Live Review: Resolve w/Cane Hill, Half Me and Acres at Camden Underworld!

A sweltering Saturday evening in early May makes it feel like the summer has reached England’s green and pleasant land early this year, especially when you’re passed by someone in a bikini as you’re queuing to enter the iconic Camden Underworld in the heart of London. We’re joined by Jordan Bell from Full Stride PR and Chris Underhill from Hardcore Injected Punks My Latest Failure as we prepare to witness the return of four bands we know all too well… while sampling some Camden Hells. It’s as fresh and Hells and that’s a fact, not a sponsorship.

Opening tonight are Resolve label mates Half Me [9/10] a band formed in Hamburg, Germany by seasoned musicians in 2018 from the ashes of numerous previous outfits. On stage their drum kit is placed in front of that of the headliners and intriguingly has microphone tower placed either side; as the band hit their stride it becomes obvious why as Max Eisersdorff generates a HUGE drum sound, giving their brand of Metallic Hardcore a real edge. It’s last years critically acclaimed “Soma” album that they have come armed with, half an hour of power that threatens to reduce the venue to rubble with jagged edges that reach into the void to Deathcore in places. The surprise is that they aren’t afraid of using moments of emotionally charged clean vocal giving them bursts of 90’s Nu-Metal to accompany their rhythmic battery and powerhouse breakdowns. It’s a distinctive sound with a high energy output that will no doubt see them on bigger stages than this, given time, as they keep the headliners honest with a performance that wins over anyone who hasn’t heard them previously.

If a band doesn’t have a usual dress code for live performances, do they compare notes on what they’re going to wear when the play shows? Acres [8/10] don’t seem to have done with vocalist Ben Lumber sweating his rocks off in a suit jacket as he delivers some Chino Moreno inspired clean moments. Having returned early last year with the perfect juxtaposition of the crushing and the cathartic in sophomore album “Burning Throne“, tonight their flames kiss the ceiling. Meloncholic melodies spark wild fires as every chorus becomes a sing-a-long, riffs hitting like tidal waves to wash it all away before building the mountain once more. January single “A Different Shade Of Misery” has been injected with more energy, the emotive performance suggesting the lyrical narrative is still raw, while the title track of 2019 album “Lonely World” remains a corner stone of the set. The fans want more but there is no time, the question being could they headline this iconic venue on their own in the not too distant future?

We’ve witnessed Cane Hill [9/10] on bigger stages than this in the United Kingdom but as part of this line up it feels like they’re in the right place at the right time. Forever the underdog, curiously the Louisiana natives spurn the opportunity to play a career spanning set tonight, only going as far back as 2018’s “Too Far Gone” for the title track and “Singing In The Swamp” to bring down the curtain on their moment in the lime light. The bulk of the set is made up of four cuts from their “Krewe De La Mort” EP pairing, an almighty rendition of “Power of the High” a particularly stunning moment, as the audience get involved from the very start. Then HUGE recent single “The Midnight Sun” brings that weight and gravity as they push things forward. A shot of Metalcore, a shot of Post-Hardcore and a dribble of Nu-Metal turns these boys into monsters and guitarist James Barnett deserves more credit than he gets.

In April 2023 we arrived at Camden Underworld to witness Copenhagen Denmark based R’n’B Metal act Siamese headline “The Wired Hearts Tour” having never heard of Resolve [10/10] previously. Needless to say the French Metalcore outfit won us over with just a few songs that night and subsequently dropped the album “Human” via Arising Empire which is nothing short of a triumph. Tonight, vocalist Anthony Diliberto steps on stage with a silver jacket on that reflects the lights, something which makes it hard to look at him without getting blinded before he sheds it after a couple of tracks. They start with “Human” and finish with “Forever Yours“, blasting their way through the tracks with non-stop chugs and stomps with vocal melodies giving balance. It’s the intensity of their performance which is incredible, their energy relentless and their attitude all or nothing, risking sucking that energy out of the room as Diliberto brings out an acoustic guitar but instead ensuring the audience get a moment of respite before the band go again. As you would expect the set is top heavy with no less than seven cuts from “Human“, the surprise being “Of Silk And Straw” from 2019 EP “Pendulum“. That’s sandwiched between four cuts from 2021 album “Between Me and The Machine” and while people talk about the evolution within the bands sound, in truth it all fits together like a jigsaw puzzle live. The one thing that’s missing is pyrotechnics and you can’t have those in a venue like this…

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