Live Review: Carcer City w/Last Hounds @ The Black Heart, London

The Final Tour from Liverpool Tech-Metal infused Metalcore crew Carcer City has reached its final stop at The Black Heart in London. The now quartet  will take the stage at least once more after tonight before they head off into the sunset with a slot at this summer’s incarnation of UK Tech-Fest billed as “the final show”. There has also been no home town date on this run, so a show in Liverpool seems likely in between. That could even be one to feature fellow Liverpool natives Loathe, as the pair have toured together in the past and it would be fantastic send off, given the stature of Loathe in the current Underground Metal scene. This final night of the bands final tour should be a celebration of their achievements as a band over a run that has included 3 full length albums and recent EP “Silent War” with their crowning glory being “Infinite Unknown”, an album released by Stay Sick Recordings in 2016.

Tides of Ire [7/10] impress with a rap-scream style vocal and a a 6 string bass with an evertune bridge that delivers a big sound. Part Metal, part Hardcore, part Tech, the band mix sub-genres between songs with a seamlessness that shows off some serious song writing abilities. Frontman Mark Willis steps off the stage for an elongated instrumental bridge and a drink while “Repent Replenish” closes the set in style.

Confessions of a Traitor [9/10] are a Metalcore band renouned for their high energy live show and tonight is absolutely no different. The small stage can’t hold the band who, drummer aside each stalk th floor in front of the fans like it was an open floor show with their frontman moving between the lines with a wireless microphone. They air a couple of new songs tonight, one of which is entitled “Churchill” and sees the band offering up a more Tech-Metal style with a glorious tapping section to accompany their usual pummelling sound.

Last Hounds [8/10] are the surprise of the night, offering a far better sound than they do on their recorded work. The energy is higher, the bass more driver and the kit work is phenomenal and even though some of the rapped vocal elements are drowned out in places it’s still the sort of set that makes you do a double take. “Murder, Murder” and “Handmade” are sound out cuts from the Birmingham posse and there is little doubt that if the likes of Kerrang! or Rock Sound Magazine give them a leg up, they could be on far bigger stages than this.

Carcer City [8/10] also offer a surprising set. Rather than the “Infinite Unknown” only set list of the previous shows we’ve had the pleasure of seeing them at, instead they play a pair from “The Road Journals” album, their entire new EP “The Silent War” and a trio of tunes from their Stay Sick Recordings album. From the intro music, the dry ice and the led lights, the whole venue is soaked in atmosphere and there is a mosh pit throughout. The new songs sound way better live than they do on the EP itself, with more energy, more attitude and a far bolder sound. During the set frontman Patrick Pinion explains that he no longer had the same energy and love for the music he had before and didn’t feel it in the same way, which is the reason for the band calling it a day. He said he felt guilty about that for a long time. While it’s not obvious during their live set, it certainly is on the new recording. Maybe having the recruit a new drummer during the “Infinite Unknown” tour cycle or having to play with a backtracked second guitar and having dropped to a 4 piece (Patch, Lewie, Ollie & Brad) in recent times is partly to blame. But tonight is a celebration and from the opening notes of “Tides” to the closing bass drop of “Sovereign” the band get their last headlining chance to shine before the summer’s final set.

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