The return of British extreme metal icons AKERCOCKE earlier this year has been a injection of fresh life into British metal. Just as the scene was showing warning signs of flatlining, AKERCOCKE‘s unique take on extreme metal has breathed the scene back into life. Following their return with a performance at this year’s Bloodstock Festival, the band’s headline tour concludes in Manchester.
Mancunian’s IMPAVIDUS opened proceedings and despite a vastly empty venue, the four piece excelled through ferocious riffing and a commanding stage presence from frontwoman Michelle Adamson. Adamson was a force in both her commandment of the stage and her vocal deliveries; executing vicious growls and harmonic cleans with absolute ease. This complimented the band’s grooves and savage death metal structure, with guttural blasts complimenting the neat hooks of Gav Smith‘s riffs and Chris O’Rourke‘s blasts on the drums. From the devilishly satisfying vocal lines on Heavens Gate to the sheer battering of Scourge, you’d be forgiven for thinking that IMPAVIDUS have been on the live circuit for more than a year. Whilst their set was short and only performed to a handful in attendance, the end product was a band that surely will go on to accomplish great things in a exploding British metal scene.
THE KING IS BLIND have had one hell of a year. Releasing their debut full-length back in January to rave reviews from the press and solid performances at this year’s Download Festival and Bloodstock Festival, THE KING IS BLIND are hot property right now and their supporting performance to headliners AKERCOCKE was packed with adrenaline from start to finish. From the slick dual riffing of Lee James Appleton and Paul Ryan on Fragility Becomes Wrath to the doom-esque thundering of Mors Somnis, the band were a force to be reckoned with. Frontman Steve Tovey commanded the stage with authority and his confidence complimented his venomous growls and bellows. What heightened this however, was the surprise inclusion of Chris Naughton from WINTERFYLLETH for a track, the combination of Tovey‘s low death metal growls and Naughton‘s black metal’s shrieks worked a wonder and truly showcased a special moment. You get the feeling that THE KING IS BLIND are going from strength to strength and their performance in Manchester only reinforced this belief.
AKERCOCKE‘s return has been greatly received across the metal scene and by the time the band hit the stage, the venue is bubbling with excitement and what transpired is the return of a band who capture the essence and quality of extreme metal. Throughout their set, AKERCOCKE were a well-oiled machine who ebbed and flowed to their unique blend of blackened death metal. The pummelling riffs of Paul Scanlan whipped up a storm, David Gray‘s drumming was monolith in size and new bassist Nathanael Underwood kept the rhythm flowing consistently. Frontman Jason Mendonca‘s unique blend of cleans and savage guttural snarls still packed a powerful punch and the energetic frontman oozed in confidence and goodhearted humour. With the band’s set packed with classics and gems across their career there was plenty on offer here. From the anthematic rhythm and haunting cleans of Leviathan to groove-laden riffing of Verdelet, there was enough here to tick all the boxes. New track, Inner Sanctum, held its own compared to the older material which demonstrated that AKERCOCKE still have the right ingredients to make an impact in 2016. There was rarely a dull moment and if anything can be taken away from the performance, it is that the British metal scene is a lot better with AKERCOCKE in it.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery of the night’s action in Manchester from photographer Sabrina Ramdoyal below:
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