Up the Junction

Reading's Exit Ten have been gathering plaudits from virtually every corner since they arrived on the scene a couple of years ago. Today their brand of melodic and well-structured metal goes down very well in front of a decent sized crowd.

I'm not sure what it is today but something isn't quite right; the guitars are too quiet, the vocals a little too loud and the two just don't seem to gel. Taking each individually you couldn't fault the performances but as a unit they just don't deliver the impact they did last time I saw them at Download in 2006. The musicianship is certainly impressive and Ryan Redman's clean, melodic vocals are strong and he gives a good performance, working the stage well, playing to the crowd and climbing up on the amps.

There's a healthy dose of progressive metal in their sound and this works better with the sound mix but ultimately they just lack bite today and you have to think that more hardcore vocals would have made the difference. The song structures work well though and they show good versatility so even though the sound isn't that great you can understand what all the fuss is about.

Exit Ten didn't get voted Best unsigned British band by a certain magazine last year for no reason and although they don't deliver all that they're capable of today there's enough evidence to suggest that the title is warranted.