Not long before Christmas, Australian metalcore titans Parkway Drive hit the UK for their biggest headline tour yet. With several big Parkway Drive fans amongst the staff here at Rock Sins we weren’t going to miss out on this tour, so we sent James along to the Camden Town Roundhouse (somehow still standing after Machine Head’s performance six days earlier) to take in what promised to be another great night in one of London’s best venues.
Northlane (8) may have been coming to the UK for over a year, but this is by far their best performance on these shores yet. It’s as musically tight and engaging as Northlane have always been with an intriguing mixture of chin-strokey prog and wife-beater and snapback wearing scream along moments so this new found excellence is down to the presence and enthusiasm of new singer Marcus. His screams, on the evidence of this performance, might not be quite up to standard but the sheer energy and dynamism he brings to Northlane cannot be underestimated.
It’s fair to say that this is a big moment for Heaven Shall Burn. (9) Despite being gigantic over on the continent these Germans have never reached the same dizzying heights in the UK. Tonight represents the first night of their most prolific UK tour yet and boy do they rise to the occasion. Opening with a monumental ‘Counterweight’ Heaven Shall Burn do their level best to pull in new fans and by the time ‘Endzeit’ rolls around in the last few songs of their set there’s a gigantic wall of death ready and waiting.
Despite what was certainly one of Heaven Shall Burn’s best performances yet on these shores Parkway Drive (10) will always be a hard band to top. With an inventive production, truly career spanning setlist and an absolutely bonkers crowd reaction it proved doubly so tonight. Firstly, the production tonight is huge for a tour headlining the Roundhouse. The stage being framed with twin parkway drive flags and enough pyro to fill at least two Rammstein songs along with one of the most engaging frontmen in metalcore means there’s always something happening on stage. The setlist takes into account all the Parkway songs you could ever expect for a headline tour along with a few nice surprises such as less-aired cuts like ‘Mutiny’ and ‘Horizons.’ Finally, the circle pits are moving pretty much the entire night; and taking up a large chunk of the Roundhouse’s floor too. The audience will always be a huge part of any Parkway Drive show and tonights is energized and full-throated. Make no mistake, this is Parkway at the peak of their powers and if the new album is as damn near perfect as tonight metalcore fans everyhere are in for a treat.