Sylosis, Exit Ten and The Defiled gave it their all at the Islington Academy, London, on November 9, at a free gig designed to promote an ever-present drinks company.

I’ve ranted about commercial corporations starting to run the music industry before, so I couldn’t let the chance to attend the first ever “Jagermeister tour” slip by without seeing what it was all about.

You can’t really complain if someone puts on a gig of great up-and-coming UK bands for free (although someone else was clearly trying to claw back the money through the drinks prices).

I suppose you can complain though, if you were one of the people who bought Metal Hammer and then texted the special number in order to obtain entry to this gig only to then see hundreds of others getting in just because they emailed one of the bands later on, but I digress…

In terms of both looks and tunes The Defiled reminded me of nu-metal also-rans American Head Charge, but without that band’s catchy choruses. They have a few good riffs, occasionally getting a bit Pantera-ish, but overall their performance largely passed me by.

Considering the gig was free and a “sell out”, the venue seemed nowhere near full to capacity at any point, nevertheless Exit Ten got a loud sing-a-long going to tunes like Warriors.

It’s impossible to argue with singer Ryan Redman’s infectious enthusiasm, and he showed off his impressive vocal range brilliantly on their new, slow, pretty, song (the name of which I didn’t catch).

I hope they won’t sacrifice any of their heavi(ish)ness on their forthcoming album, because barn-storming closer Technically Alive was a reminder of what this band is capable of when it mixes heavi(ish)ness with big choruses.

“Are you guys enjoying drinking the free Jager?” Redman asked at one point, clearly not having been told how steep the drinks prices in the venue actually were.

Sylosis emerged on stage to raucous chanting of their name as they tend to everywhere these days.

Singer/lead guitarist Josh Middleton didn’t show any sign of the throat infection that was bothering him while delivering his devastating vocals.

It was the first time that the band had performed Withered and The Blackest Skyline with his screaming over the top and he did a fine job.

I’m still yet to hear the new line-up play any songs which have clean vocals in though, which would let me judge his skills properly.

New songs Sands of Time and Altered States got an airing, although these are now familiar tunes to anyone who has seen the band since the summer.

The crowd’s reaction wasn’t the best I’ve ever seen for Sylosis (maybe because no one paid to get in), and the set was annoyingly short, but overall the band put on a really good performance.

And anyway, you can’t argue with that entrance price.

The tour moves on to: Liverpool Academy 2 November 10, Newcastle Academy 2 November 11, Glasgow ABC2 November 12 and finishes in Birmingham at the Academy 2 on November 13.