Tonight may only be the third date of the The Death To False Metalcore Tour and Sheffield Shredders Malevolence may have dropped off tonight’s bill but there are a quartet of bands with a clutch of classic albums who will be taking to the stage. For an 828 capacity venue on the first floor of the ULU, there are only 2 bar staff and a queue for said bar across the entire venue… It was sure as hell a dry night for a lot of fans and the venue missed out on making some decent money from the show. Tonight is as close to sold out as things can possibly get and the venue is a sweatbox.
First up are Left Behind [9/10] who’s Crowbar inspired “Blessed by the Burn” is an absolute masterpiece! They play with the house lights on and after opening up with a powerful version of “West By God” they play an almost full album set. Their Hardcore infused Sludge Metal sound is perfect for nights like these and they have a crowd who might not know their sound cheering along.
It’s been 15 years since Misery Signals [8/10] were last upon our shores, playing in support of Eighteen Visions. The second band on the stage announce a new album for November and play a brand new song that encapsulates their sound without losing any of the heavier elements. “A Certain Death” is a set highlight from a hugely underrated band. When the chants of “one more song” go out for a support band, the headliners know they’ve got to be on their game.
Surprisingly not last and definitely not least, with a fantastic new album in “Extinction(s)” are Boston Massachusetts Metalcore heroes Unearth [10/10]. One of the survivors of the original wave of Metalcore bands that sealed the fate of Nu-Metal, the bands seminal album “The Oncoming Storm” is a record that has stood the test of time. From the opening bars of “Incinerate” to the closing flourish of “My Will Be Done” tonight’s career spanning set is an absolute masterclass in how to put on a show. The only band not to suffer technical issues tonight (Darkest Hour’s bass sound has way too much reverb and Misery Signals drums sound muddy), Unearth are accompanied by a fantastic light show. Live they sound incredible with drummer Nick Pierce’s kit sounding phenomenal. Trevor Phipps vocals have improved over the years and tonight he’s the standout vocalist. Buz McGrath and Ken Susi are showmen and deliver virtuoso guitar performances. They promise to be back this year, so maybe a European Festival run in the summer or headlining tour in the winter is to be announced…
It’s been a long time since we saw Darkest Hour [7/10] and the Washington DC natives are kick off their set with cuts from the crowd funded “Godless Prophets & the Migrant Flora” before heading back through “The Sadist Nation” and a surprise cover of Dead Kennedys 1981 classic “Nazi Punks F**k Off”. Drummer Travis Orbin is a machine and Mike “Lonestar” Carrigan delivers a lead guitar masterclass. But the band are a bit flat and surprisingly don’t have the energy that Misery Signals and Unearth. Hopefully a new album is in the works and the next time around they can improve their game.