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Will Haven, Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, 26th November, 2001

The first of two support bands was Cyclefly who never fail to impress. Declan O'Shea, now without his fuck-off, red dreads but with short red mohawk is every inch the perfect frontman. Between rolling around the stage, tearing at himself and trying to crawl into the monitors, the venue may have only been half full but this clearly didn't hinder his performance. 'Crawl down' and 'The Hive' were met with uproar from the front row as Declan led his band through aural heaven. His mix of sad-happy-deranged singing left some people confused but those who got it were seriously impressed. The highlight of their set was of course the always frantic 'Supergod', which prompted the closest thing to pit action.

Next up were Sugar Coma, who didn't deserve to be placed above Cyclefly on the bill. Their set was fairly unimpressive, except for the last four songs. The crowd was obviously unfamiliar with their material but the fact that they don't have great songs really did help them at all. With a little more time spent writing decent songs, like 'Bed of dolls', Sugar Coma could probably build up quite a loyal following. They have the talent but they need to look a little less scared, especially if they are going to be playing in front of a crowd of old school, long-haired metal fans. Oh, and their drummer really needs to learn to use something apart from his ride cymbal, which I'm sure he loves very much but it did get a little monotonous after a while.

And then there was Will… Will Haven that is. With a sound that is heavier than a crate full of spanners, they played their instruments like four large, angry and very hungry grizzly bears. Grady has the voice of an angel set on fire which he uses to its full bellowing potential, especially on 'If she could speak', with its "I will not dance for you" refrain. Being unfamiliar with the material it was hard to distinguish songs but they were all just so heavy it was unbelievable.

The pit tore chunks out of itself for 'Moving to Montana; and pretty much every other song with bodies flying everywhere. On stage things weren't much different with hair and limbs combining into frenzy. Nu-metal can come and go but it's gigs like these that remind you what real metal should sound like.

Ken McGrath

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