It’s strange to think it has been four years since Bury Tomorrow last headed out on a headline UK run. Nevertheless, having toured with the likes of Architects and Parkway Drive amongst others, their reputation of being one of the UK metalcore’s most fierce live acts has grown over the past four years. With ‘Earthbound’ now a year old, the Southampton group look to bring the cycle to an end with a UK tour that sees them bring along some impressive names; Crossfaith, Black Peaks and Any Given Day.
With a four band bill and Rock City’s club night set to take place later on, means there are just 15 minutes between doors opening and Any Given Day kicking things off. Although the room is barely half full, the German quintet set the tone with an energetic display; dense drum work, growling vocals, stiff riffs and the occasional sight of windmilling hair. While it may be their first time on these shores, the growing crowd is appreciative enough to respond to AGD’s calls to fist pump and clap along. Their penultimate number, a thumping cover of Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’ is combined with a timid wall of death. Overall, Any Given Day are a suitable opener for what’s expected for the remainder of the evening. (3/5)
We’ve said it numerous times, but Black Peaks continue to be one of Britain’s best emerging rock bands. With debut album, ‘Statues’ gaining plenty of praise (and a Record of a Year spot by yours truly), the quartet have continued to solider on in to 2017, with this run following a headline tour earlier this year. While they don’t have the metalcore tendencies of the other bands tonight, Black Peaks certainly know how to deliver a thrilling set of dynamic hard rock. Will Gardner’s vocals are as powerful and compelling as ever, while his band are tight and enthralling. While the first of two new songs, ‘Home’, is reminiscent of Deftones ‘Diamond Eyes’-era. Their set ends all too soon with the second new cut, ‘Fate Won’t Seal the Heart’, a rumbling onslaught that ends in ominously; buzzing bass lines, Gardner’s scathing screams and towering guitars. (3.5/5)
Since emerging out of their native Japan, Crossfaith have built a reputation as one of metalcore’s most exciting live acts. Accompanied by swirling EDM synths, the sextet don’t waste any time by producing their brand of heavy-hitting, electro-infused metalcore. Throughout vocalist Kenta Koie leads the party, commanding to jump, mosh, scream etc, while his band mates provide an adrenaline rush of blistering drums and thunderous guitars.
On record, Crossfaith don’t capture the thrilling energy that makes their live show such a spectacle. ‘Devils Party’ makes Rock City’s floor shake before their take of the Prodigy’s ‘Omen’, somehow, takes things to the next level. By this point, Crossfaith have the demanding crowd eating out of the palm of their hands. ‘Jaegermeister’ and ‘Countdown to Hell’ brings their rousing set to a conclusion, setting the benchmark high for tonight’s headliners. (4.5/5)
Nevertheless, Bury Tomorrow instantly show they’re willing to step up to the plate. ‘The Eternal’ rattles with ferociousness and urgency. Before fan favourites ‘Memories’ and ‘Waxed Wings’ keep up the momentum as Daniel Winter-Bates commands the crowd to move, while Jason Cameron’s clean melodies are sung in unison.
They make good use of the available time as headliners to delve into their back catalogue as ‘Knight Life’, ‘An Honourable Reign’ and ‘Royal Blood’ deliver a hat-trick chunky, metalcore riffs courtesy of Cameron and Kristan Dawson. However, it’s material from last year’s ‘Earthbound’ that dominates their set with ‘301’, ‘Last Light’ and its title track serving as the highlights. The combination of frantic guitars, big hooks and Winter-Bates’ presence show just why Bury Tomorrow have become one of the UK’s most beloved metal bands.
By the time they depart with the encore pairing of ‘Man on Fire’ and ‘Lionheart’, it’s clear Bury Tomorrow’s aim of delivering a superb metal show has been achieved. And by the look of Winter-Bates’ big smile, they certainly know it. (4.5/5)
For a night that hosted three of rock and metal’s most exciting live bands, it certainly matched expectations, and in the case of Crossfaith, and to a lesser extent, Bury Tomorrow, exceeded them.