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LIVE REVIEW: Oceans Ate Alaska @ Satan’s Hollow, Manchester

With their upcoming album Hikari to be released on July 28th, OCEANS ATE ALASKA embarked on the UK Tech-Fest Tour in promotion of the festival, with support from NAPOLEON, CARCER CITY, LOST ATLANTA, MONASTERIES and HOMETRUTHS. We were there to see how the tech-metalcore upstarts got on accompanied with a photo gallery of the night’s action at the show in Bridgend from Serena Hill Photography.

First to hit the central stage at Satan’s Hollow after an early start of 6pm were local hardcore band HOMETRUTHS. Whilst the room was far from full, this did not dampen the band’s enthusiasm – thrashing around the stage in typical hardcore fashion. Whilst their music does not push any boundaries, HOMETRUTHS delivered a confident performance to be opening a tour for such big names. A band that is certainly a credit to the local scene.

Rating: 6/10

MONASTERIES were next to hit the stage – a group of musicians that many would question as to their place on the tour. A blend of deathcore and brutal slamming death metal, this local band would not be out of place on a lineup with the likes of INGESTED rather than OCEANS ATE ALASKA, however this did not stop them giving the set their best shot. As the last performance of their now ex-vocalist, the energy on stage was admirable – and the vocals were undoubtedly the standout. Aside from a couple of timing issues with the drums, MONASTERIES ripped Satan’s apart with their brutal death growls and downtuned, dissonant breakdowns.

Rating: 7/10

The final local act to support the Tech-Fest Tour in Manchester were LOST ATLANTA. They were the most popular local band on the bill, with one of the tracks from their EP, Alive, featuring a guest guitar spot from Tim Henson of POLYPHIA in the studio version. Whilst their performance was polished, and mixed excellently through the low-tech PA of Satan’s Hollow, unfortunately nothing particularly stood out about their songwriting or individual performances. It may be argued that this is a side effect of the post-hardcore genre, but something about LOST ATLANTA just didn’t do much for the Manchester crowd. Hopefully the future will spell out something more ambitious for the local act, but until then, their current live set is well-rehearsed enough to make for an entertaining half hour.

Rating: 6/10

Carcer City live @ Hobos, Bridgend. Photo Credit: Serena Hill Photography
Carcer City live @ Hobos, Bridgend. Photo Credit: Serena Hill Photography

It wasn’t long before CARCER CITY took to the stage to a far more enthusiastic response from the crowd to any of the previous bands. Having spent several years working their way upwards in the UK tech-metal scene, they are currently reaping the rewards of their efforts – a recent signing and album release last year through Stay Sick Records. The sheer graft that this band have put in recently is vividly evident in their live performance. Joining this tour off the back of supporting ATTILA and THE WORD ALIVE around the UK and Europe, it’s easy to see their confidence in performing to bigger crowds. Several people dotted around the room are sporting their merch, and the fans are quick to come out of the woodwork on songs such as Sovereign and Infinite//Unknown. Vocalist Patch Pinion owns the stage of Satan’s Hollow, standing on the railings and emanating a feeling of a man in love with his job. A very solid and highly enjoyable performance from CARCER CITY.

Rating: 8/10

Napoleon live @ Hobos, Bridgend. Photo Credit: Serena Hill Photography
Napoleon live @ Hobos, Bridgend. Photo Credit: Serena Hill Photography

NAPOLEON were the final act supporting OCEANS ATE ALASKA, and with such a cracking set from CARCER CITY preceding them, they had a lot to live up to. Their last performance in Manchester left a lot to be desired at Impericon Festival, so it would be interested to see if they had stepped up their game since then. Surprisingly, they really did. What followed was half an hour of completely stellar tech-metal, with ambient and euphoric songs being complimented by an energetic stage presence from the band. Just as with CARCER CITY before them, their fans made their way to the front and gave it their all, belting the lyrics into the frontman’s face from across the railings. A lineup like this tour really is home turf for NAPOLEON at this point and they certainly owned their main support slot. The next few years will surely see the band skyrocket into something even bigger.

Rating: 9/10

Oceans Ate Alaska live @ Hobos, Bridgend. Photo Credit: Serena Hill Photography
Oceans Ate Alaska live @ Hobos, Bridgend. Photo Credit: Serena Hill Photography

After nearly 4 hours since the doors opened, the time had come for headliners OCEANS ATE ALASKA to hit the stage. Immediately, the atmosphere in the room shifted into one of glee in their frenetically fun and heavy brand of metalcore. New vocalist Jake Noakes, guitarists James Kennedy and Adam Zytkiewicz, bassist Mike Stanton and drummer Chris Turner turn the next 45 minutes into a whirlwind of breakdowns, soaring vocal lines and brutal blast beats. Older songs such as Clocks receive just as enthusiastic a response from the crowd as newer tracks from their debut album Lost Isles. New single, Covert, from upcoming album Hikari is translated perfectly into the live environment, showcasing Noakes’ impressively versatile vocals as well as the near-mechanical precision of Chris Turner’s drumming. Surprisingly, a highlight of the set for many in the room was their cover of BEYONCE’s Drunk In Love from their contribution to Punk Goes Pop. Whilst 45 minutes is not particularly long for a headlining set, it was long enough to show that OCEANS ATE ALASKA are a band that’s really rearing its head on the UK metalcore scene, especially pushed by such an influential label as Fearless Records.

Rating: 8/10

Check out our photo gallery from the action at Bridgend’s show from Serena Hill Photography:

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