Knocked Loose & Malevolence – Live @ Leeds University Union, 6th December


Out on the road for one of the final ‘must-see’ and completely sold out tours of 2019 are Knocked Loose, and unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, you’ll know that they’ve been making waves in the metal and hardcore communites with the release of their sophomore album “A Different Shade of Blue”. The Kentucky five-piece were joined by Renounced, Justice For The Damned and Malevolence and oh, what a silly night of music it was.

Kicking things off were the UK’s very own Renounced (8) who started the night as it was meant to go on. The band ease the crowd in with the opening track ‘Ghosts’ from their most recent album “Beauty Is A Destructive Angel” before kicking things up a gear or five with the rager that is ‘Self Inflicted’. Whilst the room isn’t packed by any stretch of the imagination, the band still deliver a great set and the people that were in the room were certainly won over by their brand of metalcore. Imagine Poison The Well/early Killswitch Engage but with a bigger bite.

Next on and all the way from Sydney, Australia were Justice For The Damned (8) who were a very pleasant surprise. You get lured into a false sense of security (for lack of a better term) with a track like “It Will Always Be My Fault” expecting them to be a hardcore band with all the chugs and stomps, and then you hear something like “No Brother, No Friend” which pummels you with blast beat after blast beat. The vocals can go from a harrowing shout to sounding like a blast furnace in an instant, but neither sound out of place with each other at all. This band are the embodiment of all things heavy, their sound is led with strong elements of hardcore and black metal, with a fair bit of death metal peppered in there for good measure.

The storm before the storm comes in the form of Sheffield shredders Malevolence (8) who walked onto the stage like they owned it. Before they’ve even played a note, the room is full. They open with “Slave to Satisfaction” which starts off menacingly slow but doesn’t take long to pick things up and send the sell out crowd into a frenzy. The band play a couple of songs from both ‘Self Supremacy’ and ‘Reign of Suffering’ which sees frontman Alex Taylor spend half of his time on the barrier with people trying to fight the microphone off him. The band are then joined by none other than Mr Knocked Loose himself, Bryan Garris for a spot of guest vocals for their new song “Keep Your Distance”. Malevolence delivered a fantastic set without a dull moment and it really felt like the band could have been headlining tonight themselves.

Knocked Loose (9) promptly make their way on stage in Leeds for the second time this year following their blistering set at Slam Dunk earlier in the year. They start with a hat trick from the new album with “Trapped In The Grasp Of A Memory” being the first of the three, from the offset you can already see bodies on top of each other being pulled over the barrier with everyone at the front shouting every word back to the band. We’re then treated to “Oblivion’s Peak” off of their debut album before the stink-face inducing opening riff from “Forget Your Name” kicks in. 

There is very little talking in between songs tonight, Knocked Loose are here to cause as much mayhem and havoc as possible in the time frame that they have. “Mistakes Like Fractures” hits twice as hard live as it does on record and I imagine even more so if you’re one of the poor souls on the sides of the pit being kicked, punched, elbowed, kneed and **insert body part here**ed. In amongst the chaos though, it is clear to see that there are a few people in attendace tonight who are likely at their first hardcore show which is brilliant and an absolute testament as to why Knocked Loose are such an important band right now. They’ve received shit online for being a gateway band, but if someone comes away tonight and ends up picking up a Renounced hoodie or a Malevolence shirt then that can only be a good thing.

“Two songs” shouts Bryan Garris as the band go into “Billy No Mates”. Knocked Loose aren’t fucking around tonight, no encore or anything, just banger after banger after banger. The band wrap things up with “Counting Worms” as the room does the much anticipated collective “ARF ARF”. And just like that, it was over as quickly as it had started. The set was very fast, intense and straight to the point, which seems to be Knocked Loose in a nutshell. Pay attention to this band, the won’t be going away any time soon and they’ll be in even bigger rooms next time around.

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