Live Review: Alpha Wolf w/King 810, Ten56 and Xile at The Dome, London!
A scorcher of an April day sees us heading to the Big Smoke for a night on the tiles with four bands who have seriously impressed in recent years. It’s our first visit to The Dome in Tufnell Park since witnessing Raging Speedhorn reduce the venue to rubble back in December 2021 and tonight the Steppin’ Over Roaches Tour offers four bands with huge stock in the current Metal market.
New Zealand Metallic Hardcore quintet Xile [9/10] get tonights show off to the best possible start with an incendiary set of high energy cuts that go off like tactical nukes in the Dome. The venue maybe filling during their set but after the first cut the band have moshers and headbangers. After the third “Diamond Eyes” they get a circle pit and the bands energy is nothing short of a lightening bolt from a wrathful God. “Promise of Bloodshed” is a lethal dose of Kiwi hatred while a brand new song without a title goes down a storm. If they’re here thanks to their German label BDHW Records then we can only thank them because having not heard of them before, we’ve been converted by 25 minutes of Mosh pit incitement.
Having witnessed Ten56 [10/10] twice last year and on both occasions at Tech-Fest and subsequently at Radar Fest their set being sabotaged by technical issues, tonight thankfully goes off without a hitch. The French Nu-Deathcore collective have a guitar tone so abrasive it cuts the air of tension they create with their programming in half, the spine juddering angular riffs of “Diazapam” making for a high energy set from the very second the band take to the stage. The venue is rammed by this point and the Mosh pit is bouncing before a second song wall of death separates the weak from the herd in lethal fashion. Aaron Matts soldiers build on the energy that Xile create, taking a roaring fire to a raging inferno with cuts like “Shitspitter” and “Boy” threaten to take the roof off, the sounds between the songs ensuring that none of the momentum is lost.
The most dangerous band on the planet have to be Murder Town’s own King 810 [10/10] who have a co-headlining amount of time on stage tonight. They don’t speak to the packed audience in this hotter than hell venue, instead choosing to play out a set of cut with barely any breathing space between them, letting the pit go off naturally. The theatre begins with the lights dimming and a spoken word from David Gunn before “Brains On the Asphalt” and “Alpha & Omega” hit back to back, the flashing lights and constant moment on stage mirrored by the crowd throughout. “Vendettas” and “Fat Around The Heart” are sing-a-long anthems at this point, the masked drummer and guitarist doing a fantastic job but must me sweating their rocks off underneath, particularly as the former has what looks like a robe or fake fur coat on. Gunn sounds unhinged, his vocal performance incredible as he matches the dynamic of the recorded works while throwing himself around the stage. He changes one word to London to acknowledge the crowd while bassist Eugene Gill makes the famous heart shape before throwing his pick out. They have come along way since we saw them at Camden Underworld when the guitarist was “behind the curtain” and tonight they nail it.
A few years ago we saw Alpha Wolf [10/10] open for Emmure in Islington and get an impromptu row boat from the audience at a filling venue off the back of EP “Fault“. Tonight the Australian heavy hitting Nu-Metalcore act headlining, which tells you just how far they’ve come. The wooden floor of the venue is soaked in sweat and beers with discarded plastic pint glasses littering the ground before the band take to the stage and things are are only going to get messier from here on out. Taking the stage to “Tribute” by Tenacious D is a masterstroke because the audience have been singing along and are warmed up after the stage turn around so they can go straight into “60cm Of Steel” without needing to do too much work. The punches keep on coming with the bands trademark chugging from Sabian Lynch and Scottie Simpson, the floor shaking under foot with the weight of the sold out crowd bouncing to “Black Mamba” and “Hotel Underground“. Despite the venues strict no stage dives or crowd surfing policy the audience outweigh security and it’s all stage dives and high fives with increasing frequency as the set plays out. “Bleed 4 You” is particularly special tonight but in truth every single song is a sing-a-long and as Lochie Keogh points out at the end of the set, the stats don’t lie and Spotify streams from London outweigh those of their home town so a 27 hour flight to be here ensures sell out crowds. As a whole package with all four bands on absolute fire, shows don’t get much better and this one will live long in the memory.