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Blurred Vision Live In Tunbridge Wells

Transplanted Iranian trio bring their eclectic sound to the UK.

Blurred Vision have a huge sound here, yet they also pull off the cunning trick of having an intimacy that highlights every aspect of their growing style. There might have been a disappointing crowd, or lack of one, at their first UK headlining show, but those who have made the trek are fully immersed in what is a revelatory performance.

If the trio showed when they opened for Uriah Heep earlier in the year that they have genuine individuality and flair then tonight they have stepped beyond the confines of their influences. Yes, you can hear the timbre of Pink Floyd, the tumble of Rush and the tumult of Muse, but these have now been developed into a style that firmly belongs to Blurred Vision.

Coming on dressed in white, the band march into No More War, striking up a distinctive wash of intricately poised musicianship and spiking melody. And from the start, everyone is fully engaged, with a growing realisation that we’re all witnessing something irresistible.

Most of the set inevitably comes from well-received debut album Organized Insanity, with the striding Wherever You Are and the supple Rollin’ On giving the Vision a chance to show their considerable range. Long May You Run and Wherever You Are pinpoint the way the three lock together almost telepathically.

But it’s on new song P.O.W. that the band’s rapid strides are put into focus. Still in the nascent stages, this is unquestionably going to become a classic when recorded for the next album. It begins with a ferocious onslaught, led by Sepp Osley’s brazen guitar, across which his brother Sohl lays a compact, fluent bass charge, while Ben Riley’s drum fills are both skilful and brutal.

It’s the way the three move around the composition that impresses. They interchange roles, delving through many different layers and tones. It’s riveting.

Just to spice things up, we also get an effective cover of The Yardbirds’ Heart Full Of Soul, before the hour ends with what is Blurred Vision’s badge of distinction, namely their superb rendition of Another Brick In The Wall, dedicated with clear emotion to the struggle for free speech in Iran. It’s a passion that bleeds through these songs, and is helping to set them apart. But then everything tonight makes this band a special case.

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.