Orestea and To The Lions at Portland Arms 24th August 2011

Orestea live at the Cambridge Portland Arms August 2011

The tunes are catchy – “We can be Ruthless, we can be flawless, we can do anything” –  Those were the words still going through my head when I woke up the next day after the great gig from Orestea and To the Lions at the Cambridge Portland Arms.

To the Lions live at the Cambridge Portland Arms

To the Lions were on the bill last time Orestea played this venue and it was great to see them play together again.  Full of energy they delivered a set that punched much harder than you’d expect from a band third on the bill of a venue this size.  A foundation of old school metal mixed with a bit of Sepultura, maybe some Korn and some death growls but backed with pure talent, fast sharp riffs and complex rhythms.  We get new song Breathe, but sadly not their excellent cover of Love Gun.

To the Lions Live at the Cambridge Portland Arms 2011

It’s a short set but relentlessly heavy.  On the web there appear to be a few bands of this name so these are the URLs you need http://tothelions.co.uk/ and  http://www.reverbnation.com/tothelions

Next up Sondura and I was expecting heavy from their logo.  I wasn’t disappointed and they delivered 30 minutes of melody heavy straight metal.  The busy venue by this point was sweltering with heat, time to grab another beer, another midsummer madness.

Orestea live at the Portland Arms Cambridge  Orestea live at the Portland Arms Cambridge

Orestea were the band I’d come to see tonight and by the time they hit the stage shortly after 10, as I was looking down into my third pint of midsummer madness.  Great beer!   They have a musical talent that is amazing to see at a band that I imagine is still at it’s genesis.  A heavy background with Lisa’s vocals slightly softening the heavy blow of the music resulting in a dynamite sound.   Made me think of how Alanis Morisette would sound if she was backed by Machine Head’s rhythm section.  Guitarists Lloyd Wilson and Luke Genders rock with complex finger work whilst Will Crozier pounds away in the background and Mike Quinn holds solid rhythm down but they seem restricted by the size of the stage for a 5 piece.  We get a selection from their recent “Love lines and Blood Ties” album which is fairly instantly cathy metal music.

Orestea live at the portland Arms Cambridge

Ruthless is a radio friendly anthem and I hope it does them well – dare I even call it pop-metal.  It was only five months since they last played this venue on an epic UK tour of the clubs – hard working they definitely are and I hope it pays off to see them headline larger stages.

Orestea: http://www.orestea.com/

To The Lions: http://tothelions.co.uk/

Sondura: http://www.myspace.com/sondura

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