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My Ruin, Voodoo, Dublin, 6th December 2003

First of all, let me say that Voodoo is a great venue to hold gigs and I'm surprised that more metal shows haven't been played here. It's small and intimate and the atmosphere is great, heightened by the lack of electric lights and dependence on candles. I'm sure that any of the one hundred odd people who showed last Saturday would agree.

Despite being packed onto a stage the size of a postage stamp, Murder One delivered a fantastic performance, shot through with raging force, brutality and emotion, mainly anger. The sextet ploughed a furrow so deep and laden with barbs that you would have been happy to go home after just seeing them. Co-frontman Paul looked like an electrified zombie throughout, all twitching limbs and staggered motions, growled vocals and guttural screams. As if that wasn't fearsome enough, their other vocalist, more well known as Raging Speedhorn's John, occupied the other side of the stage, bellowing and looking like he was going to beat the shit out of anyone who glanced sideways at him.

If Charger had been anything less than brutally heavy and uncompromising you, would have been surprised. Their dirge like riffs, animal drumming and pained vocals were, well not a joy to watch, but something special to behold. With their full-length debut out and a new growler up front, combined with the fact that this was their first time in Ireland since playing with Amen in February 2001, expectations were high and they didn't disappoint. Unfortunately, they had to cut their set to four songs because of time constraints. They had better be back soon to play a full-length show.

After what had already gone down, My Ruin were a huge disappointment. Tarrie B has always complained about the press giving her a hard time because she's a woman in a metal band and I respect her for that. It doesn't matter what you are, male, female or malformed donkey if you're good, you're good. My Ruin are not. In fact, they were painful to watch.

The sound was hollow and empty, lacking the depth and fullness so ripe in Murder One and Charger's sets. 'Made to measure' off their latest album is probably My Ruin's best song, but here, for some bizarre reason, conjured up memories of The Wildhearts. Go figure. If Miss B and company don't want to keep getting shown up by their support acts, they are going to have to concentrate on writing some better songs.

Ken McGrath.

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