Live at Central Station (Dewsbury) on Friday, 15th July 2011
If there's a single fault to be had with tonight's gig, it's that not enough people were here to witness it. This is a real shame, but it doesn't deter any of the four bands on tonight from each putting on top-quality performances, the likes of which bands far bigger than these would struggle to replicate; simply put, there is no better showcase for upcoming, heavy music to be found in Yorkshire tonight, a fact which is only reinforced by Arise The Masses' opening set. Covers of Your Demise's 'Burnt Tongues' and A Day To Remember's 'Speak Of The Devil' go down a storm, but their own material more than holds its own, none more so than 'Jordan Lazenby', which sees the floor open up for the first dancing of the day. Arise The Masses don't just show potential, they also deliver results, and set the bar high for the rest of the bands this evening with their quality opening set of heavy-hitting metalcore.
Flee The Plague are on fire tonight. They might be a man down, but you'd never guess it, as they batter the crowd again and again with their unrelenting deathcore barrage, stirring up a sizable pit down the front and grabbing the attention of everybody else in the room. The band positively tear through their set, shaking the Central Station to its very foundations, none more so than on the brutal 'A New Beginning', which sees the band give everybody in attendance one hell of a kicking, making new friends left right and centre. Their set is over all too soon, but they make every second they're onstage count; the future looks bright for Flee The Plague, and shows of this calibre can't fail to add to their already impressive reputation.
Horizons play with the air of a band destined for much bigger things, and wouldn't look out of place on a far bigger stage than this; the band are tighter live than a pair of Noel Fielding's jeans, but this doesn't deter them from getting right into the audience's faces- quite literally, as vocalist James Maxwell barrels his way through the crowd, getting up and personal with the punters tonight as he screams his way through the set. The band deliver their brand of melodic metalcore in visceral style, giving the room a real mauling, and by the end of the set it's clear that they've come away with plenty more fans than they brought down with them.
Horizons' set would be more than worthy of headliner status at almost any other gig, but tonight is I Drew First Blood's night, and they pull no punches in proving it. Technical problems force the band to completely stop twice early on, but they don't let this stop them in unleashing carnage upon the Central Station, transforming the crowd into a mass of dancing bodies and flailing limbs with their metalcore racket. New tracks from the EP, for which tonight is the release show, go down an absolute storm, and it's hard to think of a better send-off for guitarist Dave Walker, who played his last show with I Drew First Blood tonight. The band justify their position at the top of this bill in no uncertain terms, playing a set which is both tight and heavy to a crowd who treat them as heroes, and rightly so; they even inspire a bout of crowdsurfing, which is no mean feat in a room this size. Their cover of Suicide Silence's 'No Pity For A Coward' is a brilliant parting shot, and draws the evening's event to an end in fine style.
With copies of their EP flying out and performances like this ringing in the ears of the faithful, the band have proved their worth with ease, and with shows supporting the likes of Texas In July on the horizon, they're finally reaping the rewards of all their hard work. If nothing else, tonight's event succeeded in proving that you don't need to sell out academies to play shows worthy of it, and more importantly, that the future of local heavy music is in very capable hands indeed.
Deathcore/Hardcore band from West Yorkshire
Four-piece hardcore band based in and around the area of Cleckheaton