Metal Noise have been at 34 (yes, thirty four) shows in 2019 so our Top #5 live bands of the year takes into account every one that we’ve seen and no-one we haven’t. Just go and check out our “Grand Tour” page or our live reviews if you want validation that this list only includes artists we’ve witnessed with our own eyes. Not that you’ve got time for that, it’s Boxing day for goodness sake so you’ve got sales to attend and a raging hangover.
In no particular order, we’re going to start with Monuments at Tech-Fest. Having announced the departure of frontman Chris Barretto on 1st July due to personal reasons and Andy Cizek of Makari as a fill-in just a handful of days before the event, we have to say we were nervous. But that was not necessary as the band played a phenomenal set that has lived long in the memory with Cizek’s unclean vocal prowess in particular being monumental. The next album is going to be something even more special than the last!
Sticking with the summer for this next one, it has to be Sheffield Shredders Malevolence at the second incarnation of Upsurge Festival. Headlining the Sunday and bringing the news that they have new material in the works, the pit went wild for the likes of “Self Supremacy” and “Trial by Fire” and the prospect of seeing them at Fury Fest in April 2020 has us salivating. Especially if there is going to be a new track in the set. We can only hope! “Self Supremacy” is a fantastic album and not only do they do it justice live, they show other, lesser bands just how it should be done.
Boston Massachusetts Metalcore heroes Unearth decimated ULU in London back in March with a variety of cuts from their first album in 4 years “Extinction(s)“. From the opening bars of the first new single and set opener “Incinerate” to the closing flourish of “My Will Be Done” their career spanning set is an absolute masterclass and accompanied by an impressive light show. We never thought they’d return and we’re more than happy to be proven wrong!
Upon our shores for Slam Dunk Festival and taking advantage with a small run of shows, Knocked Loose were a band that we’d missed out on seeing live on a number of occasions prior and since their O2 Academy Islington headliner that came before “A Different Shade Of Blue” was released. We got treated to a pair of then new singles in “Mistakes Like Fractures” and “…And Still I Wander South” as well as a couple of cuts in “All My Friends” and “The Gospel” from their frankly brilliant “Pop Culture” EP. A night we won’t be forgetting in a hurry as it was highly anticipated – and – well worth the hype!
Having seen Employed to Serve at Tech-Fest in 2018 and been stunned by their live show, complete with crowd baiting from guitarist Sammy Urwin, when they announced the album release show for “Eternal Forward Motion“, we knew we had to be there. They smashed it out of the park, taking to the stage in their own branded wind breakers with a gang or crew mentality and battering the audience with cuts like “Owed Zero” and “Harsh Truth”. There is no hope for anyone who has to follow them onto a stage live if they’re not on their “A” game because ETS give anyone and everyone a run for their money!