Date: January 17th 2016
Venue: Club Academy, Manchester
Support: Silent Screams / New Years Day
It’s been over a year since we’ve had Motionless In White on our shores, but finally (after an understandable reschedule from the original dates following the tragic attacks in Paris in November) they’re back. We’re still yet to hear anything on a new album, aside from confirmation that they’re no longer with Fearless Records to put it out, but nevertheless, it’s a good time to finally close the book on 2014’s ‘Reincarnate’, and for what may be the last time witness them in a more intimate setting.
The only British band on the bill, and certainly the heaviest too, Silent Screams  walk out to a room who are all clearly here to see the other two bands of the night, but they certainly don’t let this sway them. Frontman Joel Heywood packs a formidable voice behind him, certainly showing vast improvements from his days when he was in I’ll Stay In Memphis. His requests for a circle pit and a wall of death are met, and he and his bandmates thrash around on the stage alongside the crowd. Thankfully, his wish to see people “punch someone in the dick” before jumping into ‘Everything Ends’ doesn’t go ahead.
New Years Day  are greeted with a wave of cheers and screams, which reach their most deafening when the half red and half black haired frontwoman Ashley Costello shows her face. The opening one-two of ‘Kill Or Be Killed’ and ‘I’m No Good’ keeps the hype going, and the fans are lapping it up. Guitarists Nikki Misery and Jeremy Valentyne are definitely putting their all into, thrusting their guitars about like they’re in a heated argument with them, and Costello‘s voice cuts through the mix as clear as day. Chris Motionless steps out to lend a helping hand with ‘Angel Eyes’, and raises the bar for when he’s to step out with his own band.
You know what? Not only was that bar met, but it was raised. Though moving from Academy 2 to the much smaller Club Academy from the last time they played in this building (back in 2013) certainly removes the possibility of bringing the same stage show with dancers and other fancy things, going for substance over style serves Motionless In White  far better. ‘Death March’ leads us into a set that encompasses all three of their records, and from their the captivated trance is in place.
Chris‘ vocals, most notably his cleans, seem to be in prime condition. The chorus hooks of the likes of ‘Sinematic’ and ‘Unstoppable’ keeps bodies a-bouncing and fans a-singing, whilst the crushing breakdowns laced in ‘Abigail’ and ‘Fatal’ keeps the heads a-banging and the pits in constant motion. Costello returns the favour by stepping out to fill-in the guest vocals of ‘Contemptress’, and the shrieks become almost eardrum piercing. By the time we hear the final notes of set closer ‘Reincarnate’, and a moment for Chris to be dubbed a “sexy cunt” by a member of the crowd, we’re left all the more wanting for album number four.
Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)
Founder & Editor for DEAD PRESS! | Atheist and antitheist. | Judge of the quick & the dead since 1989.