Live: Malevolence / Pain Of Truth / Rough Justice

Epic Studios, Norwich February 8, 2024

by Andy Hodson

Hardcore originators Rough Justice get the night started with a very short set in a too-empty venue.

It’s a bit of a shame there aren’t more people here early to catch them – not least because the Sheffield band will have struggled to find anywhere else on this tour with better sound and production than they enjoy tonight.

Rough Justice deserve a better turnout (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Rough Justice deserve a better turnout (Picture: Paul Hampson)

They seem a bit deflated by the small turn-out, but they shouldn’t be, and it would be good to see them in front of a bigger crowd and given more stage time.

Numbers have swelled a bit by the time Pain Of Truth get into their stride, with the New Yorkers playing a number of songs from their Not Through Blood album.

Pain Of Truth bring energy to proceedings (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Pain Of Truth bring energy to proceedings (Picture: Paul Hampson)

It means the interaction between the stage and the floor picks up, and we get the first circle pit of the night.

There’s immediately more energy around the place, and standout songs include Actin’ Up, Scarred and the album’s title track.

Getting into it: Pain Of Truth (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Getting into it: Pain Of Truth (Picture: Paul Hampson)

There’s also an outbreak of step dancing, although it’s fair to say that not everyone quite gets the hang of it…

Headliners Malevolence announce their arrival with a mighty explosion of songs.

The headliners are on top form (Picture: Paul Hampson)
The headliners are on top form (Picture: Paul Hampson)

They start as they mean to go on with Malicious Intent and at no point show any intention of dialling it down.

The onslaught continues with the likes of Life Sentence, Slave To Satisfaction and Waste Of Myself.

Malevolence are intense throughout (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Malevolence are intense throughout (Picture: Paul Hampson)

The performance isn’t quite as chaotic as some of their shows, and they’ve probably been a bit louder on occasions, too, but when they have songs such as these in their locker there can be no complaints.

The whole band are clearly digging it, big time. There’s no let-up from any of them until Charlie Thorpe’s drum solo – and even then, Thorpe himself gets no respite as he delivers his thrilling interlude, accompanied by a lightshow that gives the rig a proper workout at this fabulous venue.

Dial it down? No chance… (Picture: Paul Hampson)
Dial it down? No chance… (Picture: Paul Hampson)

The South Yorkshire outfit wrap things up with Keep Your Distance and Broken Glass help see the evening finish on a terrific high, and the whole performance is as exhilarating as it is exhausting.

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