Date: February 15th 2016
Venue: O2 Academy, Birmingham
Support: Bury Tomorrow / Thy Art Is Murder
With an evening of metallic delights in store, Aussie brutes Thy Art Is Murder  turn in a suitably savage opening, veering from their signature thudding extremity and claw hammer death metal blows with all the blood thirst and ferocity of a headline performance. Indeed, it is heartening to see that the recent departure of frontman CJ Mahon has done little to hamper the bands live presence, stand in vocalist Nick Arthur delivering a imperiously barbaric display and imbuing the likes of closer ‘Holy War’ with a steel-eyed conviction and guttural brutality:
Bury Tomorrow  up the energy somewhat with a whirlwind of crowd baiting big chorus bluster and thunderous metalcore muscle. The Southampton quintet look positively delirious as they rattle through rabidly received newbies ‘Last Light’ and ‘Memories’, and coupled with an airing of fan favourite ‘Sceptres’ and monumental mainstay ‘Lionheart’, the entire set plays out with an overwhelming air of celebration, perhaps due in part to the chart success of the bands latest LP ‘Earthbound‘. Saluting the fans often, the gratitude from the band is evident, and as they bow with a teeth shattering ‘Man On Fire’, Bury Tomorrow look to be set for a career besting 2016.
Taking to the stage with the huge melodic might of ‘Destroyer’, Parkway Drive  are something of a revelation. Although the trad-metal histrionics and flagrant mainstream sheen of last years ‘IRE’ may have left many scratching their heads, the stripping away of the bands metalcore shackles has seen the Byron Bay five piece re-invigorate their live show, harnessing all the explosive power of that new-found arena ready sound and creating a spectacle which is more than worthy of festival headlining status. Having said this, there is not a hint of compromise as ‘Deadweight’ and ‘Dying To Believe’ offer up a fearsome rhythmic assault, yet between the waves of pyro and showering bursts of confetti, sing along six string charm (‘Vice Grip’) and colossal arms aloft hooks, Parkway Drive have transcended into a legitimately world beating proposition, and on this evidence, are more than capable of leading the next generation of bill topping prospects into a new age for heavy music.
Written by Tony Bliss (@TBliss88)