August Burns Red + Miss May I & guests @ Metropolis – 28th January 2015

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Montreal promoters Extensive Enterprise have been bringing amazing bands to the city for a long long time now and are well respected. Tonight sees them bring another impressive line up of bands take to the Metropolis stage as part of the Frozen Flame Tour, attempting to warm up the crowd who’ve braved the harsh winter temperatures to witness a bill headlined by American Christian metalcore band, August Burns Red.

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Proceedings kick off unusually early with Birmingham, Alabama band ERRA firing up their own take on metalcore at 6:30pm. It’s encouraging to see that, even at this very un-rock n roll hour, the room is already healthily full of eager metalheads. ERRA wear their influences on their collective sleeve with a mix of Misery Signals, As I Lay Dying and Born of Osiris. They suffer a little from the somewhat generic clean vocal/unclean vocal mix that I’m not usually a fan of. Both vocalists are impressive in their own right with Jesse Cash reaching some impressive high notes but I’d be a bigger fan if they stuck with Ian Eubanks’ mighty roar throughout. Musically they’re tight and fairly technical in their arrangements, with Hybrid Earth being a real highlight. They do a fine job of getting things off to a good start and get a well deserved cheer from the crowd as they sign off.

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Fit For A King have been making a name for themselves for a while now and there’s definitely a good chunk of the crowd here early especially to catch them. They grab everyone’s attention from the off, with the mighty Hollow King (Sound of the End) crashing down in immense form as the down-tuned guitars and guttural screams bring extra weight to their immense sound.

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Ryan Kirby’s voice has a fiery venom to it that really compliments the relentless attack of the music as he expertly engages with the front rows. As soon as they finish their set, Kirby immediately heads out into the venue to chat to fans. Keepin’ it real.

Setlist:
Hollow King (Sound of the End)
Ancient Waters
Forever Unbroken
Young & Undeserving
Slave to Nothing
The Resistance
Warpath

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Australia’s Northlane have had an interesting 12 months, during which much-loved frontman Adrian Fitipaldes exited the band, but the group is ready to resume their career with new vocalist Marcus Bridge taking the reins. I have to say that the last time I saw Northlane, Fitipaldes’ vocals seemed strained and lacklustre so I’m hoping their new addition sees the band moving to richer pastures. Within minutes it’s clear that any worries I had were misplaced. Bridge may still need some time to get used to his role as frontman – he seems a little nervous and doesn’t interact with the crowd too much – but his vocals are absolutely on point throughout their set. The rest of the band gel brilliantly and there’s a sense of relief that they’re still here and playing to enthusiastic crowds. The chants of “Northlane! Northlane!” before they came on prove they have a healthy fanbase. Quantum Flux is the perfect set opener, building from mellower melodies to a punchy climax reminiscent of Bring Me The Horizon. New song, Rot, proves their sound continues to grow and showcases Bridge’s vocal range before the anthemic Masquerade concludes their all-too-brief set.

Quantum Flux
Worldeater
Windbreaker
Rot
Genesis
Scarab
Masquerade

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Miss May I waste no time in proving they mean business with their more metallic take on things sounding absolutely huge inside Metropolis’s walls. Levi Benton has grown to be one of the best frontmen in the genre, expertly commanding the fans throughout their set. Marcus Bridge could learn a lot on this tour from Benton. Miss May I’s sound is melodic yet still incredibly heavy. They succeed in bringing true metal influences into a modern metalcore environment and are able to replicate the subtleties of their recorded material almost perfectly in a live setting.

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Benton calls this the “best night of the tour so far” and manages to whip up some of the biggest circle pits Metropolis has ever seen. Forgive & Forget sees them at their furious best and, by the time they reach the suitably named Relentless Chaos, they leave the headliners with a very tough act to follow.

Setlist:
Hey Mister
Masses of a Dying Breed
Forgive and Forget
Gone
Tides
Hero With No Name
A Dance with Aera Cura
Relentless Chaos

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Lancaster, PA band August Burns Red remain worthy headliners on this bill. Over a decade into their career they’ve evolved into one of the biggest names worldwide in the modern metal scene and their appearance on stage tonight leads to an massive roar from the now packed-in crowd. With guitarists twisting out virtuoso melodies while their bandmates deliver frantically heavy rhythms, ABR have managed to find a unique take on a genre that is often criticised for being too generic. They power through their sixteen song set with a full-on assault with little room for subtlety.

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Vocalist Jacob Luhrs makes for a formidable ringmaster as his audience continues with circle pits and a procession of flailing bodies crowd-surfing towards the stage. The pace doesn’t let up throughout their set and, by the time they get to Empire, complete with enthusiastic backing vocals from the fans, they’ve given everyone a night to remember. Impressive stuff all round.

Setlist:
White Washed
Beauty in Tragedy
Thirty and Seven
Spirit Breaker
The Eleventh Hour
Up Against the Ropes
Marianas Trench
Provision
Back Burner
Fault Line
Meridian
The Seventh Trumpet
Composure
Drum Solo
Encore:
Carpe Diem
Empire

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Review & photos – Steve Gerrard

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