcome back to the scene, Sworn Amongst!

Supporting bands were Those Once Loyal, Beyond Your Design, and Hellfekted. The gig was held at the widely-cherished The Hairy Dog.

The stage was set and the opening band were met by fans eager to experience some of the best live metal music around.

The first band to take the stage was Those Once Loyal, a local act with a loyal following. They kicked off their set with a bang, launching into their signature melodic metalcore sound. The band's technical proficiency and tight musicianship were on full display throughout their set, with their intricate guitar work and pounding drums driving the energy of the room.

The tightness of this set was remarkable given the stand-in drummer only had one week to learn the set.

I’m very familiar with Those Once Loyal and every time I get the opportunity to see them, I get excited.

Vocalist Matt Smith’s energy never falls, and it’s carried by equally energetic music.

Finishing on the anthemic Carry You had those who knew the band singing as loud as they could along with them. Yet again, Those Once Loyal played an awesome set.

For the second time in a week, I’m treated to Beyond Your Design, who brought a heavier, more aggressive style to the stage.

Their breakdowns were bone-rattling, and the crowd responded in kind, with heads banging and excitement growing. The welcome addition of their new drummer, Sam Hughes (also known as Fireman Sam), helped propel the band to an intensity that was palpable.

The intensity of a set is something that’s difficult to maintain, especially when there’s technical issues.

Those damn wireless systems!

However, did these issues impact Beyond Your Design? It’s impossible for these issues to not impact a performance when they occur. The impact was relatively minimal though. They handled this situation with exceptional professionalism and composure; drawing on a clearly high level of knowledge of their gear.

Boasting one of the tightest and most polished sets in the underground metal scene, Beyond Your Design also demonstrated their ability to adapt and regain the same intensity as before. Something most bands would struggle with but these guys made look effortless.

Next up was Hellfekted, a band that had been generating buzz in the local scene. They did not disappoint, delivering a blistering set of old-school thrash metal.

The band's energy was infectious, the songs exciting and the sound was immense. Guitarist Becky’s tone was a uniquely beautiful balance between tone and distortion that cut through a thick layer of glorious metal. The tone was so good that I almost didn’t realise an epic bass solo! In general, the bass had a colossal presence! Yet somehow managed to not oversaturate the low end frequencies allowing for a punchy yet clear sound. Yet again, technical issues struck! An unplanned guitar change and another wireless issue later, normal service resumed of mind-blowing metal.

This is my first time seeing Hellfekted live, despite having first listened to them about 2 years ago. One thought lingers in my mind. This band could go toe to toe with the big 4 of thrash and do themselves proud. What. A. Band.

Finally, it was time for the headline act, Sworn Amongst, to take the stage. The band's reputation preceded them, and the anticipation was high. They didn't disappoint, delivering a set of crushing metal that was both technically impressive and emotionally charged. The crowd sang along to every word, and the mosh pits were more intense than ever before. The band's frontman was a true showman, but the entire band’s interactions with the crowd injected a new level of energy for the night. It wasn’t long until there were mosh pits, some questionable attempts at dancing and even a wall of death.

Photo by caheniker

For those who haven’t heard of Sworn Amongst, it’s easy to understand the hype. Ear piercing screams with mind numbing riffs and a feverish liveliness bring together an incredible sound. Ashley Currie’s clean vocals perfectly complemented the powerful tones coming from the guitars. What stood out to me wasn’t Ashley’s vocals but his face-melting solos!

It’s wonderful to see four talented musicians come together to create something genuinely special. If you haven’t already caught Sworn Amongst, don’t miss out on them. They are going places.

This was an unforgettable experience that showcased the breadth and depth of the metal scene. Each band brought their unique style and energy to the stage, creating an atmosphere of pure metal mayhem. The crowd was passionate and engaged throughout the night, proving once again that metal music is alive and well.

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