From the moment of its announcement, this was always going to go down in history as an awesome tour. A joint headline endeavour from heavy metal behemoths Trivium and forefathers of metalcore Killswitch Engage was the stuff of Metalheads’ dreams, and when it finally became a reality, tickets quickly started selling. Then, with the announcement of one of metalcore’s most recent giants Miss May I as support as well as death metal band Battlecross, this tour suddenly became one of this year’s most essential gigs to get to. As months went by, it soon arrived to the date of the second night of the tour – at a sold out Brixton Academy where both headliners would unveil they were recording their sets for live DVDs. Presumably, this decision was made so there was no chance of ever forgetting how monumental this show was.
Kicking off the show was the rising stars of death metal; Battlecross. Showing off some insane blast-beats and drop-tuned heaviness, it wasn’t long before the headbanging began, and metalhorns rose up from the crowd. Most notable was the band’s coordinated circle-headbanging and the vocalist’s insanely low growls which rumbled the very foundation the venue stood on. However, as amazing as a set as they put on, Miss May I completely blew them out of the water. Coming out to no walk-on music and going straight into Relentless Chaos, lead screamer Levi Benton instructed the crowd to open up some circle pits – and the crowd obliged. Powering through a half an hour set, the band also dropped in a brand new track, Gone, which will feature on their upcoming album later this year. When speaking to Benton at their merch table after their set, he also mentioned that a video for this track will be released in the very near future. By the end of closing track, Hey Mister, fans were more than ready for the first headline act. As the Trivium stage set-up was unveiled from underneath a series of sheets and the backdrop descended the anticipation was undeniable.
Miss May I // Day By Day
As Trivium walked on with triumphant music playing over the speakers, the crowd broke out into rapturous applause and yet again, a sea of metalhorns rose from the crowd as they began the first song Brave This Storm – also the opening track to their latest album Vengeance Falls. The stage erupted with giant clouds of smoke throughout the track (and appeared frequently later on in the set). Overall the stage set-up had an icy cold theme running through it to in-keep with the artwork for their most recent album which the tour was supporting. The most effective of these effects was the snow which rained down upon the stage during the middle section of Shogun; a track not performed before this tour. Showing off material from the new album, they also performed lead single Strife and two other tracks No Way To Heal and Through Blood, Dirt & Bone. Overall, the new material went down as well as their older tracks and the mosh pits remained open throughout the entirety of the hour-long set. Other highlights included Like Light To The Flies from their second album Ascendency and set closer Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr from the same album. Just before going into the intensely heavy In Waves, frontman Matt Heafy announced that the band were filming the show for the band’s very first live DVD and this only encouraged the crowd to go more berserk than before. From this performance alone, it is clear to see why Trivium has become massive in the world of metal over the course of their career, and the next tour of the UK cannot come soon enough.
Trivium // Strife
After such a full on set, it could have been all too easy to forget that there was still a full set to power through from Killswitch Engage. However, as the band’s drum kit was being set-up and the backdrop descended, everyone seemed to remember that they had another hour of circle pits, mosh pits, and screaming along to every word of Killswitch Engage’s fifteen song set. Beginning with the old classic that is A Bid Farewell, it became clear that this band were not going to settle for the second-best in terms of performances that night. Bringing what can only be described as their A-game, the metalcore goliaths brutalised the crowd with a set full of anthems and a handful of new material – with a visually impressive array of strobe lights and coloured stage-lights. From their latest album, they selected five stellar tracks which could have been mistaken for older anthems from the way the crowd reacted to them. In particular, Always seemed to gain the best reception – with the whole crowd singing along to the heartfelt lyrics sung by frontman Jesse Leach. However, this was closely rivalled by In Due Time near the end of the set which pushed fans to continue throwing themselves into the ever-growing mosh pits. A real highlight from the set was The End Of Heartache, with its powerful chorus uniting the crowd and the heavy verses showcasing the intensity of the moshing capabilities of the crowd. However, what was easily the best track of the entire night was show closer My Curse. Easily one of Killswitch Engage’s most famous tracks, it just seemed to never want to end and every single person inside the venue was destroying their voices by shouting out the chorus which seemed to be on an endless loop towards the end – not that anybody was complaining as nobody would have minded if it never stopped going. During their set, Jesse Leach also divulged that the band were also filming their set, also going on to point out how they would not consider filming it anywhere else other than the infamous Brixton Academy.
Killswitch Engage // In Due Time
It is worth pointing out that all four of the bands at this show are performing at this year’s Download Festival (albeit all on different stages and different days) and anybody who is going should definitely check out all of them if they want amazing stage presence and a set full of great, powerful metal songs. Hopefully it will not be too long before the DVD (and hopefully CD) packages are released and the sooner any of these bands announce more UK dates the better. It seems safe to state, that not only this show, but this tour will go down in metal history as one of the greatest line-ups the modern metal-scene has witnessed.
Trivium + Killswitch Engage // 02 Academy Brixton // 2nd February 2014
Words > Stepehen Morris