“It’s ok to hate us. Just don’t listen to what your mates say about our haircuts. Listen to the music!”
These are the final words spoken by Oliver Sykes, vocalist of the hotly tipped Bring Me The Horizon. The cheeky ‘northern monkey’ banter does however cause amusement as he goes on to supply a sickeningly gutteral growl to the youngsters final slice of brutally crushing metallic noise.
Were it not for the fact that the haircuts are unavoidably Funeral For A Friend, combined with the added frustration of the frontman’s insistence on repeatedly calling the crowd “Pussies!”; they might have garnered more support for their charms, which to be fair are extremely impressive for a bunch who look like they should have been in bed an hour ago.
By the time The Haunted take to the stage, the buzzing crowd is in severe need of a jumpstart, which the Swedes provide from the outset, with 99 Ways To Die signalling a surge of limb flailing youths to sail stageward. Although Peter Dolving possesses an amazingly dexterous set of vocal chords, his expanding mid riff appears to be taking its toll on his stamina, leaving him breathless and panting between every number; mind you, if I earned my living uttering blood curdling screams for hours on end, Id might be just a tad winded too.
With the welcome they receive onto the floodlit stage, anyone would think this gig had been postponed for a year rather than the paltry week we’ve had to suffer in penance for Adam D’s spinal injuries resurfacing. While his jovial costumes are missed by some, the absence of the lengthy insanity of his inter song banter does allow for more of a flowing set from the one-man-down Killswitch Engage. They might be missing their Joker, but that’s not to say the evening isn’t pack-ed (ouch!) with surprises.
Following openers of A Bid Farewell and As Daylight Dies in which Howard fails miserably to suppress his genuine bemusement that he and his chums have managed to land this gig, let alone pack it to the rafters, the enigmatic singer is given yet more to be flabbergasted about. Interrupted by what looks, from my poor vantage point, suspiciously like a member of Chimera, the entire band are given the news that End Of Heartache has now officially gone silver in the UK. Presented with their own framed discs by grinning fans, there is an unusual warmth in the air for the sentimental interlude, which Howard ends by thanking the fans for giving him something he can finally give to his mum.
Spreading good cheer seems to be on the agenda this evening, as the band give their missing six stringer a call back home, allowing him to here the rabid throng chant his name, wishing him a speedy recovery, before a blistering rendition of My Curse is blasted out in his injured honour.
End of Heartache and My Serenade are undeniably in a league of their own as the evenings proceedings draw to a close, with the crowd vocals reaching such intensity that the hairs on many a young tattooed neck are rasied. A somewhat comical cover of Dios‘ Holy Diver puts an end to a simply phenomenal evening of incredible metal anthems. Killswitch Engage are one band that you need to see as soon as possible, before the toll of such relentless touring carts any more of them off to hospital.