LIVE: Crossfaith @ Academy 2, Manchester (26/03/2016)

Date: March 26th 2016
Venue: Academy 2, Manchester
Support: The One Hundred / The Qemists


Music is arguably the only universal language in the world. A genre, or even just one song, especially in today’s digital age, can transcend its origin and reach and resonate within the depths of a fan on the completely opposite side of the Earth, even if they have no idea what’s being said within the lyrics (if any). Though admittedly they stick to English, Japanese mosh monsters Crossfaith have really built a huge plataeu for themselves over here in the UK, literally the other side of the world from their home, especially with last year’s LP, ‘Xeno’.

Opening up for their latest run across our nation, London based upstarts The One Hundred [8] certainly bring a modern and heavier based spin on the much loved (or, loathed) nu-metal genre of the early 00s. Their DJ scratching and sampling with more urban electronics overlayed alongside crushing metalcore is like early era Linkin Park and Limp Bizkit pushed into Northlane and Of Mice & Men territory, and the pits that erupt for songs like ‘Breed’ show that the crowd more than dig it.

Going for a far more EDM approach than the evening’s other supporting act, The Qemists [7] have gone from being a three-piece electronic outfit to a fully fledged band in the six-year interim between their last two records, and have certainly walked down a slightly heavier route as a result. Newest recruits and co-vocalists Bruno Balanta and Oliver Simmons really know how to work up the crowd throughout cuts from latest album ‘Warrior Sound’, and trade-off one another like they’ve been doing this for at least a decade. If you ever wanted Pendulum on head banging steroids, look no further.

If anyone in the Academy 2 room managed the near impossible to avoid breaking a sweat up until this point, then they’re about to join the rest of the room now that Crossfaith [9] are in control of the evening. The Osaka tyrants dominate the room like they’re in their home country, and songs like ‘Photosphere’ and ‘Ghost In The Mirror’ see pits from start-to-finish. Frontman Kenta Koie commands the crowd before him with ease, even though his English isn’t quite there yet, though has vastly improved in the few short years since they started visiting the UK.

‘Wildfire’ stands as one of the set’s highlights, with keyboardist Terufumi Tamano jumping out from behind his programming decks to fill in on Benji Webbe‘s (of Skindred) parts. After a jaw dropping drum solo from Tatsuya Amano to begin their encore, it’s the final moments of the night with the one-two of The Prodigy dance floor filler ‘Omen’ and the earth shattering ‘Monolith’ that cement something truly spectacular that is projected through bands like Crossfaith. Even with a band from across the world, home to a completely different language, culture, and life in general, it’s the music that brings us together. Within concerts we’re all there for one thing, the love for the music. It unites us in one experience, and in that moment nothing else matters.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)