We Came As Romans
We Came As Romans
We Came As Romans
War From A Harlot’s Mouth
War From A Harlets Mouth
War From A Harlets Mouth
Your Demise
Your Demise
Your Demise
Your Demise
Your Demise

When there’s no more room in hell, the dead will walk the earth. Or, when there’s no more room in a sorely over-populated hardcore scene, they’ll whack seven of ‘em on a bill and send them on the road. The Imperial Never Say Die tour is yet another HC package bill that seem to be quite the trend, and for good reason. It’s certainly a money-spinner as fans can see a host of similar acts for the price of a single mid-priced ticket, although it does lead to certain gripes, such as the merchandise price-matching leading to charges of £20 for a shirt and £40 for a hoodie, which unfortunately is fast becoming the norm in these corporate-sponsored live music environments. Also, doors opening earlier than advertised can often lead to your crowds missing a couple of the opening bands, myself arriving just as Your Demise were running through their set. With much too short of a time to impose an impression upon me, I’ll reserve judgement until next time.

Emmure
Emmure
Emmure
Emmure

This meant that BLEEDING THROUGH were up next, and they really, really aimed for the jugular tonight. Coming out of the blocks with all of the presence and aggression of a wounded animal, they exploded straight into ‘Love Lost in a Hail of Gunfire’, the opening track from breakthrough album ‘This is Love, This is Murderous’. Despite my fears that they may be a couple of scenes removed from the majority of this crowd, they provoked a decent reaction, and when coupled with the opening track from follow-up ‘The Truth’, namely ‘For Love and Failing’, they won over the crowd in no time at all. Imposing frontman Brandan stalked the stage, spitting out his venomous eulogies and inspiring eye-wateringly large circle pits, whilst guitarists Dave and Manny flanked him, wrenching out scando-metal-inspired leads and chunky, metallic breakdowns. From Marta’s gothic keyboard to the blastbeats peppered throughout the set, they are an altogether darker proposition than many of their contemporaries, with an honest, self-confessional edge to their material bringing them closer in spirit to the darkly emotional hardcore of the late nineties such as Catharsis and Unbroken. Having been, in their opinion, unfairly treated by media and record labels over the years, BT have grown into a more reactionary firebrand than many of their peers, even introducing new track ‘Anti-Hero’ with a plea NOT to buy T-Shirts from the merch area, a stance I’m sure none of his fellow touring partners would even consider following. By the time ‘Kill to Believe’ rolled around, there was little in my mind to suggest that Bleeding Through weren’t going to be my favourite band of the night, if only for their steadfast refusal to buy into any of the touring circus bullshit that pollutes a lot of the contemporary hardcore scene.

Bleeding Through
Bleeding Through
Bleeding Through
Bleeding Through

Having come a long way from the time they played the now-defunct Royal George in Digbeth years ago, it was interesting to see how Canadian old-school HC mob COMEBACK KID would fare nowadays, having heard little of their material since 2005’s ‘Wake the Dead’ LP. As I expected, the band were outrageously energetic, with their brand of hardcore drawn from a rougher, hoarier background than the refined metallic sheen of Bleeding Through. Loads of kids seemed to love them, with their brand of no-frills HC generating a decent response in the pit, and the melodic hooks scattered throughout cemented a number of their tracks in my mind. Vocalist Andrew Neufeld attempted to cover each and every square inch of the stage, and this made for a really invigorating performance, and one that’s definitely going to lead me to the record racks to check some of their latter-day material out.

Comeback Kid
Comeback Kid
Comeback Kid
Comeback Kid

By the time PARKWAY DRIVE were due onstage, the crowd, who had by now spent five hours cramped into an impressively packed-out venue were feverishly awaiting the arrival of the Antipodean quintet. Despite having amassed a large fanbase over the past four years or so over here, this was to be my first encounter with them and by the time they strode onstage, the amassed mob greeted them with rapturous applause and high-energy pit action. Opening with the one-two punch of ‘Samsara’ and ‘Unrest’, both taken from their latest album ‘Deep Blue’, the first thing that took me aback was the unashamed brutality of their material. Rather than the soft-centred, wet-behind-the-ears emo-metal-core that their admittedly uninspiring moniker would suggest, Parkway possess some really aggressive chops, with a high-tempo blend of melodic death metal riffage and cast-iron mosh parts. Their melodic side is best displayed by the likes of ‘Idols and Anchors’, where the catchy, melodious guitar riffs are their only hint to a side not completely muscle-bound and masculine. Live, they are a treat to watch as well, with energetic frontman Winston McCall holding the crowd in his palms from the get-go, imploring the masses to outdo themselves with each increasingly ludicrous pit. By the time ‘Sleepwalker’ came around, I’m not ashamed to admit that you could colour me fully impressed. It’s a shame that the impending interview with Sorrows meant I had to curtail the end of their set. But let it be known that if a contemporary metalcore band can raise these most jaded of eyebrows, then they must be doing something right.

Parkway Drive
Parkway Drive
Parkway Drive
Parkway Drive

Gig Review by Duncan Wilkins
Live Music Photography by Gobinder Jhitta

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