Sorry 2014, but you are going to find it a real struggle to top a tour like this, with the Killswitch Engage/Trivium co-headline tour rolling into town, with Battlecross and Miss May I in support. This show was always going to be special, and from start to finish each band was flawless; more riffs than you could shake many sticks at!
Making their UK debut were US Metallers, Battlecross who just came out and showed no signs of nerves, they settled in with so much ease and they brought a great live performance. It’s the first time this band have played venues this big outside the USA, but they sounded like their big hitting metal anthems belonged to venues this size; it’s amazing to see a band making their UK debut with so much confidence and conviction. They got heads banging and bodies moving, and as their lead singer said before the show, “We are the foreplay band” – they certain did tickle the audience pretty well! Playing tracks ‘Beast’ and ‘Flesh & Bone’ which, if given more exposure over here, could be big big songs for this band, they are playing Download in the summer and I cannot stress enough how much you have to check out this band!
Miss May I are another band set to make waves this year and prove yet again that this bill is one of the best to hit these shores! They storm their way through a set that sees lead singer Levi Benton command the stage, with the band showing that they are firing on all cylinders tonight.
They have already built a great reputation as a live band and they live up to the hype surrounding them at the moment, with a fierce and bold statement. With tracks like ‘Hey Mister’ in their back catalogue, which is an absolute banger, they have easily picked up more fans tonight. With a brand new album set for release this year, it was perfect timing for the band to lay down a new song in the form of ‘Gone’ which sounded ferocious and got bodies flailing.
Trivium came to the stage armed with brand new tracks of their latest album Vengeance Falls, which is an album that hasn’t spent that long playing through my speakers, but that has all changed now. The songs on this album have been constructed solely for ripping venues like Brixton academy apart; they are brutal with a healthy dose of riffs! The stage set up was impressive to say the least, and they pulled out all the tricks from up their sleeves. They had what destroyed the Titanic as their stage, with a giant iceberg filling up the stage, which looked amazing. This band still reach new heights with each show they play; they have mastered playing venues like this, and their anthems just sound immense in the aesthetics of the venue. It was a daring set from the band, playing a large amount of Vengeance Falls and playing tracks they have only just started to play on this tour. It was gutsy but they pulled it off and the reaction to songs like ‘Strife’ were phenomenal, the crowd went into a frenzy of swirling bodies! Matt Heafy’s voice is still prime and just gets better with age, the man is a complete metal frontman and he can shred on the lead guitar like a trooper as well. The set then transpired into something astronomical; the band played some right classics, like Down From The Sky and A Gunshot to the head of trepidation, which saw the crowd going absolutely wild.
One song that made its return to the Trivium setlist was the epic 11 minute long behemoth that is Shogun, which saw the snow fall to the stage and the crowd transfixed on the playing abilities that these musicians possess. However despite the spectacle, you can’t help feel that this made things a little subdued, it took up 1/6 of their set, which could have made way for more songs from In Waves, but that’s a personal opinion as I love the rest of the album! All in all it was a spectacular set from Trivium, and they showed why so many people think they’re an amazing act.
A band who seem to be completely relentlessly unstoppable at the moment is Killswitch Engage and tonight sees them really bring the fury, it’s a career defining performance! Since Jesse has returned the band have gone through a bit of a face-lift, and it has allowed them to write something fresh and exciting in the form of Disarm The Dissent, which was a true return to form. Tonight sees them completely steal the show- they are a band rejuvenated and ready to take over the world yet again and they prove that metalcore is still very much alive, especially with the pioneers still being on such great form.
This was the perfect Killswitch setlist, from start to finish they blended the old with new and the classics with the fan favourites. Jesse Leach has really come into his and has completely upped his game to smash his way through the Howard era songs and put his own personal stamp on them; he has made them his songs and the band couldn’t sound any better. Churning out the classics like ‘Arms Of Sorrow’, ‘My Last Serenade’ and ‘The End Of Heartache’ lead to sing-alongs that would awaken any foul beast from their internal slumber!
The band were wiping the floor with anyone in their path at the moment and the excitement surrounding Killswitch yet again is paramount. We were hit with a few tracks off the fantastic Disarm The Dissent which are already on the level with some of the classics, ‘New Awakening’ and ‘In Due Time’ have already reached that anthem status. The whole performance just mind-blowing and guitarist Adam was up to his usual bizarre antics, donning a pair of short shorts. I mean really, they were short, and coupled with a tight vest and a bandana, he looked like rather ravishing to say the least. Jokes aside, this is a band you should all start taking seriously again, the kings of metalcore have reclaimed their crown and are still redefining that genre of music. We Salute you!
Brave This Storm
Like Light to the Flies
No Way to Heal
Shattering the Skies Above
Through Blood and Dirt and Bone
A Gunshot to the Head of Trepidation
Down from the Sky
(Capsizing The Sea)
Pull Harder on the Strings of Your Martyr
A Bid Farewell
This Is Absolution
The New Awakening
The Arms of Sorrow
This Fire Burns
Beyond the Flames
Rose of Sharyn
My Last Serenade
Fixation on the Darkness
In Due Time
The End of Heartache
Review: James Hingle
Photos: Dominic Hemy