I’m going to start off by saying, this wasn’t my usual hipster crowd of skinny jeaned indie rockers. I wanted to try something totally new, so threw myself head first into the first thing I could find. Metal core: unknown to me at the time, is a fusion genre of hardcore punk and heavy metal.
After arriving fashionably late, my introduction came from the end of the Counterparts set. Sheading guitars and chainsaw vocals, this is when the penny dropped. What had I gotten myself into, but I stuck with it, and I’ll tell you a secret as the night trickled on, I began to fall in love with the genre. With the crowd packed in like sardines, the stage welcomed Bless the Fall. From the go the atmosphere exploded. Security rushed to the barriers plucking uprooted fans from the waterfall of people, and this is when I learnt my first Metalcore lesson.
Lesson One, when extreme crowd surfing do so head first. Bouncers tend to avoid catching you if you say hello with a flying kick to the head. The band offered two contrasting vocals, a rough howler and a much softer screamer. Surprisingly this harmony worked quite well, giving a unique and interesting dynamic. By this point the crowd was in hysterics with an impressive pulsating circular mosh.
Lesson two, no matter how big you think you are, in a mosh pit there is always someone bigger and stronger than you. And trust me… he was big. Before finishing with ‘Hollow Bodies’ , the lead singer separated the crowd in a Moses like parting hand movement, only to drop his arms and watch the dance floor descend into madness.
Lesson Three, Zip up pockets are a must. Velcro just can’t handle a good mosh pit, no one wants to be fishing for the contents of their pockets post-gig. After having my first proper taste of the genre, I wanted more, but ‘Everytime I Die’ just didn’t deliver. The sound seemed off and irregular, and the whole set was haphazard just about held together by a fantastic drummer. Something just wasn’t working for these guys, and the crowd reaction told the same story.
After a short break and a quick thirst quencher it was time for the main event – The Architects. At first I thought the characteristic sore throat vocals were just an excuse to make a loud noise, but left feeling each songs sense powerful of emotion.
Lesson Four. It’s is an honour to be spat on, licked, kicked or even wet hair by a band member. Songs such as ‘Dead Man Walking’ showed beautiful use of the hard soft balance giving the song a beefiness while retaining a soul and not just sounding amplified white noise. The set finished with a pre-arranged encore of ‘Grave Diggers’ which came as a disappointing anti-climax to the entire night.
The architects provided there biggest headlining show ever, with a cracking turn out and brilliant effects team, but the real stars of the night for me were Phoenix band, Bless the Fall lead by vocals from Beau Bokan. For a quick taste you can check out the band’s latest studio album Hollow Bodies.
Each band pushed me toward something new, I left with numb ears, dead legs and a repetitive head nod that is still yet to wear off.
By Ryan Boultbee