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For the uninitiated Austin, Rise to Remain’s frontman, is Bruce Dickinson’s son, and I’m getting that out of the way now so I don’t need to mention it later. When this band opened the night with their own brand of Metalcore I’d forgotten that fact and I’m glad I did because you wouldn’t want to compare; not because his vocals are bad, more that they’re playing in different leagues. On the night of their performance his singing seemed somewhat flat, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that was more the sound technician’s fault as nothing sounded quite right all night. However, don’t let that put you off, on record he sounds much better and his vocals are mostly screamed which is much better! Seemingly at ease they were obviously enjoying themselves (especially guitarist Ben Tovey and his variety of funny faces) and they weren’t the only ones. They were possibly the best received opening act I’ve ever seen, most likely helped by the fact their latest EP was recently given away free with Metal Hammer. Their good reception showed true when they managed to start a massive wall of death involving a good half of the crowd during their final song ‘Fracture’. Whilst a terrible pun on their name is on the tip of my tongue I won’t inflict it upon you, but I will say it’ll be interesting to see where this band goes next.
Saturday 13th March 2010
Academy in Manchester, UK
As Whitechapel take the stage I’m instantly interested, and a little scared. In the most part this isn’t down to their crushingly heavy Death Metal dirge… more that their vocalist Phil Bozeman emits a genuinely unnerving vibe as he strides around the Academy stage. Pleasingly it’s backed up with the kind of music that would give an old lady a heart attack and although I don’t usually like my Metal this heavy it makes for good listening. Whilst they fall into the trap of so many songs sounding similar Bozeman’s strange poses and an energetic light show add a bit of spice. Before the gig I overheard a lot of excitable talk about them and this really shows during their final song of the surprisingly short 6 track set where yet another massive wall of death is initiated. The crowd go crazy for it; this really is the perfect moshing music and everyone here is definitely in the mood now. As warm up acts go they’ve undoubtedly set the tone and with a new album out later this year along with supporting Job For A Cowboy and being on the Vans Warped Tour this won’t be the last we hear of Whitechapel.
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Reviews & Photography by Nicholas Dishington
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Taking to the stage with the creepy, yet epic, intro of ‘The Venom Inside’ Chimaira are welcomed by the united cheer of hundreds of fans before breaking into their most mixed song of the night, a collection of breakneck choruses with slower domineering verses. Domineering is probably the best way to describe their performance, perfectly demonstrated by ‘Resurrection’, the much more frantic song that followed. It wasn’t until four songs in during ‘Power Trip’ I realised quite how much the crowd were loving it, singing so loud you could hear it over the sound system even away from the crowd! A high pitched “thank you” from vocalist Mark Hunter after the end of an impressively long scream at the end was an amusing contrast before returning to the Metal assault. Towards the end of an exhausting set there seemed to be further technical difficulties with sound occasionally cutting out everything but the bassist, along with a pretty muffled quality to everything. A handful of juvenile lyrics provided a unifying end to the proceedings with Hunter encouraging everyone to chant along to the repeated chorus “I hate everyone” from their fan favourite ‘Pure Hatred’ before exiting the stage to a rapturous cheer.
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You can’t have escaped Trivium’s meteoric rise to fame or indeed their lasting popularity with Matt Heafy and co regularly appearing on the cover of various rock magazines over the past few years. The crowd start to get excited as Andrew WK’s ‘It’s Time To Party’ plays moments before they start their own intro and storm onstage, starting with ‘Rain’ from their 2005 album ‘Ascendancy’. Ignoring the fact that half of tonight’s set is from ‘Ascendancy’, they manage to keep it varied between straight out Thrash songs like ‘Anthem (We Are The Fire)’ to the new blast beat filled ‘Shattering The Skies Above’ whilst maintaining a furious energy throughout. Whilst I hate it when bands patronisingly suck up to the crowd and tell you that their next record is going to be the best one yet (both of which they did shamelessly), when Heafy announced they’re was going to be “no bullshit fake encore” I feel they managed to claw back a bit of integrity. The band, and especially the crowd, seemed to be starting to tire somewhat by the time of the more paced ‘Dying In Your Arms’ (my personal favourite of the night) but with final songs ‘A Gunshot To The Head Of Trepidation’ and inevitable fan favourite ‘Pull Harder On The Strings Of Your Martyr’, everyone has one last push. Although not as relentless as many songs tonight ‘Pull Harder…’ was a great end to an exhaustingly angry show.
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