An increasing buzz seems to be building around Inglorious as a significant new force on the UK rock scene. Though 2016 will see their official bow with a debut album, tour with The Winery Dogs and headline shows, this was a showcase for the industry to check the fuss out for themselves, not to mention a valuable dry run for the band.
Six months ago, they made their debut in similar circumstances at the Hippodrome but the contrast in venue could not be greater -to be greeted in the hallway by a metallic sculpture of thousands of guitars gives off more of a rock n roll vibe than curious tourists playing casino games.
Down in the studio basement, not only was the stage significantly smaller, but the six piece band (including a live keyboardist in Liam Holmes) are much tighter and disciplined than when I saw them then.
Indeed other than some nifty lead guitar work from Andreas Eriksson well-drilled teamwork was definitely the order of the day, even if with wildly diverging images you could not say the band has a distinct visual identity.
The cover versions that initially gained them attention and featured at the Hippodrome were also gone, at least for now, in a seven song, 30 minute showcase for their eponymous debut due early next year. The music was also significantly heavier than I expected, not least from a band signed to melodic rock specialist Frontiers.
There was no fluffiness in sight but a muscular and almost retro sound, epitomised by opener ‘Until I Die’ where the riffs were at time almost Sabbath-esque. It is Nathan James’ powerful roar that forms the focal point of their sound and ‘Breakaway’ came over as a missing song from Coverdale-era Deep Purple. It also helps that his blonde mane and leather jacket give him the right look.
‘High Flying Gypsy’, ‘Warning’ and ‘Girl Got A Gun’ all had the heaviness that would appeal to all lovers of the old school pioneers of hard rock, while ‘Holy Water’ dropped the pace being a slow smouldering bluesier number, without losing any of the heaviness. Indeed as if to prove their credentials the closing number ‘Unaware’ drew comparisons with Dio.
On this evidence Inglorious are making major strides forward and should hit the ground running in 2016. If any new band can capture the imagination of fans reared on classic hard rock and metal and make a big breakthrough, they stand as good a chance as any.
Review by Andy Nathan
Photos by John Bull and Laurence Harvey
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