Tonight at the largest of the Academy venues, local Mancunian’s are having the pleasure of seeing one of Australia’s biggest metal exports. Bringing along in tow three top metal bands, either seasoned veterans or up and coming they all have something to offer.
First up are Canadian metallers Structures who bring out and play some of their technical metal-core which is quite impressive. As the band is quite young they have alot of energy and certainly impress the crowd but with a set time ten minutes after doors it’s a shame some people missed their set. (2/5)
When it comes to bands with the metalcore sound The Word Alive, fit perfectly into the category with the guttural screams and soaring clean vocals. The band runs through six of their best and heaviest songs with ‘Wishmaster’ and ‘Dragon Spell’ really catching the crowd’s interest. The set closing, anthemic call to arms song ‘Life Cycles’ get the crowd screaming along with frontman Telle Smith, he finishes the set screaming the choruses lines on his own to hammer home the songs meaning. (2.5/5)
As the crowd starts to grow and move closer to the stage, people wait in anticipation for seasoned tour veterans Emmure. Having toured the UK numerous times the band knows how to work the crowd and put on a show. Opening with ‘Solar Flare Homicide’, even before the vocals come in the crowd starts jumping and going crazy in the pits. Frontman Frankie Palmeri is a natural vocalist as he screams and barks with ease, also having the swag to command a crowd also helps. Other songs like ‘Demons with Ryu’, ‘Children of Cybertron’ and ‘Protoman’ set the crowd off going wild as the pits open up people go crazy. Obviously the band is doing everything right and they warm the crowd up perfectly. (3/5)
Last up it is of course the mighty Parkway Drive, as the first track of the new album (‘Sparks’) comes in two video screens show a sunset moving over the Earth’s horizon and is a nice start. “Forever fucked” is screamed and the metal comes in thick and fast as the band burst into ‘Old Ghosts/New Regrets’, from here on in its non-stop riffs from the Aussie mob. Older songs like ‘Boneyards,’ ‘Romance Is Dead’ and ‘Dead Man’s Chest’ all sound alot heavier than usual and are played perfectly with no mistakes, of course the crowd go crazy opening up massive circle pits. ‘Wild Eyes’ brings out the singing from the crowd as they sing along to the lead guitar riff and impress the band.
With their new album ’Atlas’ having just been released the band plays through six of the albums diverse songs; ‘Swing’ is a fast jam, ‘Blue And The Grey’ is an epic affair and ‘Dark Days’ is a riff infested masterpiece. The band are apologetic for being so out of breath as frontman Winston puts it; “we’ve been on a break for five months, the longest we’ve had in ten years.” Nonetheless the band needn’t apologise, as they play with every ounce of energy.
As the band come on for an encore it’s the set closing song that really shows the amount of fans they have as the whole crowd sings the immortal word “CARRION”. As the band play their way through the song the crowd goes crazy and opens the pit one last time to finish the night off on a high.
From seeing them in my hometown in a sixty person capacity venue, it’s awesome seeing them six years later in a two thousand plus venue with the whole crowd singing a football style chant of “ole, ole, ole, Parkway, Parkway.” The only downside to tonight I can think of is the fact the band only play an hour long set, they could have easily played longer and the crowd wouldn’t have minded at all. (4.5/5)
Words by Aaron Wilson (@soundslikeajw)