A Storm of Light @ The Croft, Bristol 05.10.10

Just as wonderfully dark and dingy as ever, The Croft never disappoints. It is especially lovely for this Bearded writer tonight since he hasn’t paid a visit in over a year. Quickly noticeable are the whole host of new posters on the walls and a brand new gig room to add to the already sweaty quarters. But alas, tonight is no night for new room distractions as Brooklyn metallers A Storm of Light have come to entertain with a few friends.

Oct 5th, 2010 at The Croft, Bristol / By Richard Kemp
A Storm of Light Over to promote newest long player Forgive Us Our Trespasses and provide everyone with a jolly good knees-up, the three-piece are visiting Bristol as part of their UK tour. Along for the ride are both local bands Merrick and Sons of the Sand. After some hard, thrusting rhythm from Sons of the Sand and Merrick’s fun, almost danceable metal melodies, A Storm of Light gratefully take the stage.

With a looming video backdrop and thoroughly dimmed lights, the three lads appear a force if not to be reckoned with, then at least not to be trifled with. As the boys jump into their big, crunching riffs and booming percussion, the video backdrop displays all manner of depressing image. There’s poverty, oil, war, famine, fire, explosions, demolition and even 2001-esque jump cuts into space.

All very powerful stuff and with good reasoning behind it, as lead guitarist Josh Graham explains after the show. The video is there to invoke more of the meaning out of his lyrics. Graham insists that his lyrics are both environmentally and politically-charged, so the videos act as a harsh means of really sending the message home.

What message exactly? “We have to change,” Graham states plainly. Change must occur or nature will finally fall victim to our torment. Graham talks a bit about the Sixth Extinction – a belief of certain scientists that after ice ages and meteors, we humans are the sixth plague to come across this fair planet.

A Storm of Light use the stage to convey this somewhat saddened message to a gasping public. Graham admits that the video art plays just as important a role as the musicians themselves. At the Bristol gig, though the video’s heart was obviously in the right place you couldn’t help but feel that they were trying to find as many depressing images as possible to guilt you into nodding along with them. Perhaps if the video was a bit less shocking and a little more artsy it would have sent a stronger message across.

Normally a quartet, the boys do well enough without vocalist Zorah Atash who awaits them in France to continue on their European tour. Graham chimes his words down the microphone as drummer BJ Graves speeds away and bassist Domenic Seita jumps wildly all over the place. Plenty of energy fizzes between the boys – especially from Seita who looks so angered he wants to break his guitar in half.

Although the vocals come off a tad muffled on the night, A Storm of Light’s riff-laden, encircling ruckus very easily makes the crowd stop in their tracks and watch closely as they explode on stage.

As for the album itself, it was a complete musical collaboration between the group. Graham’s first vocation is as an artist and he produced all the artwork for this latest record and proceeding live shows. Not only that, but he has also done the LP artwork for bands Neurosis and Soundgarden.

So, these lads have obviously been at it for a while now. When asked if they hope playing around the UK will help them become more popular,, Graham answers humbly, “We’re simply happy to be on tour playing music that we like ourselves.”