LIVE: As Lions, Monument, Stellify, Brutai @ Camden Barfly

By Adam Rosario
Camden Barfly is absolutely rammed with anticipation for the birth of a band who have promise to be the next big metal band to come out of this fine country. As Austin Dickinson states numerous times throughout As Lions’ debut set, tonight is about ‘British Metal’.
Opening proceedings are South East London’s Brutai. Incorporating a thrash metal sound with a keyboard and some brutal riffs to back up their sound, they waste no time in laying siege to the stage. Singer and guitarist Felix Lawrie, looks like a man on a mission and sings like one too. Being able to change key from a succulent singing voice to a ferocious growl is no easy task & many singers struggle to do so. Lawrie makes it look effortless and with their French drummer, Mathieu Bauer working like a monster in the background, Brutai show that they deserve recognition as well. New single ‘Relapse’ sounds massive and these guys are certainly one to watch.
Next up, to add an 80s country metal flavour to the proceedings are Stellify. Throughout their set, they touch upon many influences, ranging from The Eagles to Foo Fighters, all of which come together with excellent vocal work and a very tight knit group of musicians. Stand out song, ‘Sin City’ is a grizzled affair, sounding very much like Queens of The Stone Age, both musically and vocally. Definitely a band to lift the mood at a gig.
Monument are here to show that they mean business. All hair & looking like they took the Deloren to the 80s and back, they create a party atmosphere in their set. Sounding in parts like KISS, their set is high octane and all about involvement. Fist pumping, crowd singalongs and a lot of jumping are shown… And that’s just during the opening salvo ‘Attack’. ‘The Crusaders’ and ‘Midnight Queen’ are both highlights and the band are back at the Barfly in April to headline. The definition of a party band if there ever was one.
As the clock shows 22.20, As Lions take to the stage for the first time in public. And Dickinson is in a party mood. Featuring former members of the now defunct Rise To Remain, in their place is a band of 5 guys who look like they’re living their dream. Having released only one song so far, they’ve managed to play to a very near capacity Barfly. Their sound is one which is definitely too big to be played in venues of this size. ‘The Suffering’ erupts in a barrage of riffs and pounding drums whilst only released song so far ‘The Fall’ has mass appeal all over it. During the latter, Dickinson jumps in the pit and marshals all around him. They then dive into the ‘heavy as balls’ ‘The Great Escape’ which has been knocking about for a year. Over the 6 song set, As Lions prove that they are a force. They join the company of Marmozets and Baby Godzilla as being the most exciting bands in UK heavy music. With an EP coming later this year, they’re going to be a growing band and they’ll grow very quickly.
From the ashes of a band with so much potential come a band with even more potential. Get on the bandwagon now because As Lions won’t be in small venues like the Barfly for long.