Deathcore is in an odd position right now with several bands who helped popularise the genre moving away from it. This isn’t the case for CHELSEA GRIN though which in many ways seems to have benefited them as they play their biggest UK headline tour ever with a headline show at the 02 Islington Academy .
VOID OF VISION kick things off tonight by mixing together a bit of metalcore with a whole load of nu metal. It’s not particularly clever or challenging but it is a whole lot of fun. Everything song is packed with all the bounce you’d expect from a nu metal band whilst the metalcore elements just add a harder edge to things. Despite the room being fairly sparse when they come on stage, they manage to get the crowd going within a few songs. It’s a bit repetitive and they could do with a few more good songs but it’s still an enjoyable start to the evening.
MAKE THEM SUFFER deliver something a bit classier with their symphonic metalcore. Vocalist Sean Harmanis is completely fired up tonight and does everything he can to get the crowd on his level. The symphonic parts help stop the set from falling into a repetitive trap and add some nice variety throughout. Let Me In proves to be the highlight of the set but newer song Ether also stands out. Sadly the set seems to end right as the band seem to be hitting their stride but they still deliver a strong set even if it was over too quickly.
BETRAYING THE MARTYRS are on crushing form tonight. From the moment they set foot on stage they sound absolutely massive. With riffs that seem to shake the entire room backed up with symphonic elements that give everything a grander sound. Vocalist Aaron Matts is an imposing figure on stage and sounds ferocious. BETRAYING THE MARTYRS make the smart choice tonight of focusing on their latest album The Resilient. It’s easily their strongest album yet and the new songs translate brilliantly live. There isn’t a weak link tonight but it’s Victor Guillet who really stands out tonight as he swings his keyboard around and delivers a great vocal performance to match Aaron‘s. By the time he’s dived into the crowd for the last song it’s clear just how victorious Betraying The Martyrs are tonight.
It’s a performance that CHELSEA GRIN can’t quite match but they still do a good job headlining. When it comes to straight up brutality tonight no one can compete with with CHELSEA GRIN. Every beatdown is delivered with so much crunch and the occasional technical flourish keeps things from feeling too simplistic. Alex Koehler seems incredibly laid back on stage but whilst a little more energy from him would have been appreciated, he has just enough charisma so he doesn’t come across as lazy. Things take a slight dip as the set carries on but the encore where they drop a few old school fan favourites picks things back up. Recreant still sounds as punishing as ever and the newer material scattered throughout the set matches the heaviness of the older songs. It’s a fairly by the numbers deathcore set but CHELSEA GRIN still get the job done tonight and leave their fans feeling very satisfied.
Check out our photo gallery of the night’s action in London from Black Lotus Photography here: