LIVE: Heartaches @ Satan’s Hollow, Manchester (23/02/2017)

Date: February 23rd 2017
Venue: Satan’s Hollow, Manchester
Support: A Plea, A Promise / Sunset Trial / Heritage
Website: None available


Admittedly though exposure over in the UK for fresh faced Swedish heavy hitters Heartaches has been somewhat minimal, evidently the weight and hype behind the debut EP ‘Svart’ is enough to justify their debut headliner over on these shores just a few short months after release. With their first visit to Manchester, they’ve brought along another 4 bands to open up for them at Satan’s Hollow.

Unfortunately, due to some transportation complications, catching openers One Down simply wasn’t possible.

Edinburgh newbies A Plea, A Promise [7] are all about the emotions, and though they seem like they feel a little confined and restricted on the unique and out of the ordinary stage set up, but that doesn’t stop them – particularly frontman Justin Dilworth, to deliver the goods. Sounding like a mixture of Hundredth, More Than Life, and Counterparts, there’s plenty to work with here, and as Dilworth ends the set screaming away from the microphone, the heart on their sleeve approach clearly works.

The self-proclaimed nu-metalcore outfit Sunset Trial [5], who hail from Czech Republic, are a little different in their approach. A backing track runs throughout their set, aiming to add that little bit more atmosphere, texture and depth, but at times it just sounds a little muddy and overbearing in the mix. Jake Sigmund spends a lot of time on his stage box, and though there’s a few moments throughout the set that sound like Sunset Trial could stand toe-to-toe with the likes of Betraying The Martyrs, their cover of ‘Superstar’ by Cypress Hill, which sees a vocal tag team of Sigmund and Damjan Siriški, is a little laughable.

Added pretty much last minute to the bill, and not a part of the actual tour package, local boys Heritage [7] take things a little heavier and in a more bleak direction. Gone are the backing tracks that aided Sunset Trial, and what we have again is the bare bones of the stage set-up. Cuts from their ‘Apathetic Youth’ EP are raw and aggressive, save for the odd moment where bassist and back-up vocalist Michael Williamson enters with a melody. Jake Huxley manages to thrash around the stage whilst managing to flip between gut dwelling roars and soaring cleans with ease, and get the room anticipated for the headliners.

With only the one EP under their belts, fresh signees to the Artery Recordings label roster Heartaches [8] are like the Swedish and bastardised version of Sworn In. With only the ‘Svart’ EP to play with the band work on it from front-to-back, and though activity in the crowd is minimal, the likes of ‘Backyard Tree’ and ‘The Process’ sound just as savage live as they do on record. At one point, bassist Theogil Tokatlidis manages to cause a bit of damage to his hand, but it’s nothing a quick plastering up between songs can sort.

Despite the absence of Tyler Shelton (of Traitors) on set finale ‘Deathlist’, vocalist Casper Frisk still manages to hold his own in the heavier moments of the song, and indeed their whole set. Though there’s no unveiling of any new material, Heartaches – at least based on tonight’s set – have made their debut visit to UK shores a successful one.

Written by Zach Redrup (@zachredrup)