Gig Review by Kirsty Hillyer with Gig Photos by Lee Allen

CROSSFIATH (13 of 33)

Tonight’s show was bought to you by the letter C and the shape circle, not least because three bands’ names on the bill start with this letter.

Cytota

CYTOTA (8 of 11)

With four-band line-up on a Friday night it means early doors so we can all be kicked out for club night fun. This scenario always makes me sad for the first band up who will have to play to a fairly empty room. Local lads Cytota are first up and this bunch of young metal core ruffians is certainly poised for good things.

CYTOTA (9 of 11)

I’m sure newly joined lead singer, Griffin Dickinson, hates that this fact will be in every article ever but as the son of Bruce Dickinson he would have failed at life if he hadn’t learned anything from this front man legend. Thankfully he has, and as first band of the night he totally and perfectly plays the crowd. With a lacklustre applause and quarter full room at the start the crowd are swiftly beguiled by the energy and passion displayed by this band throughout their set.

CYTOTA (5 of 11)

Whilst it took the crowd a while to warm up after a cold rainy time in the queue it was all down to the graft of their frontman. Asking for energy from the crowd, enquiring requests for a circle pit were answered but coaxed along by mild threats of him jumping in too… that both he and the bassist did by the end of the set. Lots of on stage flinging around, foot stomps and splayed hands in the air prove these guys are willing to do the work and continue to build their fan base. They certainly have the anthemic songs with poised breaks for the bouncing to pull it off. Their decision to change singers during the album writing process has certainly proved the right decision for them. There is a hunger and caged energy to this band which both transcends and reflects their barely legal to drink (if at all) ages. With other big support slots to come they are one to watch!

CYTOTA (3 of 11)

“Best bit of shows is when you play something that means something and the crowd is kicking off for you!” – Griffin Dickinson.

Coldrain

COLD RAIN (1 of 6)

Surprisingly the next band up is Japan’s Coldrain, why these guys are second on the bill astounds me. It is clear they know how to work a small stage to create big arena drama effectively as they set up lights to blind us and the fog machine is set to go. They build the tension to a crescendo with their entrance music before singer Masato straight up screams “Biiiiiirminghaaaaaam” and they open with ‘The Revolution’.

COLD RAIN (18 of 21)

COLD RAIN (3 of 21)

However, their status quo of playing to big arenas filled with obedient coordinating bouncing crowds means they need to work a bit harder here as the crowd warm up to them by following the clapping cues only and not the requests to bounce. But by the time the second song is done the metal hands are up and the crowd are in. From effortless drumming and a frontman that cajoles the crowd with his superb English and lyric schooling so the crowd can sing along; they are a band that should be bigger here. Masato even Checks on whether we pronounce the ‘h’ pronunciation in Birmingham.

COLD RAIN (17 of 21)

This Japanese metalcore band bring a tough looking edge to tonight’s proceedings and a set packed with mainstream Linkin Park-esque musical offerings. With chest bumping, an old school mic and a megaphone in tow I’m sure they’ll be on the festival circuit soon thanks to new worldwide distribution through Hopeless Records and this last year in previous European support slots for the likes of Bullet For My Valentine. If you haven’t caught these guys yet then make sure you do next time.

Silent Screams

SILENT SCREAMS (10 of 11)

The crowd at this point were perfectly primed for Crossfaith, sadly the next band up, Coventry lads Silent Screams, brought the tumbleweed. Welcomed on stage with the most lack lustre slow clap I’ve ever seen shows what a bad band order this was, and how out of place on the bill these guys are. If you’ve ever read my reviews before you’ll know my hatred of arrogant front men that can’t back it up or lack the gravitas to pull it off. We are instantly greeted by frontman Joel Haywood, with the hardcore screamo vocals, failing to incite the crowd with finger wiggles. Inked to the eyeballs Joel “Mr Angry” Haywood requests to bounce and about 5 hands go up.

SILENT SCREAMS (2 of 11)

I will forever refer to him as Mr Angry; with lyrics like live for dead, fuck the future and repetitive mic on head hitting you can see why. Their self-adulation is shown when guitarist Ozzi Osman ends the opener song with a fist in the air and a ‘fuck yeah’ like it was the best they’d ever played to the best crowd ever. Definitely read the situation wrong. Let’s just say these guys are the outcome of Bring me the Horizon and Alexisonfire having a metalcore abortion.

SILENT SCREAMS (1 of 2)SILENT SCREAMS (2 of 2)

I fear half the crowd eventually responded to the petulant circle pit demands out of boredom, whilst a quarter mock danced with them. Mr Angry even high fived the crowd like it was going off. I guess I’m just bored of super clichéd alternative bands on the circuit, with members who are covered in so much ink at such a young age that you can’t help feel it is for a certain brand and aesthetic for attention rather than for any deeper meaning. Even more so when we have an Oli Sykes wannabe on bass and melodic vocals in the shape of Tom Craig, who has a rose tattoos on his neck also. Has the Black Country re-purposed some of their old heavy industry factories to create a band-cloning factory? Bored now, let’s move on.

Crossfaith

CROSSFIATH (3 of 33)

After the dip in the evening’s entertainment everyone is anxious for Crossfaith. Considering how the crowd went off for them on main stage Download I am surprised this gig isn’t in the main room. After seeing these guys on the Kerrang Tour I’m pretty certain I urged you all to make a point of checking them out live. Where were you all??

CROSSFIATH (30 of 33)

As always Terufumi Tamano on keyboards and Tatsuya Amano on drums sneak on to check their instruments; the drum sound check is delivered to rapturous applause cueing the Cross faith chanting. As they individually make their entrance onto light up risers for their elevated fist pump, the pit opens up as soon as singer Kole Kenta screams ‘We are the fucking future” to open the set.

CROSSFIATH (22 of 33)

By the time we get to the second number, ‘Rounds of the Apocalypse’, the circle pit is on and everyone is moving. If you came for a quiet show then it was the stairs and balcony for you. These polite, energetic gentlemen confirm Birmingham as the place of heavy metal and implore us to show out metal soul. Birmingham certainly delivered. As the alcohol starts to flow ready for ‘Jagerbomb’, Kole declares “its really fucking amazing and the best moment on the tour”.

CROSSFIATH (7 of 33)

With a spray of Jack Daniels over the crowd Jagerbomb starts and the crowd go off before Terufumi leaps into the crowd to surf just as the song kicks back in. Everyone is lapping it up and Crossfaith rise to the occasion with an electric atmosphere of a crowd bent on a night of sweat, bruises and exhaustion as they end the show on Leviathon.

CROSSFIATH (18 of 33)

Even if metalcore isn’t your genre of listening preference, if there is an ounce of metal in you then you will not be disappointed in seeing these guys live. The energy, the lights, the commitment to delivering an incredible show filled with passion creates a dialogue and atmosphere with the crowd that is pretty darn contagious. Fucking awesome show!

CROSSFIATH (31 of 33)

See Lee’s complete photoset (90 glorious photos) from the Crossfaith + Silent Screams + Coldrain + Cytota gig at our Flickr page.

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