The Amity Affliction, Northlane, Stray From The Path and Wage War Live At The Roundhouse, 6th December 2016

The Amity Affliction live on stage at The Roundhouse on 6th December 2016

The Amity Affliction are back, this time with a UK/European tour in support of their latest release, I Think This Could Be Heartbreak. The line up tonight reads like a mashup of genres, with four very different bands mixing together to provide a night of entertainment at London’s Roundhouse.

Wage War [7] pack a big punch for an opening band, the band’s brand of heavy riffs and Briton Bond’s punchy vocals providing a suitably heavy start to the evening. With such an early start, the room still has a lot of available space, but those in attendance quickly get into the swing of things. A half empty room makes it seem like crowd reaction is sparse, but as those still queuing outside begin to filter in, it becomes obvious that the crowd are enjoying the set.

As the band’s time on stage draws to a close, one thing is clear, if you want to start your night with a punch to the gut, Wage War are your boys.

Up next are Stray From The Path [7], who seem like the odd ones out of the night, and the only hardcore band on the line up.

SFTP are a fiercely political band, one that are clearly unafraid to make their feelings known, and as out of the place as they seem, that does not stop the crowd from appreciating their pace. The crowd surfers quickly start, skipping out of the pit and back to their place the second their feet are planted back on the ground by the waiting security. Already clearly enjoying the set, the crowd reaction reaches new heights when they are treated to a surprise cameo in the form of Architect’s own Sam Carter.

SFTP create an immediate blaze of energy, and their visceral vocals and heavy musical accompaniment prove that even though they may not be as refined as some of the other bands on the bill, their style perfectly suits the crowd participation band that they are.

Main support Northlane [8.5] explode on to the stage to roars of approval of the waiting crowd. Vocalist Marcus Bridge has only been with the band a short while, but has already become a big driving force behind the band’s impressive stage presence. Although having joined the band over a year ago now, watching him on stage it is still difficult to believe that he hasn’t been with the band from the beginning.

Musically, Northlane offer a tight, controlled performance that seems to require very little effort, blisteringly heavy guitars, mixed with a technical edge and dreamy intersections show why the band have found a set of fans within the technical metal scene as well as with the metalcore fans present this evening.

As the band storm through songs both old and new, the crowd, still riled up from the previous offering, soon catch on to their vibes. Whilst Northlane may be a step down from the previous band in terms of heaviness, they nevertheless set the bar high and provide a truly headliner worthy performance, that may be difficult to follow.

The Amity Affliction [9] could have been forgiven for being a little off their game tonight, having made the decision to send their drummer home following health issues, but as they swagger out on to the stage, their performance signals defiance from the outset.

Faces set with determination, the only thing apparently on the band’s collective minds was to give a performance that even the most polished of bands could be proud of.

As the opening notes of I Bring The Weather With Me ring out, the crowd moves into a frenzy that does not subside as the set goes on. Joel Birch’s vocals sound more powerful and visceral than they ever have on record, and as Ahren Stringer’s clean vocals ring out over the crowd, it quickly becomes clear that this is an utterly heartfelt, powerful performance.

The Amity Affliction have clearly found a formula that works, in that their songs are instantly recognisable as their own. Whilst there is a danger in this, in that played live a set of songs could seem repetitive and tired, Amity have truly been able to create a slick performance that gives their songs a life of their own, and their signature sound remains popular with their fanbase.

Given the strength of their main support and the circumstances surrounding the departure of their drummer, they could quite easily have been outshone but tonight, The Amity Affliction have set an example that should be considered a masterclass to bands everywhere in how to rule over a crowd. A phenomenal tribute to the man who cannot be with them.

The Amity Affliction’s latest album, I Think This Could Be Heartbreak, is out now, and you can keep up with the band on their social media sites:-

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