First band on, Bleed from Within (9) set a bar so high that no one that follows can quite match them. As disgustingly tight as always, the heavy focus on latest album ‘Uprising’ serves them well. Good as the songs are though, Bleed’s real secret weapon lies in Scott Kennedy’s abilities as a frontman. Always able to get the pit to invest that extra bit of energy yet keeping the wider audience constantly engaged. Kennedy is one of the brightest stars of modern metal.
Next up, Sylosis (8) riff their way through a forty minute slot that might leave some fans disappointed with its focus on older material but is nonetheless a potent reminder of just how effortlessly tight they are. Stained Humanity sees an impressive sized wall of death while Teras gets an assortment of grown men running in circles like they’re hyperactive toddlers. Empyreal as always closes in brilliant fashion.
Last time Devildriver (7) were in London about a year ago they suffered from a poor mix and having to follow Cannibal Corpse. Tonight is better, but not by much. Not opening with the standard ‘End of the Line’ is problematic, as, again, is the sound mix tonight; the lead guitar being barely audible for the majority of the performance. It’s a real shame, as Devildriver’s bloodstock set abundantly proved they can deliver the goods live but tonight they just never quite get going even with a great setlist. There are still sporadic flashes of how relentless Devildriver can be live; ‘Clouds over California’ and ‘Before the Hangmans Noose’ being particularly impressive and it’s certainly an improvement over last year but tonight the ball just never seems to get rolling for Dez and co.
Tonight’s supports always threatened to outshine the headliners, and that is just what happened. British metal has a bright future in the hands of bands like ‘Bleed from Within’ and ‘Sylosis’ and if they continue getting onto tours as big as this then it’s fairly certain the only way is up.
You can also check out an interview Rock Sins did with Sylosis front man Josh Middleton before this show right here on this link. News updates from all three bands from this show will be reported right here as soon as anything is announced.