Considering tonight is a Sunday night in the middle of Manchester, I’m surprised by how many people have turned out to see two of the US’s biggest metalcore exports. As it’s a Sunday you’d think for the two Christian bands (August Burns Red and The Devil Wears Prada) it’d be a day of rest but no, instead the two bands incite sheer carnage as bodies flail and headbang along to some skull crushing breakdowns.
First up of the night is Veil of Maya a band coming in at the last minute to take over previous support Whitechapel’s spot. The band does sound quite impressive with plenty of guitar pinches and squeals during the songs mixed with guttural growls from frontman Brandon Butler it’s a steady set from the band. Working their way through their metal songs the crowd respond with pits opening up but the overuse of the guitar breakdown eventually makes me lose interest. (2.5/5)
As the crowd starts to grow and get bigger people wait in anticipation for The Devil Wears Prada a band that have headlined the UK before. Starting off with ‘Born To Lose’ the crowd simply goes mental at the sounds of the massive sized breakdowns. Playing through alot of new material from their latest release ‘Dead Throne’ and also their ‘Zombie’ EP the band look and sound on fire tonight. Frontman Mike Hranica is something special as he jumps and bounces around on stage like a madman he screams with every ounce of his being the visceral lyrics at the crowd. Tonight’s set was truly heavy and certainly impressive. (3.5/5)
With The Devil Wears Prada’s setting the high standards up next is headliners August Burns Red. As the dance anthem ‘Everybody’s Free’ rings out across the venue you can see the crowd are up for some precise, tight and technical metal to come thick and fast. ‘Composure’ starts the set off perfectly inciting medium sized pits and causing the crowd to scream along to every word. Working their way through some of their heaviest and technical songs, ‘Internal Cannon’, ‘Back Burner’ and ‘Divisions’ all sound truly heavy and impressive live. Slowing things down for ‘Carpe Diem’ and letting bass player Dustin play a third guitar part brings a slower softer side to the band’s music. Picking things back up with the circle pit inciting fast paced ‘Meddler’ sends the crowd crazy and into a mass frenzy. The band impress the crowd even more as at the end of ‘Leveler’ a makeshift second drum kit is brought on for bassist Dustin to have a drum battle with drummer Matt Greiner. Leaving and coming on for an encore the band finish with the heavy ‘Empire’ and the breakdown filled ‘White Washed’. (4.5/5)
If tonight shows anything it shows that August Burns Red are at the top of the metalcore scene and know how to put on an impressive, technical live set. With a pair of impressive support bands as well this Sunday night gig has definitely gotten rid of anyone’s lazy Sunday feeling.
Words by Aaron Wilson (@soundslikeajw)