Ithaca + Gutter + Grief Ritual @ The Victoria, 5th August 2022

With the Commonwealth Games currently bringing the best of athletics to the city of Birmingham, on Friday evening it was The Victoria that brought the current medal winners of metal to the city, as Ithaca headlined in support of their critically revered second album They Fear Us.

Opening the show were Gutter and Grief Ritual, who found themselves on this date as part of their own mini tour across the UK, and with the room already full to capacity before they even came on both bands received a fantastic reception and got the night off to a great start. Acting as main support for the evening were Pupil Slicer, who’s brand of disjointed mathcore really got the crowd going ahead of the evening’s headliners. Even with vocalist/guitarist Kate Davies stood behind her guitar for the majority of the band’s set, the energy never faltered as your ears became awash with a glorious cacophony of screaming, wailing and awkward time signatures.

Currently riding the wave of their critically acclaimed second album, Ithaca are the buzz band of the moment and it showed from the evening’s bumper crowd at The Victoria. With the album being a very visually cohesive project in terms of album cover, marketing and videos, the band took to the stage dressed all in white with lead vocalist Djamila Azzouz wearing a fabulously striking orange dress.

Playing the majority of the set made up of material from the latest record highlighted how serious and proud the band are of it, opting for cleaner vocals and drawing in inspirations from a range of more varied
places. This didn’t translate particularly well however due to poor sound mixing that meant that all clean vocals were lost somewhere in the mix with only the heavier screaming vocals coming through.

That’s not to say the band didn’t put on a fantastic performance however, with the passion and intensity not letting up despite the intense heat of the venue. And tracks such as ‘In The Way’, ‘Camera Eats First’ and ‘Cremation Party’ really did slay in the live environment and prove why the band are on such a seemingly upwards trajectory.

Feature photograph courtesy of PR credit Martyna Wisniewska

Review by: Dan Earl



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