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Wednesday 8 May 2013

Another Point Of View: Killswitch Engage (Guest Review By Steve Jenkins)

Killswitch Engage, Great Hall, Cardiff

Having already acted on my fan boy instincts, the afternoon of this gig was spent loitering outside the Doc Martens store, queuing to meet Mike and Jesse from tonight’s headline band. After this my friends and I made our way to Cardiff Uni, excitement already mounting.

Burn The Headlines
Taking my spot at the barrier soon after a long keyboard led intro brought in Burn The Headlines hailing from East England. The singer was attempting a shorter, podgy Ian Watkins look; these were awful from start to end. Playing bland hard rock with little in the way of hooks and a muddy sound hampering the lead guitarists attempt to salvage any credibility. Their (thankfully) short set drew nothing but polite applause from some and heckles from others 2/10

Second up were Killswitch label mates from California, Heartist. This at least swung things over to the metal spectrum. Their take on metalcore wasn't original but were enhanced by some impressive high pitched clean vocals from their singer. Marks lost by their guitarist's attempt at "Rock n Roll", spitting water in to the crowd that mostly hit my eye! 4/10

Right, pretenders over next up were Reading bruisers Sylosis. The crowd noticeably gained momentum for these British heavyweights, inciting 2 walls of death and constant circle pits. A technical progressive take on thrash, this was where the heat really kicked in! Whipping up the crowd in to frenzy was exactly what was needed after a turgid first half. Many felt their set ended way too soon. 8/10
Killswitch Engage

And so for the moment many metalheads never thought they would see. Cheesy 80's pop tune (that I can’t remember) brought Adam D strutting a funky dad dance and the rest of the band following behind. They wasted no time in tearing the Great Hall apart with The Hell In Me, A Bid Farewell and Fixation On Darkness Any thoughts of Jesse not matching Howard lasted a microsecond. For 16 songs the Great Hall melted into one sweaty mass sing a long! The band were clearly enjoying their new relationship both musically and as friends and the crowd lapped it up as the band never let the intensity drop. Adam D's douchebaggery hasn't changed and watching him fire wristbands in to the crowd with a badminton racquet was one of a truckload of highlights. No album was left untouched but for most, hearing Jesse sing the Alive Or Just Breathing material were the ultimate magic moments. A stunning End Of Heartache gave the crowd and band a quick breather before coming back on stage to start a drinking game involving My Last Serenade and swigs of beer every time a pinch harmonic was played. Even with Adam D squealing through the entire song the band finished it in style, leaving the crowd breathless, grinning and hoping the next trip to Wales doesn't take 8 years! 10/10

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