The atmosphere is heavy with the stale presence of smoke pumped in from the machine above our heads. The floor is stained by alcohol spilt in the furore generated by support band Hostile as they hammered through famed Judas Priest standard, Breakin’ the Law and several other covers and original songs.
Up against the rails, excited members of Reverted’s entourage jump up and down, waving beer cans in the air whilst teenage girls sway alone on the dance-floor until they are shoved forward by their excitable beaus.
At one point lead singer Tony Vega emerges from backstage in Jim Morrison t-shirt and baseball cap to leap about amongst his friends and fans in support of Hostile and then disappears again. He reappears much later as his band finally takes the stage to what sounds like a loop of White Zombie samples and the muffled recording of some assumedly weighty dialogue.
The band launch into the first song, a heavy, stylised track that stirs their audience into shouts of excitement, heavy boots stomping against the floor as the crowd reaches out for Vega and his stoic band-mates – guitarist Daniel Ruiz, bassist Luis L. Valle, and drummer and producer, Ozzy Preciado – and the atmosphere is less like a concert and more like a celebration between friends.
As the band move into second song, Pulse, I find myself impressed by just how supportive the fans and friends of this band are; the mix of dress styles and people present alluding to the band’s influence and connexions.
Yet at the same time, this supportive atmosphere is also slightly distracting. Such is the degree to which friends wished to document the gig that the casual audience are forced to move frequently for photographers and publicists or friends wishing to have their photo taken with the band playing in the background.
Based in Camden and boasting a style that is assuredly heavy, it is clear that Reverted are well seasoned in what they do. Vega’s vocals momentarily echoing Metallica’s James Hetfield and Ruiz’s guitar characteristically sharp and practiced, the gig certainly harkens back to the effusion of metal bands that characterised the late ‘90s.
The fourth and fifth songs follow together all too closely and things only pick up again with the arrival of the sixth song, a heavyDeftones sounding stomper.
There is the feeling that Reverted are still holding something back, still searching for something to truly set them aside from the sum of their influences.
It is almost as if Ruiz is waiting for the moment to fully unleash his guitar, and as an aside Reverted are heavy, yet often not heavy enough.
Although still lacking in direction, the band are graced with a supportive audience who seem prepared to stay the storm with them. As to whether such a blessing will help them achieve the growth they need remains to be seen.
Exhibiting promise, whilst Reverted have not as yet reached their goal, there is no doubting their dedication.
Their new single, Die My Saint, is available now from Bandcamp.