Live Review: Bury Tomorrow w/Blood Youth & Employed To Serve @ Roundhouse London

South coast Metalcore heroes Bury Tomorrow have made a habit of playing a run of bigger venue pre-Christmas shows in recent years and hand picking some very very good support acts. This year’s run of shows has been a trek across Europe which has seen them deliver a brand new single and their first since summer 2018’s “Black Flame” to our ear drums. Surely this run of shows to see out 2019 in style will see them announce going into the studio to record a new record for 2020 and allow them to get a European Summer Festival run in? Our venue tonight is the Roundhouse, which is a favourite as it wraps around the stage giving move viewing space. We were last here for an “Evening with” 3 hour set from Machine Head and the 1700 capacity venue feels like the right size for tonight’s show and it’s not only our last show of the year but also of the decade.

Opening tonight are Blood Youth [7/10] who style shifted some what into the totally agreeable Slipknot influenced “Starve” earlier this year. They open with “Spineless” and hammer through a short sharp set that gets better as the band get warmed up. The end of their slot comes too soon and you get the impression that they are bound for bigger things and suiting longer sets than just being an opening act. That being said they do suffer from some muddying of their guitar sound, which is rescued by the metronomic mechanical tribal rhythmic gymnastics and “Nerve” is just class. Christmas songs between sets instead of the usual hip-hop is a nice touch.

Third album “Eternal Forward Motion” has put Employed To Serve [10/10] right where they need to be and while tonight’s show is the last for drummer Robbie Back, it is a celebration. ETS have an impromptu jam off during their sound check and get the crowd warmed up on a cold night before their set even starts. They’re at their abrasive, defiant, caustic best tonight with an hour on stage. Sammy Urwin has a cheeky grin from the start and Justine Jones is on fire vocally. Starting off with the title track of their third album and ploughing through “Harsh Truth” and “Owed Zero” there is a swagger and confidence about ETS tonight and each song is an absolute banger. After a ferocious “Force Fed” complete with call and response from the audience, Robbie Back gets send off with the crowd chanting his name at the behest of Urwin before one final fling. It’s all hugs for him from the band at the end, 6 years of hard work has given them the platform they deserve.

The timing of the new single “The Grey (VIXI)” from Bury Tomorrow [10/10] couldn’t have been more right and it has added a certain intrigue with the knowledge that the band are playing “Black Flame” in full on this run. They do so in the way in which it was intended from start to finish with an extra energy and swagger. From the opening of “No Less Violent” through “My Revenge” to the closing bars of “Peacekeeper“, each track has a big sing-a-long chorus that doesn’t break the energy and more riffs than you can shake a stick at, accompanied by a collosal light show. Then comes a huge four song encore. A speech from frontman Dani Winter-Bates about Mental Health struggles before new single “The Grey (VIXI)” makes it that much more meaningful and when the thank yous before the final song include news of a new single in two weeks, an album already recorded for the first quarter of 2020 and a major European Festival run next summer, it can’t be sweeter for Bury Tomorrow. Our personal favourite song of theirs remains “Man On Fire” and closing out the night with the classic is a master stroke.

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