Live Review: Bury Tomorrow, August Burns Red & Novelists at Camden Electric Ballroom!

It’s safe to say that the Metal World is still feeling the effects of the Global Pandemic with a wealth of rescheduled shows yet to take place after two years of delay and disruption. Tonight’s show is the second of two back to back nights at Camden Electric Ballroom in a European co-headlining run for Bury Tomorrow and August Burns Red that was originally scheduled to take place twelve months ago and has subsequently seen Miss May I and Thornhill drop off the bill. But it has been four months since our last live show and this one almost didn’t happen for us because of a rail strike that was fortunately cancelled at the last moment thanks to the RMT Union.

Stepping up with just six days notice and without frontman Tobias Rische, French Progressive Metal outfit Novelists [8/10] have seized the opportunity to be on this tour with both hands. They’re joined by Sam Kubrick (aka Stanley Kubrick’s grandson and a former member of Shields) who is pursuing a solo career and he’s the perfect fit for the band, nailing cuts like “Gravity” and “Smoke Signals” so that the band themselves don’t skip a beat. Unlike when we saw them at Tech-Fest in the summer and they looked tired, playing the second of two Festival slots on a single day, tonight they’re fresh and energised, with guitarists Florestan Durand and Pierre Danel even managing a solo off before the end.

August Burns Red [10/10] may have just announced their tenth studio album “Death Below” but they’re in no mood to stand on their laurels tonight, picking up “Chop Suey” by System Of A Down a third of the way in from an intro tape and blasting through the remainder of the cut for a huge sing-a-long before they’ve even started. The American Progressive Metalcore outfit treat us to a career spanning set including favourites like “Invisible Enemy” and “White Washed” which find frontman Jake Luhrs dancing with an imaginary lady during some extended instrumental passages as we get battered by riff after riff of technical perfection. It seems hard to believe that they’ll be celebrating 20 years together in 2023 because time as simply flown by but tonight proves that they’re just as relevant today as they have been at any point in their career.

A pre-Christmas show at The Round House at the end of the Black Flame tour cycle was the last time we saw Bury Tomorrow¬†[9/10] in the live arena. That was the show which saw them announce album “Cannibal” with a new cut and was a special night. Little did we know that two years on a Global Pandemic would rob them of the opportunity to play as many shoes around the album as they would have liked. Fast forward to tonight and we’re at the tail end of that album tour cycle at a rescheduled date that finds the band an entirely new proposition following the departure of guitarist and vocalist Jason Cameron. The band are now a six piece with Ed Hartwell on rhythm guitars and Tom Prendergast on keyboards and clean vocals, both of whom have impressed on a trio of singles from upcoming new album “The Seventh Sun“. It should come as no surprise that not only do all three of those new cuts make the set list but so does a brand new song in “Boltcutter” and they all go down a storm. The rest of the set is almost but not quite a career spanning one with 2012’s “The¬†Union Of Crowns” the album missed. “Man On Fire” is a huge sing-a-long for which Prendergast need not sing as the packed audience do it for him, the surprise is that they do likewise for the chorus of new cut “Life“, roaring Dani Winter-Bates lines “This is life, misery strife, Looking for the answers, running outta time“. The black flame is one again lit, now we await the new album and tour with bated breath.

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