New York via Glasgow based metalcore quartet Stray From The Path have just embarked on their largest UK headline tour to date, they stopped for a sold out show at Stylus in Leeds, so we decided to go along!
Setting the bar straight away are Japan’s Knosis, the new experimental metalcore project from Ryo Kinoshita, previously of Crystal Lake. Immediately Knosis’ blast beats hit you in the face and give you a taste of what you’re in for. For the next 25 minutes or so, the band leap around the stage and swing their instruments around. The band look ecstatic to be playing Kinoshita is a great frontman who manages to engage the crowd early on with his stage presence. The music is heavy and unrelenting, ebbing and flowing between break beats, parts that sound black metalesque and everything that lands in between. We’re also treated to a snippet of Machine Head’s Davidian before they cover March of the Pigs by Nine Inch Nails. Knosis will be one to keep an eye on for sure! 8/10
Next up we have Void of Vision from Melbourne who open their set with BERGHAIN, are dressed exactly as if they were trying to get into Berghain, clad in all black and leather coats. Void of Vision have quite an industrial take on metalcore, with lots of synths present paired with a sort of fry/croak vocal delivery in intros and bridges. There’s a lot of chopping and changing between singing and singing, breakdowns galore and dance sections. The band brings the energy of being at a big goth rave. 7/10
Our second Australian band of the night are Perth’s Make Them Suffer who kick things up a notch and elicit a rowdy response from the crowd as they open with Ghost of Me. Crowd surfers begin to come over the barrier, so many to the point where even I’m having to help pick people off the ground whilst also trying to take photos! There quite a tech metal sort of feel to the guitars and drums that often gets complemented by synths and keys that get peppered through the music, accented by the juxtaposition of vocalists Sean Harmanis and Alex Reade. 7/10
The set everyone’s been waiting for… begins in five minutes. A five minute countdown is displayed on the LED screen behind the drum kit, the crowd countdown on the last few seconds and the lights go out before coming back on to reveal a beautiful guillotine. The magnificent beast of a man that is Craig Reynolds begins the intro for Guillotine before the rest of Stray From The Path join him.
The band are relentless and power through III and Good Night Alt-Right for a rapturous crowd, Drew York introduces Candy Chest and all of a sudden you can hear a beat of a murmur and the room opens up, York spits ”Death dealers, dealbreakers. TELL ME THE FUCKING TRUTH!” before the room descends into chaos.
Stray From The Path are a band that are 10 albums into their career now and aren’t ones to rely too heavily on older material. Whilst I’d love to hear them play ‘Damian’ again, it’s an absolute testament to this band’s quality and consistency that they can play a set full of bangers and have ‘Loudest In The Room’ be considered an “old” song. More than half the songs played tonight are from 2022’s Euthansia and the crowd are eating up every second of it.
‘Fortune Teller’ and ‘Needful Things’ are two crowd favorites that get the place moving and also gives guitarist Tom Williams and bassist Anthony Altamura another chance to shine. The band is such a well oiled machine and they’ve got CHOPS. The band ended the night with a high energy performance of ‘First World Problem Child’. Stray From The Path still have a passionate fire burning and it only seems to get stronger over time. 9/10