Killswitch Engage & Trivium, Brixton Academy, London, 2nd February 2014

Trivium on stage at Brixton Academy February 2014

Words by Jamie Giberti & James Halstead

Tours like this are the ones you really look forward to for months in advance. Seeing two of the biggest metal bands that have emerged since the turn of the century, on the same night, both with proper length sets to look forward to, it’s no wonder that Killswitch Engage and Trivium managed to sell out Brixton Academy for their co-headline show! The Rocksins’ team were out in force for this one, so let’s get down to business with the opening bands…

Battlecross(6) have big things ahead of them; the fact that their first overseas tour involves a slot at the prestigious Brixton Academy should give you some idea of the level of support they have behind them. Unfortunately tonight the band fall flat with muddy sound taking the edge off the intricacies of the guitar playing and an unimaginative setlist consisting entirely of tracks from their second album not helping matters.

Miss May I’s (5.5) purpose tonight is to get the crowd in full flow for what was to follow. After a slow start, they managed exactly that, with the entire standing section clapping along by the final song of their short set. One issue for anyone who is not particularly familiar with Miss May I is that a lot of their material sounds very similar. They played well, and clean vocalist Ryan Neff was particularly impressive along with drummer Jerod Boyd, but they need to add some variety to their repertoire. Ones to watch for the future though.

As always with London crowds Trivium (9) were greeted like long lost brothers, although initially the only person missing seemed to be the sound man as the balance was all over the place for the opening Brave This Storm, with one of Vengeance Falls best songs somewhat spoiled by Matt going totally lost in the mix. Normal order was quickly restored for old favourite Like Light To The Flies, with the chorus thundering around Brixton Academy from most of those in attendance.

Tonight’s Trivium setlist was a curious one; A smattering of the expected, must play hits (Down From The Sky, A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation), new material (No Way To Heal, Through Blood, Dirt and Bone) and some rarities for the hardcore fans (Shattering The Skies Above). Of the four songs aired from Vengeance Falls Strife sounded by far the most impressive, although it must be said all the new tracks sound considerably heavier live. This tour also featured more production than all the previous Trivium UK tours put together. With a stage set that Trivium frontman Matt Heafy described as “Hoth meets Winterfell”, CO2 cannons and a maze of lights, it was quite an impressive set up. There was even a snowstorm during the magnificent run through “Shogun”, which will have pleased the Trivium die hards no end but managed to encapsulate the attention of virtually everyone else at the same time.

Trivium's Matt Heafy & Paolo Gregoletto on stage at Brixton Academy February 2014
Matt & Paolo enjoying themselves!

A thunderous sprint through In Waves was the perfect counterbalance to the epic Shogun that preceded it, and Matt then let everyone know they’d filmed the entire set as a candidate for the first ever live Trivium DVD before demanding maximum audience participation for the obligatory Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr which brought Trivium’s part of the evening to a close. The set list may have been different to what some were expecting (or indeed hoping for), but Trivium once again showed they can deliver a fantastic live show and they did not look out of place with the increased production. Onwards and upwards once again for Florida’s favourite metal export.

The Trivium Setlist was:

Brave This Storm
Like Light To The Flies
No Way To Heal
Shattering The Skies Above
Through Blood, Dirt and Bone
A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation
Down From The Sky
Capsizing The Sea
In Waves
Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr

Since Jesse Leach’s return Killswitch Engage (9) have gone from strength to strength with last year’s ferocious comeback ‘Disarm the Descent’ and a string of highly acclaimed concert reviews to accompany it. Tonight shows no signs of their powers waning, and, much like Trivium Killswitch’s set is an hour of some of the best metal anthems this side of 2000. ‘Rose of Sharyn,’ ‘My Last Serenade,’ ‘End of Heartache,’ and ‘Arms of Sorrow’ giving you just a small cross-section of the extraordinary range of material that Killswitch can call upon, the only slight lull occurring during ‘This Fire Burns’ and ‘Beyond the Flames.’

Killswitch Engage Brixton Academy February 2014
Killswitch: good times metal

Of course, songs will only take you halfway and Jesse Leach and Adam D bond fantastically with Adam never overshadowing Jesse’s performance through his stage antics, but at the same time providing another frequently amusing focal point. The bands’ stage show also helps with a stripped down affair consisting of a small ramp behind the drum riser and appropriate lighting letting the songs do the talking in comparisons to Trivium’s much more bombastic affair.

The Killswitch Engage setlist was:

A Bid Farewell
This is Absolution
The new Awakening
The Arms of Sorrow
This Fire Burns
Beyond the Flames
Rose of Sharyn
Rise Inside
My Last Serenade
Turning Point
Fixation on the Darkness
In Due Time
The End of Heartache
My Curse

For all talk of friendly competition on shows such as these, on nights like this, the true winners are the people to paid to go to the show. Two top notch performances from the co-headliners leaving everyone very happy as they depart into the cold Brixton night. Both Trivium and Killswitch Engage will always be welcome on UK shores, and tonight was a perfect example as to why that is. Stay tuned to Rocksins for exclusive interviews with Killswitch Engage frontman Jesse Leach and Trivium main man Matt Heafy, both of which will be coming very soon!

Update: You can now read our exclusive interview with Jesse Leach from Killswitch Engage by clicking on the following link right here.


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