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Collibus, live in London

Collibus come to Camden

The prog-metal arena keeps on growing, but while the scene is starting to get saturated with a lot of bands who offer nothing exceptional, Collibus are growing into their potential as one of the best young bands around.

Coming on to the rather inappropriate strains of Asia’s Heat Of The Moment, their 40 minute performance tonight concentrates on recent debut album The False Awakening. As compared to record, though, onstage the band are now a different beast. They have learnt to strap a fearsome attack to the intricacies of the studio music.

Gemma Fox possesses a ferociously concussive voice, leading the band with the confident air of someone who knows she’s a strong personality. Gemma has the sort of attitude that demands the limelight. But she never overshadows the rest of the band. Guitarists Stephen Platt and Daniel Mucs combine with an aura that draws from Megadeth, Dream Theater, Cynic and Gojira. But they’re rapidly developing their own patterns, and now really give the material an extra dimension.

Even having a stand-in drummer didn’t affect the momentum and prowess. Tom Rice, wearing a Gentle Giant T-shirt to show his prog affiliations, did a spirited and sensible job underpinning the sound.

The enthusiastic reaction to the way the Manchester band let rip suggests they’re building a seismic future. One of the names to watch for 2015.

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.